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Thursday, April 23, 2015

Birthday 2015 - Part 4: Nail Picking

I've picked at my nails ever since I was a kid.  The imperfection in my fingernails and the skin around them bothered me.  Of course, I knew that picking them was causing much of the imperfection, but I never stopped.

I never bit them.  While nail picking is perfectly understandable, biting your nails is gross. Don't get me started on the people who bite their toenails.
Sicko.
On the other hand, I was going to stick nail biting in a novel:
"You see these?" he said, holding up his hand.  Except for his left thumb and right pinky, the nails were gnawed down to nothing.  "I bite my nails because I can't stop until they're perfect.  I never stop." He took a step closer.  "That's what I want to do to you.  I want to put you in my mouth and wear you down until there's nothing left."
What do you think?  Sexy?  Creepy?  I've never been able to tell the difference.  Explains why I never dated in high school.

After a while, I tried to quit picking.  I used cuticle nippers and nail files to give myself a manicure, but it just exacerbated the problem.  I got a Swiss Army Knife.
Beware my vicious toothpick!
The Swiss Army Knife is a bizarrely useless piece of equipment.  After using one, I worry about the security of Switzerland  It has:
  • The world's tiniest pair of scissors
    You can only use these if you had hands the size of a fairy's.
  • A short but remarkably sharp knife
    Until you use it three times and it becomes a short but remarkably dull knife.
  • A nail file
    Also great for three uses. 
  • A toothpick
    Does anyone else gross out after using a toothpick twice?
  • A pair of tweezers. 
    I never had a use for those.

Anyway, I started using the knife and nail file to work on my nails.  It was working well until a girlfriend (ie. a cute girl who sat next to me in history) told me how annoying it was.  I was crushed and gave up using it.  Eventually, another cute girl told me I pick my nails when I'm thinking, but I still gave up the knife.
Well, for a while, anyway.
I tried putting Vaseline on my nails.  I couldn't pick them if they were slippery, right?  Yeah, if girls thought nail picking was a turn off, they really hated my squishy handshake.


The point is, nothing I tried helped me stop.  Only two things ever had the slightest effect:
  1. I got a watch.  I needed thumbnails to open the band.  So, I learned to grow my thumbnails out.
  2. I got mono one summer.  When I recovered, I noticed my nails had grown back.  Then I started picking them again.

Anyway, as part of my birthday of self-improvement, I got a wristband.  You snap it every time you catch yourself picking or biting or, I suppose, doing anything bad.
We should make politicians wear them.
I got a cheap bag of "issue bands" that say things like Dream and Courage and Faith.  I like that they have insipid, inspirational sayings on them and that they break easily.
Just like your dream, courage, and faith.
They all broke, so I went to the store and found a $3 charity band.  I don't even know what the charity is.  I just wanted the band.
I must be the last person who donated just to get a wristband since the Lance Armstrong doping scandal.
So, did it work?  Here's before:



Here's after:

We can call that a win.

I just realized fingernails really suck.  Okay, they have advantages.  I can scratch the hard to reach parts of my back and I can... Um...

Yeah.  That's about it.

And they feel so weird.  I mean they... Bend.  They flex.  I thought they'd be like giant talons of death, but I got bendy talons of squishiness.  Yeah, that won't help you with hot girls either.  Back to Vaseline.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Birthday 2015 - Part 3: Wood Video



Before you read anything else, watch this video.  If you don't have a high speed internet connection you can wait. 

Don't scroll down.  That's cheating.  I spent a heck of a long time putting it together; I expect you to see it.
Before:

After:

Originally, Master Markowitz ("Stop calling me 'master'") was planning on having me do a side kick to break the boards.  After a few tries it became clear that I'm as tight as Pat Robertson at a GLAAD convention.
Well, until some hot guy gets a few drinks into him.
He decided I should punch the boards instead.  He ran me through crouching and punching and crouching and punching, making suggestions here and there.  I really didn't expect I would be able to break anything (especially after my first failure, above), but it wasn't has hard as I thought.

