Mr Granstaff1,423,399 (770,339)Georgia

Going through Dead Rising 4 MP -- anyone want to tag along? During the week, anytime after 6 PM EST.

Mr Granstaff has won 28,683 Achievements and 10 Challenges in 1040 games and 30 apps

Registered on 31 Jan 12 Last scanned yesterday at 06:07 by TA Scanner 1

Kinect Specialist
Mr Granstaff

Mr Granstaff's Blog (73 followers)

PermalinkGoing Under The Knife
Uncertain times are ahead for me. I'm scheduled for surgery at the end of this month. Basically, I have a lipoma (5cm) that's pressing against the top of my spine. If you want to get technical, it's my C1 vertebra.

For those of you who may not know what a lipoma is and too lazy to Google it, a lipoma is a benign tumor composed of adipose tissue, or in other words, body fat.

I'm hoping the lipoma isn't attached to any muscle as I've heard the recovery time can be very discomforting since the surgeon would have to scrap off the tissue from the muscle itself. As long as I can sleep, I'll be fine. If not, I'll turn into "grumpy pants" and no one would want to deal with me then. laugh

At any rate, I have reason to believe this could be the leading cause of my back issues as of late and general discomfort throughout the day. Originally, I thought I pulled a neck muscle when inadvertently working out incorrectly one day that caused the inflammation, but that clearly wasn't the case since it's been there for over a year - slowly growing.

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The surgery itself should be routine and yield satisfactory results. Funny story: I actually had another surgery with the same doctor over ten years ago that I had forgotten about. When I called to make an appointment and the receptionist asked for my number, I was surprised my name popped up in their system. I'm convinced my memory is shot.

At any rate, no one start calling dibs on my consoles just yet! Worst case scenario, I survive with a decent scar to show off and other people should stop calling me Igor.

(no one actually calls me that, although I did name the growth "Fred" - is that weird?)

Anyway, with the new year already among us and having digested the fact that my surgery is just around the corner, all of this has made me want to reevaluate my gaming tendencies. I could expand upon that and go into real life stuff, but we're on a gaming website and especially since this hobby takes up a chunk of my time, I'll just stick to that.

When adjusting my games collection and reflecting, I noticed I actually borrowed/rented a TON of games (more than I currently own), and that's a crazy discovery. With that said, I plan to continue on collecting titles that will have replay value and stop spending money on games that are purely used for score and quickly tossed aside.

I mean, I'm leaving the possibility open that I could relapse, but doubtful that will happen. I didn't even enter in this year's GTASC until the very last minute and that was to help out a longtime friend. I mean, he did beg and plead with me enough. How much money did he offer me again?

(I'm kidding! They may have persuaded with me a bit though.)

Being on a casual team did intrigue me, so that's what ultimately sold me on the idea on participating once again. The captain has plans to actually make it feel like we're on a team in various ways, like streaming our efforts on Twitch, having mini competitions, and just generally helping each other out with grindy achievements. I felt like that camaraderie was missing last year as we all tended to do our own thing, but this blog isn't about dwelling in the past.

Admittedly, on top of being with a casual team, striving to win the prizes that are offered during the year appeals to me most. I feel like I could last until October easily enough by my normal gaming habits alone, so plenty of opportunity to snag some nifty prizes without too much effort. Plus, the event organizers always do a great job of presenting all of those juicy statistics. I have always appreciated that.

Realistically speaking, my days of having a competitive streak are essentially over with. While these contests were a different experience and enjoyable for the most part, I just can't let myself get that consumed by gaming in the sense where it controls my every waking moment, especially when loading my card up with kid games or Indie crap is concerned. Of course, I'm not trying to knock on anyone. If that's your thing, then go right ahead and game to your heart's content. If it makes you happy, then more power to you. I'm not hating.

I suppose my only issue is -- which I don't think I made clear in my other blogs -- when people exaggerate on how they end up doing well in these competitions. Not quite sure I understand why it's necessary to sprinkle in those lies and hide behind the truth. For instance, despite their own words, it's a massive time sink to compete seriously. I don't know about you all, but I love my beauty sleep. I mean, it doesn't matter if you excel in time management, a ton of time is required to actually play the game and if you're determined enough, you'll preload just about anything to stay ahead of the pack.

