Monday, July 26, 2010

fun and games, well games anyway

One of the drawbacks of having hands that don't function properly is that I can't play most computer games. Console games, like the old school Nintendo I grew up with, require opposable thumbs, which I lack. PC-based games are even more complicated. Many require using both the mouse and keyboard simultaneously. these days, I can move the mouse and click. Believe it or not, that allows me to do well over 90% of my job. I love you, Photoshop.

Here are a few fun games for all of my hand-challenge friends out there:

Bubble Spinner
this game is very simple and terribly addicting. Just shoot little colored balls at balls of the same color to make them disappear. Do not play this at work, it will ruin productivity for the rest of your day.

Hedgehog Launch
a game where you launch a hedgehog into space... A situation I'm sure we're all familiar with. It takes a click/drag with the mouse, any use of the arrow keys to steer. The soundtrack kind of rocks too.

Crush the Castle
This is one of my all time favorite online games. Click once to get your catapult swinging, click again to release your projectile. it gets really fun once you earn explosives. Once you've mastered to the original, check out the Players Pack version.

This game is pure 8-bit awesomeness. Controls are only one button. Press the C key to jump as your little pixel man runs through a crumbling city. Pro tip: the longer you run, the more speed you pick up. Hit a box every now and then to slow down.

Blosics 2
this is a fun little physics shooter. There are piles of things, and apparently you don't like them. Click and drag to shoot them. Repeat as needed.

Another fun physics game. This one involves sawing logs via click and drag, and making a little smiley face roll around.

Gimme Friction Baby
a fun but frustrating physics shooter with the best music of any game on this list.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Useful things for the gimp in your life

It's been a while since I put actual useful information on my blog. I know from looking at my analytics that quite a few people arrive here after searching for info on ALS or Monomelic amyotrophy. so, I decided to throw together a post comprised of gadgets and tips I use on a daily basis. Starting off with;

Mac dictate
this is the dictation software I use to write e-mails and blog posts. It is very accurate and very useful. Occasionally it does interesting things with spacing and capitalization. The only draw back is that I can't listen to music while I'm dictating. I've tried it before, and I end up with three quarters of a coherent e-mail with James Brown lyrics interspersed.
Uuhh! Get on up! More on it here.

Bendy Straws

Bendy straws are awesome. You already know this. I have a stash at home and at work, should a beverage situation arise. There are more than a dozen Pro-bendy straw groups on Facebook. The largest one has over 7000 fans. People are weird.

Apple likes to say that all of their products will somehow change the world. In the case of the iPhone, that's actually true. I could not make phone calls with out it. A standard cordless telephone is too heavy for me to hold to my ear. My last cell phone had buttons that were too difficult for my weak fingers to press. The touch-sensitive iPhone, combined with this headset, makes talking on the phone possible for someone as weak as me.

zipper pull

My dad invented this handy little tool. I have them all over the house now. It's simply a 3 to 4 inch piece of quarter or 3/8 inch dowel with a little screw-in metal hook in the end. It gives me something large enough to hold onto so I can zip a jacket or pants or whatever.

rocker knife

I have talked about the rocker knife many times before, but it bears repeating. Get yourself a rocker knife.

That is all.


I found this utensil in the camping cookware section of REI. It's made out of titanium, so it's ridiculously light. however, the best thing about it is the flat handle. Most of the silverware designed for disabled people has big fat handles. A fat handle would be great if my thumb worked. since it doesn't, a wide flat handle is easier for me to grasp.

I think a lot of the utensils and other items designed for disabled people would be a lot more useful if the designers would talk to a disabled person every now and then. it's not like we're hard to find. Just hang out near a handicapped parking space long enough, and a disabled product tester will find you.


This thing is what I use to drink 90% of my beverages. its a double wall insulated pint glass with a (mostly) leakproof lid. it has a big fat, heavy duty reusable straw as well.

Camelbak better bottle
it's a water bottle with a built-in straw, and a loop on the lid that makes carrying and opening it a breeze.

here is a post I did earlier about kitchen gadgets that might be useful to other gimpy gourmets.

How about a bike without hand brakes?

Sunday, July 4, 2010

drug trials part three

Today I pay homage to the inventor of some of the most “creative” drug trials the world has ever seen. His ability to combine various controlled substances was matched only by the volume of substances consumed.

I'm talking, of course, about Keith Moon.
(not pictured: sanity)

His drumming, for The Who, was absolutely insane. His ability to destroy hotel rooms was even more insane. He once celebrated his birthday by drunkenly parking a car at the bottom of a swimming pool.

My favorite Keith Moon drug trial took place on November 20, 1973. He passed out an hour into their show after consuming a huge amount of animal tranquilizers mixed with brandy. These weren't “mellow your dog out at the vet's office” drugs, these were “drop a charging rhino in its tracks” drugs. before consuming said drugs, he was heard to remark, "Of course I can take it! I'm Keith F**king Moon!" Unfortunately, he could not take it.

Cool side note, Pete Townsend asked the crowd if anyone there knew how to play drums. A kid named Scot Halpin did, so he jumped on stage and played the rest of the show. In true Keith Moon style, the band gave Scot a shot of brandy to calm his nerves before he played.

Despite Moon's truly inspiring and innovative drug trials, I will not be following his lead. It would probably be fun for a while, but the fun ends with an overdose of Clomethiazole.

Also, I am not a fan of brandy.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

drug trials part two

Well, I couldn't find any heroin, so I had to skip the Keith Richards drug trial. I have a new plan now. I'm going to base my next drug trial on the “research” of a pro athlete.

I'm not talking about the performance-enhancing type of drugs most pro athletes would use. This is way more unconventional. A fella named Dock Ellis performed some amazing feats of self-medication while playing pro baseball in the 1970s.

In his finest hour, Ellis pitched a no-hitter while bombed out of his gourd on LSD. Here is one of his personal highlights from the game;

“I started having a crazy idea in the fourth inning that Richard Nixon was the home plate umpire, and once I thought I was pitching a baseball to Jimi Hendrix, who to me was holding a guitar and swinging it over the plate.”

The man was clearly a visionary. Granted, most of his visions were whacked out hallucinations... but they still count for something.

Here's Dock telling this story in his own words:

side note; this might be my favorite thing on YouTube.