The Exigent Duality
Gutted the pig - 17:35 CDT, 4/28/17 (Sniper)
Done.

Nintendo Scratch, redux - 16:35 CDT, 4/28/17 (Sniper)
Got my Switch back from Nintendo's repair subcontractor, with a fresh dock, brand new screen, and containing all of my save data.

The hilarious part is that the new dock is bent inwards as well-- and I've already put a tiny scratch onto the corner of the repaired screen, in the two and a half minutes that I was carefully measuring how much room it had to insert into its new cradle! One insert, one scratch.

I think the lesson here is that I need to completely disassemble the dock, and just remove the front part of it altogether-- it's the most bafflingly designed piece of electronics I've ever used, and I've been using electronics since the early 1980s.

Time to order one of these goofy looking "Y"-shaped screw drivers so I can take this bastard apart, before I can even play this damned system on my TV again (alas, I'm not much of a handheld person).

Or just sell this stupid thing on Craig's List and be done with it; I'd almost rather pour the cash into PC, Saturn, or PC Engine games. I've never been an even remote Nintendo fan...
Father Time - 20:18 CDT, 4/27/17 (Sniper)
You know you're getting old when you're seeing the children of players you remember watching like it was yesterday, getting drafted. Wat.
How do I get that job? - 14:37 CDT, 4/27/17 (Sniper)
Hah, look at their photo-op smiles, how touching!

"...1.5 billion euros worth of contracts have been signed"-- involving other peoples' money. I wish I could rob people at gun point, then contract their money away in return for personally lucrative deals that give me power! What a gig!
Brilliant - 14:31 CDT, 4/27/17 (Sniper)
The default administrator's password for Sitecore instances is "b". I wonder how the conversation inside the company went when making that choice?

"Let's make the default password 'a'. No, wait, that will be too obvious... I KNOW; let's make it 'b' instead-- no one will ever guess that!"

I've also observed that Sitecore has built in marketing campaign functionality. There is a whole cottage industry selling such products. And yet, no out-cry regarding this "anti-competitive software bundling"! Can you believe it? What kind of lousy world are my kids inheriting, anyway?
Indeed, shameful - 12:12 CDT, 4/25/17 (Sniper)
Over the past decade, I've figured out many things about the way the world works, but one thing still eludes me: in America, what caused a critical mass-- or maybe it was just a hyper-vocal minority?-- of women to suddenly develop an insatiable inferiority complex? Almost like a mass-scale, arrested development variation of Freud's "penis envy" theory?

Suddenly, it wasn't enough for women to be feminine and lovely, and to stay at home and keep the household in order, and to raise the kids; no, that made you a substandard woman! I have childhood remembrances of my mother's shameful demeanor whenever she had to "admit" to someone that she was a "stay-at-home mom".

Instead, the idea became, women should dress up like men-- dress slacks instead of dresses, collared polo shirts instead of blouses-- and act like men: masculine, take-charge, and authoritative! Meanwhile, these women's poor kids got dumped in daycare en masse, with all of the "baby formula" and maternal abandonment syndrome consequences. Which are perhaps the bowels from which today's "snowflake" generation has emerged-- but that can be for a future post.

It's a shame too, because bell curve-speaking, I think that men-- in general, more cool and logical-- are better at business, where women-- in general, more nurturing and supportive-- are better at being child caretakers. I suppose that's why when women do go into business they tend to enter people-centric fields, like marketing; if they can't or won't raise children, they'll adapt in some other way.

When I met Ellyn, one of the first conversations we had was about child-rearing. I knew from a young age that I wanted to be a father some day, and I'm not certain Ellyn and I would have gotten married in the first place had she wanted to be a "career woman".

None of this is to say I have a problem with women working, if they don't have kids, or if the father is able to stay at home. Indeed, I'm always encouraging Henrietta to pursue her dreams, whether that involves being a cashier at McDonald's, a CEO, a nuclear physicist, or a home maker. But I am equally encouraging her to, if she does want to become a mother-- and presently she emphatically says that she does-- to put her children and family first, and to select a kind, competent bread-winner as the father.

My current theory is that this trend emerged because of "cultural Marxists" in the 1960s and 1970s claiming that women who stayed home were "oppressed" by evil, domineering men. Of course, today these same people say that there are no such things as "men" or "women", so I'm a bit confused at how to reconcile those two ideas... but who ever said internal consistency was easy!

A contributing factor could also be the Fed; the ever-rising, choke-hold, house margin-squeezing impact of dollar debasement caused a necessary increase in "two-income" households. Particularly, inflation was really bad in the 1970s, due to the Fed and Nixon's Obozocare-like "wage price controls"-- which coincides with my perceived rise in this "feminism is bad" trend.
Bully - 07:54 CDT, 4/23/17 (Sniper)
Boy was this satisfying to watch. "Bill Nye" is one of late boomer totalitarians that I can't stand, and you can see it in this video; before Carlson can even ask his question, Nye is shouting out answers like a ritalin saturated six year old in a spelling bee.