In the end, I broke four boards: two with my fist and two "knife hand."
No, that's not what I meant.
I figured four was enough, so Sensei Dave ("Tae Kwan Do is Korean.  Sensei is Japanese") broke the other two with his foot, proving I'm as tight as Phyllis Schlafly after 30 years of marriage.
"I don't understand.  We were married 44 years."
The strangest part?  My hand only hurt for a couple hours.  My left butt cheek and right shoulder ached for days.  Did I mention I was tight?

In any case: another (big) regret down.

Next week: fingernails!

No: Really.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Birthday 2015 - Part 3: Wood


When I was in school I was bullied a lot.  In elementary school, I was attacked by a kid named Larry (nicknamed "Moose" -- I assume for his IQ) in front of my house, but my mother ran out and stopped it.  A kid named Roman and his friend Lauren enjoyed punching the top of my head in junior high.  A kid in my neighborhood spit in my face twice, but ran away when I tried to retaliate.

I can't say my bullying was all that violent; it was more about humiliation.  Mostly I ignored the occasional hit or insult.  When I got to college I was determined to change.  I entered a frail, scared geek. I wanted to leave a powerful man.
My hopes.  Also (almost) the name of a classic monster game.
Free classes were offered in the evenings.  I took massage hoping it would help me with women (it didn't).  I took fencing hoping it would make me be cool (it didn't).  I took martial arts hoping I would learn to defend myself (it...  Well, I haven't been attacked, so I don't know).

We studied Tae Kwon Do, Judo, and Hapkido, three completely contradictory arts.  We students were so confused, we fell down at the end of every session.

Or was that just part of the Judo training?

Anyway, what excited me most was the promise of board breaking.  Almost every session I would ask Master Porzio ("Don't call me master.") if we could break boards with our hands.  On the last day before summer, he took me to go get wood get boards.
"You kids stay off my lawn/lumber yard!"
We visited a lumber yard, got some small boards (12x12x.5), and returned to school. As the most enthusiastic student, I got to go first.  I stood before everyone, trembling with excitement (what martial arts practitioners and new age nutballs call "chi energy").

I thought I was going to punch the board, but Master Porzio ("Stop calling me master.") set the board up on blocks at my feet.  He told me to punch down in a circular motion, like turning a steering wheel.

I punched the board like he said.  Ow.

I tried again.  Double ow.

He punched the board himself to see if the knot in the middle was a problem.  It broke.

"It's a mental barrier.  If you imagine yourself doing it, you will."

Punch. Ow.  Punch.  Ow.

He let the other students try.  They broke the boards with little problem.  I went back to my room, then went back and watched for a bit.  The other students broke boards all night long.  They broke them with their palms, their heels.

I didn't try again.

It bothered me for years.  Wasn't breaking mental barriers how you achieved success? If I couldn't break a board, would I fail at everything else?

When I decided to have an "ending regret" birthday, breaking a board was the first thing I wanted to do.  I found a friend with a black belt who agreed to come over and help me.

First, I headed to the lumber yard.
I got wood picked up lumber here.

Getting wood is harder than it sounds. Buying the appropriate board isn't easy.  I was banned from Home Depot after the whole "You sawed a board in half, decided you want it, and left." incident.  When I found a nearby lumber yard, I wasn't sure what I needed.  I bought pine boards (12x12x1) but, on the way home, balked at how freaking thick my wood that is.

No way I could break that.
No. Freaking. Way.

I went back and got 1/2 inch boards.  My wood The boards were really-eally narrow, but thin enough to break.
My wood My board is long and thick.
The day came, and I met Master Markowitz ("Just call me Dave") to give him his payment.
True fact: you can pay for martial arts instruction with burritos.
Then we went back to my house, and I got wood the boards.

