So…we’ve had some big (well, not really, but you should just pretend they are important anyway) things happen lately. You know, life changes, notable incidents, new influences…big things like that (again, not really, but as I don’t have much going on I have to improvise). And today I’m going to discuss three of these big things (though not the biggest; I’m just not ready to discuss my Dragon Age addiction, it still hurts) because…why not?
Uh…right. Let’s start with the most traumatic!
Cutting Kitten Nails
Anya’s nails kept getting stuck in the carpet/chair/my arm so Vanna and I decided it was time to clip them earlier this week. And if Monday’s post was any indication, Anya was unlikely to be a willing participant.
And she wasn’t. Oh man, it was rough. Anya was not a happy cat. You should have heard her! Meowing like she was in pain, moaning when we pinned her down, hissing, trying to bite, scratch…it was frantic. Even though Vanna had her properly restrained (the cat burrito was also required), Anya thrashed around like a wild thing. And I was the poor sap holding the scissors! I don’t think cutting nails has been so stressful.
But we got her nails done…eventually. Anya was fine obviously. She got treats and adoration for hours afterwards, but of course she is still unhappy with us. The scissors also got mistrustful stares, which doesn’t bode well for the future. Not looking forward to the next clipping. Gloves might be necessary. But hey, it isn’t all bad!
I have a new (second-hand) phone, people! Vanna got an iPhone 4 (neither of us are so frivolous to buy the latest model) a few months back and it has transformed her life. It hasn’t quite reached necessity status (currently it is in the category below that of food, drink and sleep) but it pretty damn close. She uses it for everything, and always has it nearby. Essentially it is her new favourite thing.
I, however, wasn’t too concerned about a snazzy mobile, preferring new Xbox games (oh, Dragon Age…) to an improvement on the primitive thing I was using to call and text.
But then my cheap phone really started to vex me (the reasons for my annoyance are too extensive to list), and then Vanna mentioned how she’d spotted another iPhone 4 available at a cheap price…my resolve faded. Long story short, I have upgraded to an iPhone as well.
And it’s pretty good. I think my laptop is starting to feel abandoned, as I do more or less everything on the phone. Texting doesn’t take twenty minutes, I can go online easily, and the iPhone doesn’t feel the need to reset itself every other day like my old phone did. It doesn’t neglect calls, freeze or run out of memory on a regular basis either. And it plays music too, so yeah, I’m pretty happy. Low standards, I know, but this is the only phone I’ve owned that nails all the basics without any huge drawbacks. The battery is a bit weak, but other than that, I have no complaints.
The major difference to the iPhone to my previous phones is, of course, being able to download apps. The most notable app that I’ve downloaded is even the final big thing I’m going to talk about in this post (like I said, clutching at straws doesn’t quite cut it…)
Boy, who would have thought answering general knowledge questions would be so addicting? For those of you who don’t know it, Trivia Crack is essentially a trivia (duh) game you play against other people (either friends or failing that, strangers). The goal is to win the six characters (sports, science, arts and literature, geography, history and entertainment) before your opponent. TC is a very compulsive game… especially when you have instant access through your new phone.
Mind you, Trivia Crack is a bit of a sore point at the moment, as I’m in a bad, bad, bad losing streak (I’m doing fine 1 v 1, but suffering some bad misfortune in the group challenges). As a consequence, I’m more inclined to criticize than compliment the game, so instead of talking about the good features (the social aspect, the useful help options, the way it does help improve your knowledge) I’m going to rage pointlessly for a little while. Here’s my five biggest issues.
For a country so young, America sure does dominate a vast majority of the questions. I know this was bound to happen (American game – I think – played by a load of Americans with lots of America orientated questions? You don’t say!) but I’m tired of the bias. The main problem is that it puts me at a serious disadvantage against everybody I challenge. History is obviously the huge issue, but even the president on the twenty-dollar bill, a question practically all Americans know easily, can throw me off. Even so, this wouldn’t be so bad if…
English/Europe based questions weren’t either dumb or wrong:
My best chance to one-up my competition is foreign knowledge, but every time I see a question related to my homeland it falls under one of the following three categories;
- Painstakingly obvious, so easy that the $100/£100 questions on Who Wants To Be A Millionnaire looks hard in comparison (London is in which country, for example)
- Potentially tricky, but ruined through the multiple choice (Prime Minister during WWII? Queen Elizabeth, Charles Darwin, Tony Blair or Winston Churchill; yep, I’m stumped)
- Flat out ignorant, like saying the English flag is the Union Jack (a cursory look online will show it is actually the St George’s Cross; the Union Jack, or Union Flag – both count so I won’t criticize for that, though I feel the latter is more appropriate – is the United Kingdom)
The first two I suppose I can allow, but the third is unforgivable. You might think the flag error is a genuine mistake, but that is no excuse. It takes five seconds to find out the correct answer. If you’re going to ask a question, make sure your answer is right first. Otherwise you look like a complete idiot to the five people reading this blog post.
Multiple Choice is good and bad:
It isn’t just English questions that suffer from dodgy answers. There are plenty of challenging questions ruined by the answers. Multiple choice is good as it offers you a chance when you’re not entirely sure of the answer, but I find little enjoyment in seeing the answer among three obvious red herrings. Sure, blatant choices have helped me answer questions I was clueless on, but I’d rather draw upon logic, knowledge and reasoning to deduce the answer than simply know because the other three options were ridiculously obtuse.
Eerily specific questions are equally frustrating:
This is the opposite problem, where a question is so narrow in scope you have to be an expert in the field (or a good guesser) to get the answer right. I cannot stand statistical questions in trivia games. The tie-breaker in a pub quiz, fine, but not in this super important challenge against my friends.
Typically, I can’t think of an example off the top of my head but trust me, these questions suck.
Still, they are nothing compared to the worst problem with this game…
Sports, oh God, Sports:
I love football, and though I do not follow them, I have an okay knowledge of tennis, cricket, rugby, Olympic events, Formula One and hockey where I might be able to deduce the answer. But of course, they rarely come up because it is always baseball, American football, and basketball instead!
Always! I can’t stand the sports category because it is highly unlikely I’ll get it thanks to the America bias. As a result, sports is the last character I go for every game, and it is often the reason why I lose (especially challenges, where I’m more or less guaranteed to have two wrong thanks to sports). While my success rate in the other categories are 70% and above, sports lingers just above 60%. Hate sports.
Ugh. Sports is definitely the main reason I can hate this game. A vast majority of the time it is American, and quite often very precise statistical information that nobody cares about other than the loser who drafted up the question (harsh words I know, but there is no way I’d ask my fellow gamers how many dribbles Eden Hazard successfully completed in the 2013 season because who gives a?) so I end up guessing most of the time. And the multiple choice easiness only applies to the sports I know and Vanna et all don’t…because of course it does. And on top of that…
Okay, I’m a bad loser. And I should probably take a break…
Have a fun Friday everyone,