That's because he's an entertainer posing as some kind of intellectual. And the only reason anyone gives him any sort of stage for anything, is because he's rammed down school kids' throats by their elementary school science teachers.

What's hilarious is that he released a damage control video subsequently, called "Round Two", where he talks to himself in front of a camera. That would be like Rocky beating up a pillow and calling it "round two". Really sad. Of course, this YouTube channel is also called "Big Think", which is one of those nauseatingly Leftist pretensions.
Pathetic - 21:28 CDT, 4/22/17 (Sniper)
I've rambled my way through one of my trademark Wikipedia link runs, from the Communist sociopath (was there any other kind?), Don Knotts-lipped Nicolae Ceausescu, to his homely and androgynous wife, to the vacuous, empty, long-mouthed stares of Hirohito and his twist-toothed wife, holding their dumb and blank looking baby... and of course, the picture of them being escorted by the blithering idiot Gerald "WIN button" Ford and his preposterous femi-Nazi wife's "Jetsons" style hair-do...

And then you realize that these are the kinds of people that rise to the very top of Statist societies: that have statues, and monuments constructed in their honor; they have libraries and streets named after them; they win prizes, and go on celebrity-style photo-ops.

People gape and shout to them in the presence of their immense wealth, power, and prestige. If aliens came to Earth from afar, and said "show us the best of your lot", the Statists would say, "here they are-- the creme-de-la-creme!"

The pathetic reality is that these people aren't great-- in fact, they're not even average.
Uh - 15:48 CDT, 4/22/17 (Sniper)
Diminishing returns: the video.
Niche within niches - 10:33 CDT, 4/20/17 (Sniper)
If you can stomach NeoGAG, this is a phenomenal thread. Many of my favorite games of all time fit into one of these crazy categories.

It's also interesting to me how the old sprite or early 3d-based games are fascinating looking, while all of the post-2000 polygonal stuff appears boring as hell. It's like, "changing game aesthetis over time, the thread". Especially the super contemporary titles-- they hold absolutely zero aesthetic appeal to me.
Non-conformity through conformity - 15:56 CDT, 4/18/17 (Sniper)
How many hipsters can you fit into a television studio?

And while I appreciate what the supporters are trying to establish-- I've been laughing at the Dark Clouds antics since the 2006 Thunder season-- they still have a long ways to go in the authenticity department. There were traveling Swansea supports at that friendly a few years ago-- those guys were the real deal, and the contrast was pretty stark.

But, hipsters have authenticity issues with everything-- that's what defines them as a group. Once the sport expands to more "real", non-basement virgin, alpha male types, the stadium atmosphere will take a huge step forwards.
Next waffle in the sequence - 15:20 CDT, 4/18/17 (Sniper)
I waffle on how useful "IQ" is as a measurement. For example, I marked off twenty minutes on my PC clock and took this Mensa "lick the thumb, is it even worth time trying the official examination?" pre-test, compliments of the Luxembourg chapter. I got 24 correct out of 33.

"Congratulations", it told me, "you're not an idiot; you should try the real thing, you'd probably pass!" But I didn't feel very smart as I took it, even as the test encouraged me to go spend 40 EUR getting officially examined; here is why:

The "ideal" way to measure intelligence would be to separate knowledge from raw cognitive processing power. But IQ tests don't even remotely do that. They claim to, but they don't.

You can see this contradiction here, where these types of tests are described as not evaluating "general culture"-- so, knowledge-based things that only some people would know-- but rather "logical and mathematical skills", such as "the speed of information processing, analysis, and synthesis", which is presumed to be knowledge-agnostic.

And yet, when I took the online pre-test, I took one look at the sequence question that started with "65536", and filled in the final box without even having to think about it. Is it because I'm a genius? No: it's because I'm a full-time computer programmer! Powers of two are second nature.

Similarly, I prefer analog clocks to digital ones, and have lots of the former in my house. Several of the questions on the test featured patterns that went either clockwise or counter-clockwise. I picked up on those immediately, because my brain is conditioned by the constant knowledge exercise of how to read an analog clock.

It's sort of like this guy, who can play ragtime music pieces having never even seen them before. Is he a genius? No: he's a ragtime pianist! He has years and years of practice in recognizing common ragtime sequences, chords, timings, and so on. When he looks at the sheet music, he doesn't just see notes, similar to how when I look at powers of two, I don't just see numbers.

I was a bit stumped on a few of the Mensa pre-test's questions, but it was obvious to me that it wasn't because I was stupid-- it was because it was based on some pattern that I wasn't familiar with. Five seconds of someone explaining the pattern, and boom, I could go from a 125 IQ to a 140 according to one of these tests, because it would "open the door" for a littany of additional question types!

In that example, did my brain suddenly become better at "information processing and synthesis"? Nope-- but I acquired a new piece of knowledge, which caused me to get more questions right, which caused the computer algorithm to generate a higher "IQ" score.