I put on my old judo gi (it still fit), but couldn't find my old white belt.  I put on a red one from an old Society for Creative Anachronism outfit.
SCA, making the world creepy one geek at a time!
"That's not big enough," Dave said as I held up my wood boards.

The thinner boards weren't the right dimensions and wouldn't break properly.  Nervously, I showed him my thick wood 1" boards.

"Yeah, that's fine," Dave ("Kyo Sa Nim Markowitz is more accurate.") said.

More next week.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Oma

My Oma and her great granddaughter on her penultimate Hannukah. Oma's the one on the left.
When Milton Doner, my Opa (German for "grandfather"), died, I was driving across the country to a new home in California; I received a call from my parents telling me when I got to Utah.  In a flurry of phone calls my father managed to figure out how to get me back to Michigan in time for the funeral.

Jewish funerals are funny.  We're a bit creeped out by dead bodies.  Instead of making them pretty and displaying them a week or two after death, we keep them safely locked in a casket and get them in the ground as quickly as possible.  I think we're worried the dead body will put us off dinner.  The 11th commandment in the Torah is "Thou Shalt Not Ruin the Brisket for Everyone."

Anyway, I was anxiously accepting the idea of making a last-minute flight with six connections and leaving my new wife (a woman we now call She Who Must Not Be Named) to drive a thousand miles alone.

A few minutes later, I got a call from my Ilse, my Oma (German for "grandmother"), letting me off the hook.  She told me weddings take precedence over funerals in Jewish culture.  Starting a new family should come first.

That whole new family thing didn't work out, but you have to be impressed with her strength.  She didn't cry.  She didn't selfishly insist I come pay my respects to her husband.  Oma just said "She was kind to him at last."  God was a woman according to Oma.

Last week, she died.  My son is ill, and I didn't want to leave him to travel to the funeral.  This time, my mother called to let me off the hook.  Still, I'm disappointed I won't be able to be with my family and talk about Oma's life.  Here's what I'd say:
  • Oma lived to be 101 years old.  She was a triumph of nature (and life extension medicine).
  • Oma survived the Nazis and the Reagan administration.  If the woman who built her had built the Titanic, it would have arrived in New York ahead of schedule with tiny pieces of iceberg stuck in her prow.
  • Oma had three children, one of whom made good by giving birth to me.
  • Oma went from humble beginnings as a refugee to the wealthy head of a family, proving the validity of the American dream (and the lucrativeness of the lighting business she helped start in Michigan).

So let us cheer her life.  Let us beat the shit out of those who say "the good die young."  Let us revel in the America that gave her a new life.  Let us laugh at the Nazis who could topple nations and kill millions but failed to stop one Jewish lady.


Most of all, when the time comes, let us let others off the hook.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Birthday 2015 - Part 2: Contentment


In preparing for my Regret Crushing Birthday (see last week) I wrote a list of things I regretted never accompishing.  Problem was the list kept growing.  While adding:
  • Cartwheels
  • Bike without using hands

I realized I should be listing those things I no longer regret.  It's a short list.  Really, it's just one thing:
  • Never becoming a BATS Sunday Player

A few months after my divorce, I went to my brother's wedding (Hi Jon!).  During the reception, someone pointed out he met his wife (Hi Laura!) at an improvisational comedy class.  At least three people came up to me and said "Hey, you're a funny guy..."

Ah, to be newly single at a wedding.
Yeah, I'll just skip that bouquet toss.
I took improvisational comedy classes at BATS (Bay Area Theater Sports) in San Francisco.  It was... painful.  I can't act and many of the exercises seemed aimed at making the participants as uncomfortable as possible.  The aim of the Impro Movement is to break down those barriers that keep us from creativity, to tell our inner naysayers to shut the fuck up.

It was hard.  I was about to quit when my brother casually mentioned he'd been offered a part as a regular player in his local Imrpov group.