(for the record, preloading doesn't sound appealing AT ALL)

And, I haven't even touched base about the amount of money that is required to gain that advantage either. People try to downplay how much they spend, but you can only borrow so many games. And, not all games have a physical copy, so you're spending at least some money there digitally. Even if you got those games on sale, those dollars add up. Others could argue that most of their damage was with free games, but that's bologna. Period. Personally, I'd just rather spend that money on something practical - like supporting a family, which leads me to my next point.

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For instance, the general consensus is that to do well in these contests -- Leap Frog and GTASC come to mind -- you can't have other responsibilities, like kids or a job. Word off the street is that the ones that performed well did in fact have families and children and did not live in a basement. With what I know on what it takes to excel in these contests, that tells me they neglected them. They can fluff their words all they want. It's downright impossible to balance all of that out. Keep in mind, I'm not talking about one hit wonders, I'm referring to the peeps that are constantly competing seriously every year.

To steal a line from Peter Griffin, it really grinds my gears when I read these posts and see them making those false claims. I have no respect for that. Heck, it's like me saying I just won the lottery and currently dating Kate Upton. It's not fooling anybody with half a brain cell. Negligence and carelessness is so clearly oozing from them, I shouldn't even be poking fun at it, especially when kids are involved.

I mean, I can understand someone pushing hard for a few months, but if you're competing seriously in all of these different gaming contests year in and year out, you're not fooling anybody. That's a huge time sink and financial burden you're self inflicting on yourself. If I knew I was neglecting my children (theoretical in my case) because of my gaming habit, my conscious would weigh me down something terrible that I don't even think I could make it up to them. Taking them all out on vacation to Disney or buying them a pony wouldn't make up for all of those missed opportunities on spending time with them.

This reminds me why I don't interact on Facebook anymore, mostly. Everyone is all claiming their life is full of sunshine and rainbows. Bah! I know the drama that goes on behind the scenes...

(they're all just a big fat phony!)

It's just a horrible feeling to be bound by unlocking achievements. Been there, done that. I don't think anyone should be, which is why I snapped my streak. It became such an inconvenience and sometimes consumed my gaming entirely. In comparison to then and now, it's just so much more relaxing and gratifying to unlock an achievement whenever I feel like it. I do believe some of us forgot that gaming should be more about having fun than punishing ourselves to increase our GamerScore or worrying about what other people are doing. Of course, I'm guilty as charged if you looked at my tendencies these past few years.

Basically, it's all about moderation for me going forward and continuing to be selective on what games I decide to start.

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Since those holiday sales are basically over, I only managed to get two things:

Commander Cherry's Puzzled Journey
- Yes. I realize it may end up being a crappy game, but it's Kinect. I need an excuse to move around aimlessly around my living room from time to time.

Alien: Isolation - The Collection
- Despite already owning the physical copy and the extra content not including any achievements, I've heard nothing but great things about this game. Plus, being able to play as Ellen Ripley is a bonus in itself.

I'm thankful not much appealed to me because I'd be in an abusive relationship with my wallet!

As far as actual Christmas gifts go, I got the following:

Much thanks to Dawn and Jim/Monica for the gifts. I shall put them to good use, eventually. I may even designate one for my 500th game played very soon! I'm currently at 498 games played.

And, I'll have to expand upon this for another blog that's more geared towards my gaming setup, but Dawn went all out and upgraded my gaming chair. No details yet as I don't want to ruin the surprise.

Oh, all right. One hint.

It's got a subwoofer mounted in the back and when the bass starts thumping along during intense moments, it actually vibrates the whole chair! It's quite impressive. I mean, it just pulls me into the game even more than usual. No spoilers here, but what happens at the end of Games of Thrones: Episode One... Boy, was that more intense that it needed to be due to the chair. With two speakers on either side of me, it makes any game completely immersive even with it being a simple "point and click" adventure.