To be fair, "IQ" test makers have their hearts in the right place. And I'm sure you could learn something about rough cognitive abilities by controlling for as many variables-- such as upbringing, culture, type of schooling, and so on-- as possible, especially if two scores are extremely disparate; it would be hard to explain away an 80 score versus a 140 based on knowledge alone.

But, I think "IQ" is trying to solve an insolvable problem. It's a fool's errand. And that's not even getting to how absurdly narrow its scope is; some people are bad at visual patterns, but can deconstruct verbal language statements with one ear closed, just to name one example.
Gone cussing - 09:18 CDT, 4/17/17 (Sniper)
This article is a godsend, in part because I can show it to disbelieving family members who "never have problems like this"-- uh-huh, yeah right. Even the pros have this issue.

What's interesting is that, as it was happening (repeatedly) to me, and I kept forming more and more loops, I was able to identify the problem myself, according to the exact explanation given in the article-- the spool keeps spinning for a brief instant after the hook hits the water, leaving just a tiny bit of the freshly-unspooled line with nowhere to go. This, of course, forms a "loop" on the spool!

I kept remarking to myself last time I was out, "someone has to have invented mechanisms to counter this effect. And if not, I'm going to just invent my own!" Fortunately, I won't have to, because the article does indeed discuss already-existing counter-measures!

Another possibility: the rods I'm using are all old hand-me-downs; it's certainly plausible that the spooling mechanisms are worn, dirty, or both, exacerbating this inherent design fault.
Bench the Marks - 20:56 CDT, 4/16/17 (Sniper)
They're here-- the benchmarks for my new PC! You already have the specs via this post, so I'll quickly relay a couple of details for the comparison columns, before I present the full results table.

The Haswell 4670k system-- my previous PC-- was running DDR3 memory at 1600 MHz, with the same GTX 1070 that is in use with the new, Ryzen system. The Kaby Lake numbers-- coming from the PC I built for my wife a few months ago-- are with memory at 3000 MHz, accompanied by a GTX 1080.

Also, I'm running a fast-as-lightning NVMe solid state drive with the new setup, hence why the file system scores are so immense. And my wife doesn't own copies of either "Ghost Recon: Wildlands" or "Total War: Warhammer", so I couldn't try those on her PC. Also of note, I was running "Wildlands" under Windows 10, and "Warhammer" under GNU/Linux.


Haswell 4670k Kaby Lake 7700k Ryzen 5 1600 % vs Haswell % vs Kaby Lake
Sandra CPU Multimedia (Mpix/s) 245.91 457.31 339.75 38.16 -25.71
Sandra Cryptography (GB/s) 6.567 8.472 14.499 120.79 71.14
Sandra Process Financial Analysis (kOPT/s) 18.3 25.63 31.73 73.39 23.80
Sandra Processor Scientific Analysis (GFLOPS) 15.88 20.65 21.21 33.56 2.71
Sandra .NET Arithmetic (GOPS) 27.82 43.26 52.8 89.79 22.05
Sandra Memory Bandwidth (GB/s) 17.169 22.702 35.586 107.27 56.75
Sandra Cache & Memory Latency (ns) 27.7 22.6 62.4 125.27 176.11
Sandra File System Bandwidth (MB/s) 76.558 147.498 332.914 334.85 125.71
Sandra File System I/O (IOPS) 226.7 206.28 29228.8 12793.16 14069.48
Sandra GP Processing (Mpix/s) 1915.06 2552.28 1916.03 0.05 -24.93
Sandra GP Cryptography (GB/s) 70.347 84.147 71.312 1.37 -15.25
Sandra GP Financial Analysis (kOPT/s) 2696.84 3488.43 2320.02 -13.97 -33.49
Sandra GP Scientific Analysis (GFLOPS) 852.23 889.38 860.67 0.99 -3.23
Sandra Media Transcode (MB/s) 10.264 10.93 7.72 -24.79 -29.37
Sandra GP Bandwidth (GB/s) 46.148 52.856 46.848 1.52 -11.37
Sandra GP memory Latency (GB/s) 139.8 132.5 142.5 1.93 7.55
Sandra Overall Score (kPT) 14.14 20.94 23.94 69.31 14.33
3dMark Time Spy Overall 5201 6793 5976 14.90 -12.03
3dMark Time Spy Graphics 5795 7132 5990 3.36 -16.01
3dMark Time Spy CPU 3291 5355 5899 79.25 10.16
3dMark Fire Strike Overall 12826 17212 15233 18.77 -11.50
3dMark Fire Strike Graphics 17362 20793 18150 4.54 -12.71
3dMark Fire Strike Physics 7364 14362 16028 117.65 11.60
3dMark Fire Strike Combined 6947 8634 6704 -3.50 -22.35
Total War: Warhammer 1080p Ultra (fps) 83.3 N/A 76.6 -8.04 N/A
Total War: Warhammer 2160p Ultra (fps) 34.2 N/A 33 -3.51 N/A
Ghost Recon: Wildlands 1080p Ultra (fps) 50.51 N/A 49.6 -1.80 N/A
Ghost Recon: Wildlands 1080p Medium (fps) 96.22 N/A 95.05 -1.22 N/A
Ghost Recon: Wildlands 2160p Ultra (fps) 24.02 N/A 23.73 -1.21 N/A
Ghost Recon: Wildlands 2160p Medium (fps) 41.39 N/A 40.42 -2.34 N/A


A few interesting observations:
  • POSTer child: I had to pop the CMOS battery just to get the motherboard to POST. I haven't seen anything this unstable since the 90s!