I don't have an adversarial relationship with my brother because I'm awesome and he lives near Seattle.  However, I signed up for more classes.  Now I had a goal to light the darkness of my spinsterhood.

I'll just follow that light.  What could possibly go wrong?
I took class after class, working my way up into more advanced scenework.  I expected, someday, to be invited into the select group of Sunday Players, the first step into becoming part of the regular players.  It never happened.

One day, I overheard them invite a student who'd never taken improv classes before to join the Sunday Players.  I was crushed.

Then I realized they were looking for something I would never give them.  They wanted an actor, someone who could subtly express emotions, someone who was interested in helping the group shine.  I wanted to be creative, to make the audience laugh.

And, yeah, to be as good at something as my brother.
It's tough being a younger brother.
"You know, there are other spaces where you can perform," one teacher said as I explained I was quitting.  She was right.  I found myself.  We all know the Shakespeare quote "All the world's a stage."  That's true, but you are a stage unto yourself.

Class after class, month after month improv taught me to break down the barriers in my own mind to open up to the creativity buried there.  Along the way, I met some of the best friends I've ever had (Hi Mike and Cindi!).  No, I never became a Sunday Player, but I did learn to write, teach, and design games.

So, no, I don't regret failing to become a Sunday Player.  The things I do regret?  I'll start on those next week.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Birthday 2015 - Part 1: Regret


If any of you have read my novel (on sale for 99 cents at Amazon if you buy now!), you'll remember the story of Mitchell.

Yeah, this is a spoiler alert.  Feel free to skip
[SPOILER]
Mitchell travels back in time to fix his life.  He becomes rich on the stock market, dates all the women he loved from afar, and eventually realizes he wants his old family back.  It's too late, though.  He's changed his life too much, and his daughter is never born.
[END SPOILER]
The point of Mitchell's story is that regret is a trap.  If you changed anything about your past, no matter how horrible, you'd be a different person today.  You might as well kill yourself and let another person take over your life.

I remind myself of this aphorism at least once a month, because I'm a heavily regretful person.  There are things I can't change, shouldn't change, but it still makes me wistful sometimes.

Hence my 2015 birthday plans.  If you're just joining this blog, I've been trying to do something new and wild every year as a way of staving off my inevitable slide into dementia.  I've gone on a quest, I've jumped out of an airplane, I've fired guns, I've swum naked with a dozen nubile virgins...
Wait, that didn't happen?  Man dementia kicks in fast.
Anyway, this year I've decided to deal with some of my long-standing regrets.  I'm going to accomplish all the things I never accomplished, learn to do all those things I never learned.

Dream the impossible dream...

Over the next few weeks I'll be reporting (sporadically) on my progress or lack thereof.  Some might go easily and others... Well, it's not always easy to set these things up.


Speaking of which, if any of you know where I can get a dozen nubile young virgins, please drop me a line.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Coat Hanger Zodiac


The idea of the stars affecting our personalities goes back thousands of years and has never been disproven by modern science.  In spite of the constant skepticism heaped on those who look to the sky for guidance, millions still read their horoscopes.

Could those millions of people be wrong?  I don't think so.  Could the billions of Chinese who use the Shēngxiào be wrong?  I don't think so.

Skeptics are shallow, narrow-minded, and-

Never mind.  I can't keep that up.

We all know astrology is bullshit, right?  We all know the month or year you were born has nothing to do with who you become, right?  Okay, good.  I don't have to post this video.

Oh, shoot, too late.

If you really want to know more about yourself, you look at your coat hangers.  You heard me, coat hangers!  Go grab a random coat hanger from your closet and match it to the chart below to see what it says about your personality and your fortune!

Hookless Pantholder
About you:
You are reliable, organized, and detail-oriented.  You also have a darker side.  What I'm trying to say is you stole this coat hanger from a hotel.

Your fortune:
You will suffer through a dead-end job until finally being arrested for a petty crime.  You will die after kicking "whippersnappers" off your lawn.  In bed.


