Monday, 20 December 2010

On Eyes, Teeth & Cave Shmups

I trudged through snow and went to the dentist today, having spent most of the afternoon clearing my grandparents' drive of snow. I'd sort of anticipated it would be knackering, but not quite as tiring as it turned out. Plus when you wrap up as warm as possible because it's -10°C outside it then means you get absolutely baking hot once you start doing strenuous physical exercise. DCBC members may be pleased to note that the paedo-hat (a felted Thinsulate baseball cap with warm ear flaps) made an appearance today, though the paedo-jacket (a crappy waterproof jacket that's about five sizes too big for me) didn't on account of it just being cold rather than cold and wet.

The paedophile hat and jacket, modelled not-so-beautifully by myself
I checked out fine at the dentist, as I pretty much always have done, and hopefully will continue to. While waiting to go in I was reading some of the leaflets they had inside the waiting room, which basically described what various procedures entailed (root canal replacement, fillings, teeth restoration) in fairly graphic detail and with pictures to boot. Most of them sounded pretty damn horrific and to be honest it probably wasn't the best choice of material right before my appointment, because I scared the shit out of myself somewhat. I should have just gone for the Where's Wally? book instead.

I also went to the opticians last weekend and have got myself new glasses to replace the ones I broke a couple of weeks ago. I'd forgotten how damn expensive they can actually be if you don't want ones that look like complete ass. Because I went to Specsavers I got free extra shit with the glasses I bought, though it's one of those things where the "free" stuff is clearly worked into the massively inflated price you pay to begin with. I had the choice between a second pair of glasses that I would never need to use, an anti-glare tint that supposedly makes driving at night easier, except I rarely drive at night, and reactalight lenses, which is what I went for. Basically it means that when I make the transition from a light area (eg. a garden in the sun, full of snow) to a dark area (eg. a shed) my glasses render me totally blind for several seconds. Still, they're fairly cool.

One thing I've never really understood is why you're meant to go to the dentist every six months, and yet people only get eye tests every other year or so, probably longer if they don't wear glasses. Apparently I have a small scar on the surface of my eye (caused by me being a retard with contact lenses a couple of weeks ago) and I'm not allowed to wear contacts for a week or so in case I get it infected and all hell breaks loose on the surface of my eye. Which I'm pretty damn keen to not let happen.

When you've got teeth troubles the standard procedure to fix your teeth is to use a high-speed drill to take out more of your tooth, and to then shove a hunk of metal in the gap. That's pretty hardcore shit as far as parts of your bodies go. Plus, if shit goes wrong with my teeth, I can most likely live with it. I'm sure false teeth are a pain, but ultimately if you have false teeth you can still eat stuff. Hell, if worst comes to the worst, I've got a blender. Plus teeth are fucking robust.  I'd rather not go through the pain of having teeth problems (wisdom teeth coming through is painful enough), but the fact is that I could probably continue living normally if I had issues with them.

My eyes, on the other hand, are a different story. If shit's going wrong with my eyes, I'd like to know about it before it gets serious. If my teeth hurt, I'll go to the dentist, and presumably get a filling or something and life moves on. If my eyes hurt, then I'm pretty sure that shit is already going down. I'd probably rank my sight as being pretty fucking high up the list of "senses I'd rather not lose", and I really don't get why people aren't encouraged to get their eyes tested more often. At least more often than for teeth. Plus you can diagnose other shit through your eyes. My grandfather was diagnosed with high blood pressure after an eye test (not long before he died from a heart attack), and you can diagnose diabetes too. And as medical tests go, eye tests are pretty damn fun. Except for the one where they let you sit in the dark and stare at a blinking LED for a bit before they flash a ridiculously bright light in your eye to photograph your retina. That one isn't so cool.

In other news today, Ketsui, ESPGaluda and DoDonPachi Dai Ou Jou were included on MAME! By which I mean, they were actually released a couple of weeks ago, and I wasn't paying enough attention to anything to notice!

But still, I've been waiting for Ketsui and DDP DOJ for like two or three years now, and it's totally awesome that they're finally out. I'm a huge fan of Cave, and their shmups are my favourite shmups (I quite like Touhou games too, but each run takes like twenty minutes, if not longer, and most of the devout fans of the series seem to be complete weeaboos). I'm not quite so much of a fan as I used to be before HarmoNicks continually thrashed all my high scores and took most of the motivation out of me, but I still love them and they're my favourite arcade games by a large margin after the Tetris Grand Master series. DoDonPachi is my favourite shmup game, and with the exception of a few I'm not a huge fan of, I love pretty much all the Cave catalogue that I've managed to play so far (Toaplan's are decent too).

I even have the t-shirt:
T-shirts courtesy of the awesome Matt "Lordstar" Lord
I've not really had much opportunity to play them yet on account of having been out all day and practising for my Tetris Open match this evening, but I've given them a bit of a try. Ketsui is about what I expected from Ketsui Black Label on the DS, but DOJ is an absolutely different beast entirely. I know it's regarded as the most difficult game by Cave, but holy fuck is it difficult. It took me like five or six runs before I even managed to get past the first boss, and I've yet to get anywhere near the third level (I'm not using continues, obviously). I'm not that good at shmups and I've yet to get to a second run or 1CC anything more than a few Touhou Easy/Normal modes. But man, it's way beyond any difficulty I've seen for the standard game mode on a modern shmup.



    Re: the scar on your eye- is that the sort of scar that will stay and be an everlasting memento of you being a bit spastic, or the sort of scar that will heal. Having a scar on your eye is both pretty hardcore and harrowing.

    Also - thanks for reminding me to both go to the optician and go to the dentist. When the weather clears up I'll be sure to forget to go again.

  2. Dunno, the optician lady wasn't that clear on it. She did put a dye in my eye to check if it was infected or had still-damaged tissue present.

    It's nothing that's visible to the naked eye (pun not intended), or at least I've not been able to see wtf she's talking about having examined it at length in the mirror.