  • Good timing: True to MSI's compatibility list, my RAM is indeed totally stable at 3200 MHz-- after flashing to the latest BIOS of course! Similarly, overclocking the CPU to match the 1600x's 3600 MHz was a piece of cake. Incidentally, the above benchmarks are at 3600 MHz.

  • Cool customer: After dealing with my wife's Kaby Lake, which runs hotter than hell even at stock speeds with a fancy cooler, this Ryzen chip is cool as a cucumber-- it hovers in the high 30 C range idle, and in the 60s C with all of the cores fully loaded! I suspect there is a lot of overclocking headroom I can achieve here.

  • Funky mama: Not since the 90s, where I was swapping AGP drivers and BIOS revisions faster than James Bond swaps sex partners, have I had to do this much tinkering with a PC-- and I'm loving it! For example, under GNU/Linux I had to run a "sudo cpupower frequency-set -g performance", and under Windows I had to install AMD's custom Ryzen power profile, to get optimal performance.

  • Schizophrenic: In another nod to the era of zubaz and Power Rangers, the software is emerging as I type-- talk about immature! Synthetic benchmarks show my $220 CPU outclassing my wife's $350 processor-- yet when it comes to games, and specifically Nvidia's video drivers, my Haswell PC was faster! It all points to the software, man!

  • Too soon: Games are so immensely GPU bound, that now I see there wasn't much of a point to me upgrading yet. Even as the Ryzen performance profile revisions, scheduler tweaks, and engine optimizations undoubtedly will continue to fly in, I just don't think that gaming alone makes this a worthwhile move. But, it is fun watching Manjaro Linux boot instantly, thanks to the CPU and SSD (GRUB, then a screen flash, then Xorg-- happened so fast the first time that I was sitting there waiting for something to happen!).
Transparency is my friend - 14:08 CDT, 4/11/17 (Sniper)
I've been using DOS since 1990, Windows since 1992, OS/2 between 1992 and 1995, and GNU/Linux since 1996. Further, in the past fifteen years, I've professionally developed with: Bash, PHP, Python, Ruby, Java, Scala, VB.Net, SAP ABAP, and C#, using source control systems such as Git and Team Foundation Server, and utilizing way too many frameworks and assisting tools to even name, across a gamut of environments, including Windows servers and a GNU/Linux-based Hadoop cluster.

For those counting, that's between fifteen and twenty seven years, depending on the technology, of hardcore computing experience.

I'm establishing my credentials because what I'm about to say is going to be hard to swallow for some people, even though it shouldn't be controversial: some technologies suck way more than other technologies. And for me, that dividing line has been: on a spectrum, is a given technology transparent, or opaque, in how it operates?

To the degree with which technologies are opaque is the degree to which I find myself spending large percentages of my time fighting with said technology, versus doing productive things. The inverse is also true.

Windows is opaque. When you change a setting in its "control panel", good luck figuring out what the hell it just did. Probably, if you devote, oh, a year or two of your life, you could find which flag was tripped using their crusty old "regedit" tool. Good luck with that. By contrast, when you issue a "systemctl enable someservice.service" in GNU/Linux, it creates a fucking symlink. And it even tells you exactly which one it created! It absolutely could not be more transparent.

I spent the past year at work doing full-time Python and Scala development, using Git, against a Spark installation on a GNU/Linux cluster. In that entire year, I fought with the technology zero times; everything either "just worked", or when it didn't, it was trivial to figure out what went wrong, because everything was built on super transparent, super simple building blocks, like "files", "symlinks", or text-based config files. Just like my "systemctl" example above.

Now, I'm back to doing Microsoft .Net work using C#, NuGet, Not-Very-Visual-Studio, and Microsoft's dreaded "I like to attribute files as read-only" Visual Source Safe Team Foundation Server, running on Windows and Microsoft's Apache competitor, "Internet Information Services". These past few months have been a stone cold refresher on why I wanted to move to Hadoop development in the first place, as I've spent enormous amounts of time doing nothing other than arm wrestling with this monolithic stack of junk, versus actually providing value to the company.

