Mini Nintendo rant

I’ve loved Nintendo and been a loyal fan ever since my family upgraded our Atari 2600 to the NES back in the 80s. But they’ve long had this bad habit of creating “artificial scarcity” by intentionally not shipping enough units of their systems in order to drive up demand & customer frenzy. Key word there is “intentionally”. They’re not taken by surprise; this is their well-known and very deliberate business tactic. Obviously it must work for them because they’ve been doing it for decades, and eventually you can find their stuff.

So, last November they released the NES Classic, which had a bunch of old games on one console, with nice HD compatibility and better save functions and stuff. As usual they created the artificial scarcity and didn’t ship enough out, so the prices immediately tripled, or even quadrupled, on the secondary market (thanks, scalpers!). That was for the holiday season. I was assuming that they’d have finally started meeting demand by the time I found a job. It was really the one thing I was looking forward to getting, when I had spending money again.

Well, I’ve found a job, but… Oh it turns out they’re just completely discontinuing them after only a few months of massive shortages and huge demand. So the scalper price is going to go even higher. Yay! Anyway, this is the last straw. I’m breaking up with Nintendo. I’m not buying another of their systems. For all their problems, Sony and Microsoft don’t jerk their loyal fans around nearly as much as Nintendo does. So if I ever buy another system, it’s going to be a Playstation or Xbox. I do have an Xbox 360 which I bought on clearance from Circuit City when they were closing down, and while it doesn’t have Link, Samus, or Mario, it’s still a perfectly fine and enjoyable system and I could see myself eventually upgrading to a newer generation, rather than buying the Switch or whatever new thing Nintendo has put out by the time I feel the urge to upgrade.

One other thing: I was so irritated by the deliberate shortages that I wrote them a letter a month or so back. Yes. An actual, physical letter, sent through the mail. They responded with a “Thanks for the feedback! We love getting suggestions for new games!” I mean, I know big companies don’t actually care about their customers so long as they’re profiting off them, but most companies will at least pretend to care. Nintendo can’t even be bothered to go that far.

I wish all YouTube teachers could be like Cynthia Lin.

I’ve been turning to YouTube more and more over the last several years. You can find some pretty fantastic instruction on there. I’ve learned everything from grouting floor tile to various types of whip cracks. The problem, though, is that it’ll generally take a lot of time and effort to sort through the bad stuff to find the gold. Continue reading

A history of some of my random hobbies over the years

Hobbies, amirite? Like many people, I’ve tried out different things over the years to keep myself entertained and expand my horizons and all that other good stuff. I thought it would be fun to reminisce a bit about some of the more memorable ones and explore why I tried them out, how successful I was at them, and whether or not I’m still at it. Continue reading

The Hideous Assault of the Devil Onion

I mentioned in my “On Writing” post that I had, at various points, kicked around the idea of writing collections of short stories, either with specific themes or through-lines of characters or overarching stories. A couple of years ago I had come up with an idea for one of the former, which was to be entitled “Bizarre Tales of the Bizarre!”

This collection would have been a set of short stories featuring my favorite type of writing: straight up random insanity and wackiness. This particular story is the only one for which I completed a first draft, featured below with some minor edits (so I guess this is really just a second draft?) 

I hate onions. I really, really hate onions. One of my favorite food-related sayings is “Onions are the devil!” So one day I thought, okay, what about an actual onion monster? So here it is. It’s pointless and ridiculous – my favorite kind of story to write.  Continue reading