Legless Slippy
About you:
You can't handle great burdens.  Like your hanger, if someone makes the mistake of giving you a difficult task (like hanging a winter coat) it will slide right off onto the floor.  Also, you have no legs.

Your fortune:
You have no legs.  You'll need years of physical therapy.  Maybe a wheelchair.  Also, install those little handle things in the bathroom to help you to the toilet.  In bed.
Tiny Pony Sunshine
About you:
You're incapable of handling difficulties.  You are small and ignorant.  You have never accomplished anything important in your life, even graduating school.  You are slow and easily scared.  In other words, you are a small child.

Your fortune:
I dunno.  Grow up?  In bed.


Not a Snowflake
About you:
You have no distinguishing features (good if you want to become a career criminal, bad if you want to become an actor).  People ignore you because they think you have nothing interesting to say, which is true.  You shop at Costco or Sam's Club far too often.

Your fortune:
You will live a horrible life and die a slow and painful death.  In bed.
Ready on Friday
About you:
You're a cheap bastard.  Your clothes are probably in bad shape, too, as you're using free clothes hangers from a dry cleaner.  You are vehemently pro-choice.  People like to have you around the campfire when it's time to make s'mores.  You easily get bent out of shape over trivial issues.

Your fortune:
Hopefully you'll get enough money together to marry a Not a Snowflake and have more children than you can afford.  Then they'll all be like you.  In bed.



What, you don't think these horoscopes are accurate?  Well, I can guarantee they're as accurate as the astrology or the Chinese zodiac!

Friday, March 6, 2015

GDC 2015 Booth Babe Report

The last day of the Game Developers Conference is always sad.  The show closes early and the Moscone Convention Center feels... Empty.  It's like a school after the students have gone away.

(Well, except for all the students are hanging around trying to get some value out of their overpriced badges.)

There is only one way to make myself feel better: make passes at booth babes!

For those of you who aren't familiar with the concept of a booth babe, it's a derogatory term for the women who stand at the different areas of the show floor and try to attract you by wearing skimpy, bizarre, or degrading outfits.

It's my practice to approach these spokes-models and make them as uncomfortable as possible (Examples: 2012, 2013, 2014).  Last year, there were only two sets of booth babes.  This year...

None.

Zero. Zilch. Zippo.  Nada.  No booth babes.  Seriously, here's what I found:

Three guys in Dr. Horrible outfits.
Actual quote: Just make sure you get SkookumScript in the picture.
Two guys dressed as bacon.
Actual quote: Most of our bacon strips are women. Funny, they disappeared right when you came by.
And that's it.  I mean, sure, there were a couple women in fancy dresses and one who tied her t-shirt up in front, but nothing...  I don't know... What's the word?

Oh yeah, degrading.  This is the best I could do after spending a whole week looking for booth babes.
Actual quote: No, you can't have our numbers. We're out of your league.
I spoke to them for a while.  One has two bachelor degrees; we talked about the spiritual foundations of Islam and the beauty of Jewish rituals.  The other was working on her masters thesis; we talked about her work growing breast cancer cells in a lab.

So, not only are their outfits decidedly not degrading, but they're both smarter than 99.8% of the conference attendees.  That's right, they're too smart to even act dumb.

What happened?  GamerGate happened.  If you aren't familiar with GamerGate...  Well, good for you.  It's like not being familiar with segregation; if you haven't lived through it, you're better off.

There are two schools of thought about what GamerGate really is.  The first camp thinks GamerGate is a bunch of sexist guys harassing women who make games.  The other camp thinks women are ruining the game industry because they have breasts and periods and icky stuff like that.  The game industry took both of these ideas to heart and (after a brief, chaotic period) acted decisively by removing all the sexist crap at GDC.

