April 16th, 2010
I have a recipe for liver with oranges in our house cookbook. It's pretty good, but requires good, juicy, tender eating oranges. The typical California/Florida navel oranges just don't cut it; they're only usable for juice. So, the last time I made it, a week or two ago (I'm just now finishing up the last of the leftovers because I'm the only one in the house who likes liver), I tried buying some Florida-grown mandarins instead in the hope that they'd be juicier and less tough.
Holy CRAP, Batman. I don't think I've ever before had any kind of citrus fruit — hell, any fruit, period — as fibrous or as full of seeds.¹ Trying to eat these things, even cooked, is like chewing a mouthful of orange-flavored plastic bags, except that the plastic bags have less seeds. You've seen "seedless" oranges and tangerines? Well, now I know what they did with all the extra seeds. I'm not sure I'd even dare run them through an electric juicer. They were so full of seeds it was literally difficult to cut them into the quarter-inch slices called for in the recipe, because I couldn't find a cut line that didn't run through half a dozen seeds.
Needless to say, I won't be buying these Florida mandarins again. I suspect this is another case of foodstuffs bred to ship well, rather than to actually be edible.
 Well, OK, I'll concede pomegranates have a (slightly) higher ratio of seeds to volume. But I don't eat pomegranates. They're nasty.
Stupid inconsistencies in video games annoy me.
Take Halo, for example. It's, god knows, the 35th Century or something, we have faster-than-light starships that can jump across significant parts of the galaxy in weeks, we have fully self-aware AIs on a chip, we have cyborgs in powered battle armor with built-in energy shields, ... but that powered battle armor doesn't have night vision? Come ON.
This is a common thread in almost every shooter. (The only exception I'm personally aware of is Ghost Recon.) Either there is no night vision gear, or there's night vision gear but its batteries last 30 to 45 seconds and then it has to recharge for 2-4 minutes. As game detail, it's pathetically lame, and as a gameplay device, it's a cop-out at best. Fer crissakes, we had working, usable night vision gear forty years ago in Vietnam. It's still chic in many circles to look down our noses at Russian military hardware, but if any Russian equipment designer had dared to offer the Russian military night vision gear that crappy, they would have stood him up against a wall and shot him.
(Naturally, the darkness never impedes the attacking enemies in the least.)
Come on, game designers. We're talking present-day-to-futuristic here, not THAG BASH THINGS WITH ROCK. Give it a rest and join the 1990s at least. If the only way you can achieve the game balance you want is to leave the player stumbling around in the dark, squinting into the monitor trying to see anything more than six feet in front of him, you have failed at game design.