Did you know: when .Net's compiler says "predefined type is not defined or imported", hours of searching will reveal that a DLL which a project depends upon was compiled against a different version of the .Net framework libraries? Did you know: when NuGet complains, "if your PowerShell execution policy setting is set to AllSigned...", that means you need to hack an cryptic Windows registry key? Or try this one: when "SQL Server Express" says "only part of a ReadProcessMemory or WriteProcessMemory request was completed" and won't start, that means you need spend hours figuring how to load the database in single user mode so you can update utterly obscure file paths to "mdf" files?

And these are just a few of the character building exercises I've had the joy to resolve in the past couple of months. I've been writing them all down, and the list is ever-growing. Hilariously, in that final example, I'd just installed MongoDB-- total install time for MongoDB was 45 seconds, versus "SQL Server Express", which was four hours.

And it's not even like opaqueness is proportional to complexity. Spark is an enormously complicated piece of software. Arch Linux and Ubuntu are equally complex, yet Arch is much more transparent than Ubuntu. IntelliJ IDEA has way more features than Visual Studio, yet is significantly simpler to use, and never seems to break or crash. And so on.

I remember when I was brand new to .Net, coming from professional PHP development. In PHP land, people talk about files, and directories, and source code. In .Net, I immediately noticed that everyone spoke in these super abstract, higher-level concepts, like "providers", and "facades". I recall having to break down the strange language for myself, just to track the conversations without getting totally lost: "Ok, a 'provider' is just a class in a source code file". I think that was an immediate glimpse into the quagmire.

And here I am, nearly fifteen years later, writing this blog post...
Stick to your day jobs, hardware reviewers - 11:23 CDT, 4/11/17 (Sniper)
I love all of the commie rhetoric in the AMD Ryzen reviews, such as this one: "Well, Intel's processors were overpriced because Intel had no competition", blah de blah.

Claiming that something was "overpriced" implies that the claimant knows what the proper price "should" be. But how could they possibly know that, absent the market?

Intel was and is moving shit loads of Kaby Lake processors, because the marginal utility of the processors is higher than the marginal utility of the money foregone to obtain one, according to the subjective value preferences of its many buyers. By definition, these processors are not "overpriced", and never have been.
Ryzen PC specs - 16:35 CDT, 4/09/17 (Sniper)
I've just ordered the components for my new PC! Here is what my entire setup will look like once I have the new configuration all put together:

CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 1600
Motherboard: MSI B350 Tomahawk
RAM: 16 gig G.SKILL Ripjaws V PC4 28800
Video Card: Gigabyte GeForce GTX 1070 Windforce OC
Power Supply: Corsair RM750X
OS Storage: 256 gig Intel 600p NVMe SSD
Game Storage: 3 tb Toshiba P300 7200 rpm SATA
Chassis: Fractal Design Define R4 Black, Midtower
Operating Systems: Manjaro Linux XFCE Edition, Windows 10
Keyboard: AULA Wings of Liberty Mechanical Keyboard
Mouse: Razer Abyssus 1800 with Goliathus Mat
Other Input: Logitech F310 Gamepad, Steam Controller
Displays: LG 22MP55 1080p IPS, Vizio P50-C1 4K HDR
Audio: Vizio SB4051 40 inch 5.1 Sound Bar


Essentially, the new items are the CPU, motherboard, RAM, SSD, and power supply. Those new items, plus the GTX 1070 which I already own, are going to wind up in my existing Fractal chassis. The rest of my existing PC pieces-- plus Ellyn's old GTX 770-- are going to be migrated to another chassis, and re-sold to one of Ellyn's friends.

In net, the new build is only costing me $260-- and that was only because I had to spend a whopping $170 on RAM that is guaranteed to be compatible with the new motherboard, at 3200 mhz.

This is also the first AMD-based PC that I've built for myself since I assembled an Athlon 700 system in July of 1999. That gives this new system a bit of extra character! Full benchmarks will be forthcoming once I have everything all stable.
The shift - 08:31 CDT, 4/08/17 (Sniper)
Fascinating interview! One thing that I got out of it was this quote:

"Once the tech started to get more powerful, the creative elements that would come over from Hollywood and from television all of a sudden -- that was what gave us Rockstar, and what the Houser brothers, to their credit, did for games. I mean, you look back on the history of this industry, you can point to these moments and say, 'That's when everything started to change.'"


It's a real shame that this shift occurred, because that was when all of the magic left video games. In fact, I remember playing Grand Theft Auto III right when it came out, and thinking "Holy crap, I hope games at large don't shift in this direction..."

There is a branch of the industry today-- mostly the indie, tight pants and ugly glasses frappuccino hipsters-- who are at least trying for the aesthetics of yore. But because they're talentless yobs, it all comes off as contrived and obnoxious. I think that once the genie got out of the bottle, there's no putting it back.
Impossible - 10:42 CDT, 4/07/17 (Sniper)
I've heard it said that one can't be both omniscient and omnipotent; omniscience would preclude the ability to alter the future, after all. But I think it goes further than that; I don't think either omniscience or omnipotence are possible, even independently!

Can an omnipotent being make a rock so heavy that they can't lift it? If they can, then they are not omnipotent, because they can't lift the rock. If they can't, then they are also not omnipotent! It's an insoluble quandary.