Anyway, here is the problem: games are no longer a strictly male entertainment and profession.  We can't treat women as fixtures, decorations, sex objects.  Now we have to see them as actual people.  No, not just people, but people who might be smarter than we are, more successful than we are, better than we are.

Hell, do I have to be the booth babe next year?

There is one bright spot.  I found this magazine in a machine outside the convention center.

An entire strip club promo geared to GDC attendees.
Ah, sexism lives on...

Friday, February 27, 2015

Things I Learned in Costa Rica



Last week I was in Costa Rica.  Here's a quick (visual) run down of what I learned

This is where Costa Rica is.
No, seriously.  I didn't know until I got on the plane.

Zip lining isn't all that exciting.  Also, the outfit you wear squeezes your testicles until they are roughly the shape of bananas.
It's pretty much the same outfit you wear while skydiving.
Costa Ricans have a serious smoking problem.  These are actual packs of tobacco products (mostly cigarettes) with legally required pictures of cancerous mouths, women undergoing chemotherapy, and a few other choice images.
One form of tobacco is made of dead frogs.

"And this cigarette cures impotence!"
And yet, Costa Ricans smoke.

Special Bonus Wisdom: Cream soda is made from pineapples, bananas, lemons, and grapefruit.
It has to be true.  They wouldn't put it on the label if it wasn't!
This last bit of knowledge comes from the lollipops I gave my kids during takeoff and landing to help them deal with change in pressure.  Anyone in the cream soda (or lollipop) business want to explain how they get cream from a pineapple?

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

The Trek Film Abrams Should Have Made

"Why don't they remake bad movies instead of good ones?"
-Someone I thought was Roger Ebert, but I can't find the quote so I'll just attribute it to everyone on the internet.  Everyone.

JJ Abrams directed Star Trek: Into Darkness, which was a terrible movie made worse because it ripped off Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.  I could go on and on about how terrible a movie it was, but I already did that once.  Instead, I'm going to go on and on about The Trek Film Abrams-

Huh?  You read the title already?  Oh, fine.

While watching the beautiful snooze fest that is Star Trek: The Motion Picture I was struck with an idea; why didn't Abrams rip off this movie instead of Wrath?  He could have done wonders with the pacing and soporific nature of that movie.
And its lack of lens flares.
But Khan is such a popular character, Abrams wouldn't be able to resist using him.  What if he used both!  And behold!  A new film treatment.  We'll call it

Star Trek: Into Light
A giant energy cloud is destroying everything in its path, including planets.  It barrels through the Klingon Empire (leaving them weak and vulnerable). 

Several admirals want to take the opportunity to invade the Empire, but just as a group of starships embark, they realize the cloud is headed towards Earth.  The fleet tries to communicate, but are destroyed, leaving only the Enterprise to save the day.  Kirk is given a mission to figure out how to stop it.  He takes the Enterprise, which has a new XO he's not comfortable with (although they grow close over time) and Dr. Carolyn Markus, a theoretical physicist (whom he grows incredibly close to).
If you know what I mean.
As they approach the cloud, Dr. Carolyn Markus invents a doomsday weapon that could destroy the cloud.  The XO attempts to dissuade her, but she insists on presenting it to the captain.  The XO, revealing himself to be Khan (in the employ of rogue Admirals who want him to try to direct the cloud at the Romulan Star Empire), picks her up with one hand and throws her against the wall, killing her.

Kirk, devastated, starts a crazed investigation through the ship to find the murderer.  His behavior allows Khan (and his compatriots seeded throughout the ship) to mutiny.  When they reach the cloud, Khan successfully communicates with it, and the ship is pulled in.  He then reveals he isn't planning on directing the cloud to follow Starfleet's whims, but use it to rule the galaxy.

Kirk manages to regain the Enterprise, but not before Khan escapes to the center of V'Ger.  Khan is horrified to find that it isn't a massive weapon of war, but a machine with the mind of a child, yearning to merge with its creator to become "something with a soul."  Khan tries to merge with V'Ger, to become godlike in power, but V'Ger finds his soul horrifying.  V'Ger, its hopes of becoming something more dashed, self-destructs with Khan trapped inside.

