Retro Gaming RoundUp


Oatmeal has a long history in Scottish culinary tradition because oats are better suited than wheat to Scotland's short, wet growing season. Oats became the staple grain of that country. The Ancient universities of Scotland had a holiday called Meal Monday to permit students to return to their farms and collect more oats for food.

Samuel Johnson referred, disparagingly, to this in his dictionary definition for oats: "A grain, which in England is generally given to horses, but in Scotland supports the people." His biographer, James Boswell, noted that Lord Elibank was said by Sir Walter Scott to have retorted, "Yes, and where else will you see such horses and such men?"

Oatmeal, Burnet County's second-oldest town, is on Farm Road 243 eight miles southeast of Burnet in southeast Burnet County. A German family reportedly named Habermill came into the area in 1849 and spent a season or two in the vicinity of the headspring of the stream now known as Oatmeal Creek. The town name is either an alteration of the name of a Mr. Othneil, who owned the first gristmill in the area, or a supposed translation of the name Habermill (Haber is a German dialect word for Hafer, "oats").

Measure the amount of water you want, half pint would be enough for two people, salt is not necessary (or to taste). Sprinkle the oatmeal into the water once it is boiling and keep stirring or it will go lumpy to the consistency you want. This can then be placed into bowls and sweetened with sugar, honey or with a sprinkling of salt. Porridge was the staple diet of many a highlander where it was made thick enough to slice and carried in the sporran when they were out tending their sheep.

I enjoy not abbreviating the words "miscellaneous", and "etcetera".

In my first car, I made my own mockery of the then popular "baby on board" signs that said "It's OK to drive like an asshole, I don't have a baby".

Oh yeah, I'm also an avid gamer, since the late '70s. It started with dedicated home Pong machines, then the Atari VCS, followed by an Intellivision (which ultimately, is my favorite retro console). Then I added a Colecovision - although I always thought it was really lame the way all the sprites would flicker and sort of cancel each other out if there were more than 3 or 4 on the same horizontal line on the screen.

When it came time to get a home computer, I briefly thought about getting an Adam, but thankfully went with the Atari 800XL instead. Later I owned a Nintendo NES, Sega Genesis/Megadrive, Atari Lynx, Atari 7800, Atari Jaguar, Atari STE computer, Atari Falcon computer, Sony PS2.

I've bought and sold classic consoles and games on ebay (under the name "Nurmix", not coincidentally).

Speaking of "Nurmix"... the name came about when I was a DJ in the late '80s / early '90s, and made my own remixes of popular tracks (from bands like New Order, Depeche Mode, etcetera - see, I told you). I called my remix a "Nurmix" (for those of you reading this who are complete dolts, that is short for "Nurminen Remix"). Please don't ask again, SoCal!

The DJ thing lead to composing and recording my own original electronic music. I've amassed quite a collection of synthesizers, drum machines, samplers, effects and audio processing gear. For a while this was a career path, but after my marriage in 2008, and the arrival of my son in 2009, it's now a hobby. My computer repair / consulting business pays the bills.

I own 7 arcade games, and have converted half of my garage into a dedicated arcade. This is an ongoing project, and takes up most of my free time these days.

I don't really eat oatmeal all that much, but on occasion, I will indulge in a bowl, generally Maple and brown sugar Quaker instant oatmeal... although in a pinch I will enjoy their apples and cinnamon variety.

Happy gaming!

Paul Nurminen

Retro Gaming RoundUp