Next blog should be me tooting my own horn and about what I accomplished last year gaming wise, so stay tuned for that!

Take care all.

[UPDATED: December 31, 2015]

* revamped Boost List and other edits

Want to boost? Play some co-op? Trade games with me? If so, click the spoiler tag below:

*** Spoiler - click to reveal ***

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Posted by Mr Granstaff on 08 January 16 at 21:04
Kinkii Mono Can't believe I read all that, sad thing is I don't even remember half of it.

About the competition thing and time/money sink, only limit hobbys have is how much time/money you have. Some people are all about short term (read 1 year) accomplishments and others lifelong commitments. You didn't say what was right or wrong but it did feel like you went at it with a fairly narrow perspective.

Regardless I'm in the same boat as you when it comes to it. I have to balance volunteer work (one of my biggest passions) and chairty work with gaming so I have to take time of from gaming from time to time since the other stuff can't wait while gaming can. So that you want to take time away from gaming to do other stuff makes all the sense in the world to me. But I can also see why it wouldn't make sense to others.

On to the other stuff I can't remember what games you wanted to play but I just got the 360 borderlands games that I plan on playing through incase you miss one of them;
Borderlands (JP), Borderlands 2 (with all DLCs) and Borderlands the Pre-Sequel (with DLC)

Other than that I wish you the best with the surgery and hope you come out of it kicking more ass than ever.

Posted by Kinkii Mono on 08 Jan 16 at 21:33
Mr Granstaff @ Kinkii Mono - Thanks for reading! And, it sounds like your memory is a lot like mine. Ha.

I'm OK with a difference opinion, so no worries there, my friend. :) And, apologies for not making myself clearer. I felt like I distinguished the difference of my argument between a short term and long term commitment well enough (re: one hit wonders), but I stand corrected.

However, it sounds you have misunderstood me (and it seems I wasn't very clear - again). I'm totally cool with however much time/money a person wants to devote to gaming. My main point was that I didn't care for how some competitors downplayed or exaggerated their efforts. It came off a bit too egotistical for my tastes and not very sporting. That was all, basically.

Hopefully that shed some more light of my perception of things. If it doesn't make sense to others, then so be it. I'm fine with it either way. No one should lose sleep over that, am I right? toast

Very cool about Borderlands! I just have the DLC to wrap up and going at it again with a second playthrough in order to level up (for the achievements). I have the other Borderland games too, but it's just for Xbox One. Maybe we'll be able to sync up soon.

And, thank you very much for the kind words. I'm confident the surgery will go well. I will miss "Fred" though. He's been a loyal companion, although a pain - pun intended.

Posted by Mr Granstaff on 08 Jan 16 at 21:51
Kinkii Mono I'm pretty sure it was me who misunderstood, English isn't my first language so happens ever so often. Aye I'll let you know when I pick up the One versions of the games and see if you still haven't played them by then.
Posted by Kinkii Mono on 08 Jan 16 at 22:14
DefiantZero Kill it with fire.
Posted by DefiantZero on 08 Jan 16 at 23:50
Mr Granstaff @ Kinkii Mono - I hear ya. It was just how they carried themselves is all.

Oh. And, if I've already played the games, still hit me up. Although rarely, I do still go back to old games.
Posted by Mr Granstaff on 08 Jan 16 at 23:58
Mr Granstaff @ DefiantZero - I wish I could! It would be cheaper. Ha.
Posted by Mr Granstaff on 09 Jan 16 at 00:00
Sven0330 Took me a while to get myself settled to read this blog. One of your better ones Granstaff smile

First, hope all goes well with the surgery. I'll say some prayers for you just for insurance wink

I am glad your are able to shift your gaming priorities around to what suits you. All gamers should be able to do that, no matter what floats their boat. I agree with not letting the achievements drive me or rule me as well but I find myself guilty of falling on that from time to time. Also completely agree about the contests. I am a little weary still of being in GTASC (as you and I talked about) and even emailed my team captain to be as frank as possible with what my limitations would most likely be. As far as camaraderie goes I believe upfront honesty goes a long way in any team/group.