The Enterprise barely gets away in time, but an alien probe arrives, following V'Ger's path.  They discover it's looking for humpback whales.  Kirk is forced to launch Markus's doomsday weapon at it.  Meanwhile, the Klingons have killed their own chancellor and framed Kirk for the crime.  Fearing their vengeance, he flees with the Enterprise beyond the Great Barrier.  There he finds out that God is really the V'Ger/Khan hybrid-

Too much?

Okay, not my best effort, but better than Into Darkness.


Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Harry Potter is a Selfish Prick


I'm going to complain about Harry Potter.  Yes, I've done it before.  Yes, I'm going to spoil the book The Deathly Hallows.  Yes, it's about eight inches long.

What?  I mean the new iPad!
Oh, sorry, what was I talking about?  Right, Harry Potter.

The focus of Book 7 is the eponymous Deathly Hallows: three unusually powerful magic items destined to be mastered by Harry.  Why?  Uh, it's never really explained.  He's just destined to be that guy.  Stop asking questions.

The magic items are:
  • A magic cloak of invisibility. 
    He uses the invisibility cloak several times during the series to (gasp) turn invisible.  Why is it so much more powerful than other invisibility cloaks?  It's bigger and it doesn't wear out.  Much like me.
  • A stone that can bring back the dead, but only kinda, so you can talk to them but that's about it. 
    He uses the stone to see his dead loved ones who help him to die in the right time and so not die because he's really a Christ figure and you're asking questions again, aren't you?  Stop it!  Stop.
  • A wand that is "unbeatable" (like mine). 
    He uses the super wand to repair his old, broken wand.  How is it unbeatable?  Well, you can't defeat anyone using it.  Except Dumbledore, who defeated Grindlewald.  How?  I don't know!  What did I say about asking questions?!

Harry decides he doesn't need to keep all the Hallows; he just keeps the cloak.

What. A. Total. Dick.
Never thought I'd be the nice one, did you?
Wait, you don't see it?  Really?  Okay, I'll write this real slow so you can follow: what if someone else needs them?

What if someone else broke a wand?  What if someone else had to make a noble sacrifice?

J.K. Rowling tries to make an excuse for tossing off the wand by saying it's a curse.  He has to hide it away in Dumbledore's grave or else people will try to kill him for it.  There's only two problems with that:
  1. Harry becomes an auror, meaning he goes off and fights bad guys for the rest of his life (because he hasn't had enough of that as a kid).  People are bound to try to kill him anyway.
  2. He tells Voldemort the secret of the wand in front of everyone at Hogwarts.  Everyone knows they can just disarm Harry and go dig it out to master it.

"Just don't tell everyone they just have to disarm me to win it! Okay?  Should I say that again?!"
In any case, he never thinks "Hm, I needed it once, what about other people?  What if I secretly gave it to Olivander so he could make everyone's wands super powerful?  Think of all the good that would do!"

That's not the worst part.  The worst part is the stone.  The magic stone brings his loved ones back to help him through the toughest decision in his life, his own death.  When he's done with it, what does he do?  Does he save it so it can be used by people trying to reconnect to their lost loved ones?  Does he hand it to someone else facing a difficult decision?  Does he think about anyone else?  No.  He throws it away, leaving it lost in the forest.

What does he keep?  The invisibility cloak.  What use is an invisibility cloak now that he doesn't have to sneak around a school?  None.

Harry just assumes he's the only one who will ever need the Hallows.  Fuck all you with broken wands, uncurable diseases, lost loved ones, difficult decisions.  He's got his cloak and can go sneak into girls locker rooms whenever he wants.


Of course he uses it to sneak into locker rooms!  What did I say?  Harry's a dick.
"Wow!  Look at Romilda Vane!"