As for omniscience, can an omniscient being's understanding contain its own infinite knowledge?
Refreshing - 08:41 CDT, 4/06/17 (Sniper)
I've never wanted to like a game so badly as I wish to enjoy Total War: Warhammer. But, being cripplingly bad at real-time strategy, getting supremely stressed out by the "doomsday counter" chaos invasion mechanic, plus getting constantly overrun by ultra aggressive and endlessly confederating AI, means that I can't play the game without mods. Then, the mods wind up with conflicting script changes, get broken by patches, and so on.

The result is that every time I sit down with the game, I wind up "playing" for an hour or two, where "playing" means constantly quick-loading, quitting the game to troubleshoot some mod or another, and just generally quitting in disgust at having wasted valuable free time on not having made any progress. Steam says I've played the game for 75 hours, and I've yet to get even close to completing a campaign-- it's been 75 hours of stop-start slogging and starting over (plus a decent amount of the game sitting idle, to be fair).

Basically, I wish the game were more like Dragon Force.

And sure enough, I'm up at the lake place for the week and have been playing Sega's classic, for the first time in six or seven years, and it's every bit as good as I remember. It's like the Total War games, but with everything streamlined-- you still get to take over a map of castles and lead massive armies, but without all of the unnecessary, time-inflation bloat. This means that the pace moves along very quickly; after just a few hours, I've already steamrolled part of the map.

And the best part is that it's not designed for the 99.9th percentile of gamers, who live in their parents' basement and memorize every tiny, little nuance; rather, it's balanced for people like me, who actually have lives outside of pouring hundreds of hours into practicing a single game.

Not to mention, Dragon Force's aesthetic-- the anime character portraits, the melodic and memorable music, the excellent sound effects-- are so much better than Total War: Warhammer's. The former is a better game than the latter in every single conceivable way.
Six points - 07:47 CDT, 4/02/17 (Sniper)
Was two-for-two on the weekend, with comeback victories from both teams!

Yesterday morning (my time), Lazio fought and fought, rode a little luck, and will in turn ride these three points they took from Sassuolo into the Coppa derby second leg on Wednesday.

Then later in the day, Minnesota United obliterated a hapless Real Salt Lake side by what could have been an even more massive scoreline.
PC games - 12:58 CDT, 4/01/17 (Sniper)
I can validate this outcome: I recently re-worked Ellyn's Haswell PC-- which she no longer needed due to the 7700k/GTX 1080 behemoth I built her-- and sold it to my sister-in-law.

It's a 4670k, with 24 gig of DDR3, and an 8 gig RX480 (I bought her the card for her birthday, got a steal of a deal from Micro Center), on 64-bit Windows 10. "Mass Effect: Andromeda" runs butter smooth with a mix of high and ultra settings, at 1080p. Incidentally, she's loving the game, from every possible angle. I watched her play for a couple of hours, and it's now next on my list of games to buy and review.

And while we're on the PC note, one of Ellyn's friends recently bought a GTX 1080, and she gave me her free game code. With it, I redeemed "Ghost Recon: Wildlands". I'm running the game at 4k on my Haswell/GTX 1070 duo, at high detail (but with shadows turned down), and it's a rock-stable 30-40 fps at all times. It's almost like a dream game for me: GRAW in an open world setting? Sign me up!

When the second wave of Ryzen hits on April 11, I'm going to build a Ryzen 5 1600 system. I already have a buyer lined up for my current PC, so the new system is only going to cost me $230 in net.
Separated at birth? - 15:07 CDT, 3/31/17 (Sniper)
Holy smokes does this describe me! Many of the details are different-- I re-solder capacitors on old video game systems, where the author re-tiles his kitchen-- but the substance is identical.

Many of his other posts bear remarkable parallels to my own experiences, such as this one, which discusses how INTJs-- and the author specifically-- cope with stress. The "can engage in impulsive behavior" reminds me of the time I left an extra stressful day at work by driving nearly 130 mph down the highway near my house, without giving a shit about the possible repercussions. I probably would have told the cop to suck my you-know-what if he would have pulled me over.

Other than the religious stuff, I'm struggling to find even a single thing on his site that doesn't mirror myself. As rare as I usually consider myself to be-- based on the statistics, and anecdotally even compared to most other INTJs I've met-- it's fascinating to know that I have at least one "personality twin" out there.

It's also worth noting that the "Myers-Briggs is as meaningless as horoscopes" people are full of crap; obviously there are more than 16 discrete "types" of people in the world, but at the same time, the model is so insanely predictive of real-world outcomes, that there is definitely something in it.
Insomnia - 09:29 CDT, 3/30/17 (Sniper)
My brother asked me to write this post about insomnia, seeing as how I've been struggling with it over the past several years. Hopefully this will help someone out.

This post isn't for "I have a nerve-wracking job interview today so I didn't sleep well last night" people; insomniacs are people who have sleep-related problems for months, or years, or perhaps even their entire lives, oftentimes for reasons that aren't even immediately ascertainable.