As for Facebook, a pastor a while back stated what Facebook is better than I ever could which is also why I don't use it. Everyone's Facebook page is their highlight reel. As you stated, they hide all the real crap behind the scenes.

Again good blog
Posted by Sven0330 on 09 Jan 16 at 23:59
LuckyConquerer2 Good luck with operation mate. I had one removed before. Mine was huge (size of a tennis ball) and became very frustrating due to its location (it grew around the sperm tube). It didn't top growing, which is why I had to have it removed.

You will be fine, doctors are awesome.

Gaming wise, I am the same. Real life comes before gaming. I never put gaming first, anymore. You can compare my stats from 2014 and 2015. I scored a lot lower but I am happier. 2014 also had me off work through unemployment and then injury so I am happier with work and class.

And this talk of you not having a baby yet, make 2016 your year! You and Sven could have kids and name them after each other. laugh
Posted by LuckyConquerer2 on 10 Jan 16 at 18:36
Mr Granstaff @ Sven0330 - Thanks Sven. It ended up being multiple blogs in a way as I could never pull the trigger on posting it and then it became time sensitive. Still striving to post smaller blogs, but can never seem to. Ha.

And, I wouldn't worry about the GTASC. With our team's mindset this early in the game, we're going to have a blast. I'm actually more excited this year for what we have planned in terms of making it more enjoyable. Too often have I witnessed and been apart of overly competitive players and how they lacked not being able to see the bigger picture with life's priorities. It is what it is though. I've learned a long time ago to not sweat the small stuff and not worry what others think. If I believed what they had to say: I'd be miserable, dead and just gone. wink

You know what? You're right. Facebook is a highlight reel. Never thought it like that. Good one.

Well, people are overly honest about their crap at times, but it's almost like they don't know moderation. They whine so much, I just can't handle it. Ha. Pessimistic much? laugh
Posted by Mr Granstaff on 11 Jan 16 at 16:14
Mr Granstaff @ LuckyConquerer2 - Thanks for the well wishes, Lucky.

Hm. All of sudden, I don't feel so bad about my lipoma's placement. laugh I didn't even think you could get them there.

(Hellooooo down there...)

That's really awesome on your decision about gaming. I mean, personally, I think it's fine to put gaming first sometimes if you're still a teenager or whatever, but as I mentioned in this blog: if you have a family and/or job, but still gaming like it's going out of style, don't be surprised if I don't think too highly of you.

Basically, I'm calling bluffs. Everyone has a wealth of information on how long a game takes to complete or what's necessary to preload an achievement, so some of the stuff that gets downplayed by these "over achievers" just doesn't add up.

Anyway, don't you dare bring up kids! laugh Or, at the very least, don't let Dawn hear you say anything. I have her convinced that we're content with having a dog for the time being. :P

Plus, if I want a kid by 2016, I better get started then! Doesn't those crumb snatchers need at least nine months to grow properly?
Posted by Mr Granstaff on 11 Jan 16 at 16:28
LuckyConquerer2 Yeah, these high scorers have to neglect other parts of their life. Man, I played 30 or so games last year. My backlog is bigger than that. Haven't even bought a one yet but I think I will get one this year. Mafia III, Just Cause 3 and Assassin's Creed are the only things I want to play. I have caught up with 360 era of AC games, so I think I will get one at Uni.

Having a kid is like online achievements. Leave it too late and the server is closed or you can't find a partner to do it with.
Posted by LuckyConquerer2 on 11 Jan 16 at 17:05
Mr Granstaff @ LuckyConquerer2 - I have to agree with you there. I mean, I should reiterate that there's nothing wrong with being a high scorer, but don't sit there and say you don't sit around all day.

I mean, I could see cutting out sleep and depriving oneself of that as the only way to squeeze everything in, but that can't be healthy physically or mentally.

This year might be my lowest outing yet because I definitely plan on sticking to my game plan on trying to do some cleanup.

Laughed out loud about the kid analogy. Too true!
Posted by Mr Granstaff on 13 Jan 16 at 19:48