Taxonomy

There are three basic problems that insomniacs run into:
  1. Trouble falling asleep
  2. Difficulty staying asleep
  3. Sleep isn't restful when it does occur

Within that, there are two basic types of insomniacs:
  1. Always sleepy, falling asleep at the wheel during the day but awake all night
  2. Never sleepy, even when going on four hours of sleep over a multiple-day time window

As for causes, there are three categories:
  1. Medical issues, like a sore back that's keeping someone awake
  2. Psychiatric problems, like anxiety or depression
  3. Circadian rhythm issues

If you're having problems with insomnia, you need to identify which bullet in each of these three lists applies to you. From there, a diagnosis can be derived.

This isn't easy; when most people start having sleep issues, they lack the self-awareness to have any clue as to what the problem is. For people with overt medical issues-- like arthritis-- which cause them pain, it's obvious why they have sleeping problems. I'm going to skip over them. They need to get some pain killers, have surgery, or do whatever they need to do to solve the issue as best as possible. In fact, I barely qualify them as "insomniacs", due to the same technicality as someone who lives next to a busy set of rail road tracks.


Psychiatric Issues

For people with psychiatric problems, sleep is this magical barrier, where you'll cross it so long as soon as you stop thinking about it. But if you start thinking about it, you'll stay awake indefinitely. "There's no better way to stay awake, than to think about falling asleep." This kind of insomniac is generally never sleepy, because their anxiety keeps them wired 24/7.

Once you start having a few bad nights, it gets "into your head", and you start to get consumed with a negative feedback loop. Once that happens... welcome to the wonderful world of insomnia. It's like a Pandora's Box-- once you open it, good luck getting it shut (ever) again. I'm convinced that once (true, prolonged) insomnia onsets, that it's impossible to "cure"-- it merely goes into remission once in awhile, but could come to the fore again at any time. That's why "insomniac" is so often prefixed with "lifelong".

Since curing it is impossible, the key is to mitigate it. You can do this by following a strict-- and I mean, strict-- bed time routine, that includes not looking at any screens at least an hour before bed time, and doing something relaxing that gets the mind into as "settled", non-anxious state as possible. Also, go to bed early, so you're not consumed with the pressure to fall asleep immediately. I've found that not only does a settled mind help me fall asleep better, but it also helps me stay asleep longer. Otherwise, my brain wakes me up at 3:30 or 4:00-- "time to get moving, or else the sabertooth tiger is going to eat you!"

Most medical professionals say that you need to "clear" your mind to fall asleep. For someone with psychiatric problems, that's hog wash; the key is to fill your mind, to crowd out any thinking about falling asleep. Topic is important, because you don't want to unsettle yourself; I haven't had any luck "counting sheep" specifically, but the advice is on the right track. Usually, I think about my kids, or my car-- something that makes me happy, and is sufficiently distracting.


Circadian Rhythm

I once knew a guy who had job flexibility to work whenever he wanted. Every month, his work schedule would have "shifted" by a few hours. After a year or so, he'd be momentarily back on everyone else's schedule.

Unfortunately, most "night owl, circadian rhythm is contrary" people don't have this luxury. My best advice for them is to take melatonin right before bed, in an attempt to best "trick" the brain's chemistry, and to also manipulate blinds or drapes to selectively alter the room's brightness. Also, don't eat before bed, and do eat right upon waking up-- this also sends signals to the brain that it's time to sleep, or wake up, respectively.


People Who Are Always Sleepy

Usually, these are people who actually aren't insomniacs, but who actually have sleep apnea, or some other condition that's causing their sleep to get disrupted. They get sleepy just like "normal" people, but their sleep just isn't restful, for one reason or another. People like these should make sure there aren't any weird noises happening in their house in the middle of the night, double check their thermostat to make sure the house isn't getting too warm or too cold, or have someone watch them while they're sleeping to see if they stop breathing, or snore loudly.
Spla2oon - 15:45 CDT, 3/24/17 (Sniper)
Impressions, from the first hour period of the Splatoon 2 open beta:

  1. It "feels" like a sequel: It's equatable to the Mega Drive leap from Sonic to Sonic 2; it's certainly the same formula, with the same core physics, and the same basic aesthetic-- but with spruced up graphics, tweaked audio direction, brand new stages, new menu sounds and animations, to go along with new "fringe" mechanics.

  2. The lack of a dedicated map is palpable: Keeping one eye on the gamepad at all times was an integral part of the Splatoon experience on the Wii U-- and it's gone. Teleporting, which used to take a single screen tap, now involves several consecutive key presses, along with scrolling a cursor around the (totally obstructive when open) map.

  3. The content on display integrates well: The two maps in the open beta have the qualities that distinguished the best stages from the first game; namely, they are simple, balance visibility with verticality, and lack single chokepoints. The new dual-wielded weapon, along with its dodging and jetpack mechanic, fit the game so well it's hard to imagine that they weren't present in the first title.


In all, Splatoon 2's multiplayer is everything I could have wished for in a sequel; it takes what was good about the first game-- the aesthetic, the hilarious and original universe, the motion controls-- and amps them up.

While the "lack of dedicated map" bit is unfortunate, the new interface is perhaps the best possible solution given this new-found, "lack of a second screen" hardware limitation. And to be honest, this player was having more difficulties with the fact that "jump" was moved to the B button (from X, in the first title), than he was with the new map-- those damnable muscle memories!

The first game's single player was very clearly a bolted-on, extended tutorial. It would be amazing if the second game featured a bonafide, immersive experience for lone wolves. Questions also remain for how well this will play in handheld mode, since it would involve tilting the view screen itself; for the record, this participant was using the "pro controller", with the system docked, during his hour of play (to great effect-- this competitor hasn't lost the touch!).

On a personal note, the constant, heart-pounding intensity while playing games like this-- stemming from the unabating fear of not playing up to potential-- is such an undeniable deterrent to what would otherwise be a gloriously enjoyable experience, that it's a pity the angsty, disquieting butterflies can't be arrested (perhaps with a large psycho net!).
Counter-Critique - 18:12 CDT, 3/23/17 (Sniper)
A friend of mine has started a podcast, called "Objections to Objectivism". You can listen to his work-in-progress here. I think it's fantastic that the internet has been graced with more libertarian-oriented ethics exposition, so I highly encourage you, my dear reader, to at least give this one a try!

I've also provided my thoughts below; it's generally difficult for me to devote a lot of time to such a verbose analysis, and indeed I've even sworn off what inevitably leads to political-related discourse. But, the kids have been otherwise occupied tonight, and I slept well last night-- so I'll make an exception this once.



My thoughts

The first episode provides, to my ears, a solid summary of objectivism, which aligns with what my own understanding was going in. It was concise, and effective. I also really enjoyed my friend's calm style; it was fun hearing a voice that I know fairly well from in-person communication, in a novel setting!

The second episode attempts to provide critique of Ayn Rand's venerable philosophy by exploring the non-aggression principle. It succeeds, in that it got me so intellectually excited that I had to prematurely terminate my treadmill exercising, so that I could run to my PC and begin madly typing this very account! And indeed, perhaps that should be the very purpose of such podcasts: to stimulate discussion, and draw attention to meritorious-- however partially-- ideas!

But-- and engaged readers will surely have anticipated onrushing reservations-- I think this second episode somewhat misses its mark. Here is a hopefully interesting, entertaining counter-critique!


First, the podcaster misses Ayn Rand's biggest, most insoluble logical quandary, one which she was unable to reconcile-- because it is irreconcilable: one can not hold the non-aggression principle, and also support the State, at the same time.

The State, by definition, is funded through compulsory taxation, i.e. theft. Theft is a violation of the non-aggression principle. Further, most of the actions taken by the State's actors, even post-taxation, are initiating force, as I explain here.

I conjecture-- because I've seen the pattern before-- that the podcaster may have ignored this two-ton elephant in the room because he too holds a similar contradiction in his own mind. If he reads this counter-critique, perhaps he can provide clarification.


Second, the podcaster does a lot of what Ayn Rand called "philosophizing in midstream": creating hypothetical scenarios based on one set of premises, then bleaching away the context, and using it as a foundation for a counterargument.

The "some random guy is starving in the woods, is it ok for him to steal just a tiny bit of bread" is the most egregious example; the short answer is, it is not right for him to steal no matter how hungry he is.

But why was he starving? How did he wind up in the forest? Is it a post-apocalyptic setting, and the property claim on the hypothetical house has been relinquished through vaporization of its owner? Or is the to-be thief evil, and is justifiably and rightfully being shunned by the community's members?

I've played the "gotcha!", "silicon-based aliens land from Mars and use brain washing, confetti-shooting ray guns on people", "let's see how many increasingly extreme, context-starved examples we can come up with" game, and it is an infinite, madness-inducing, intellectual mirror-hall, rat's maze to nowhere, that could go on pretty much forever. I can only take it in small doses before I grow weary.


Third, the podcaster uses too many emotional ploys in his counterarguments. For instance, the "what if I could steal just a tiny bit from a billionaire", and give "life saving!" vaccinations to "desperate children!" What kind of a monster could reject such a proposition!

This kind of exposition is barely a whisker away from an outright ad hominem to those who would provide perfectly rational reasons why such a proposal is morally bankrupt, and probably even counter-productive. In other words, it's "back in the real world..."

And besides, committing evil is evil, because the "value" derived from the act is provably subjective in nature. Consequentalism is a logically self-defeating fool's errand approach to ethics, which is why it always needs to be rationalized with emotional language, to compensate for its lack of intellectual rigor.


Fourth, the non-aggression principle has been applied to many situations much more nuanced than those which emerged from the podcaster's florid imagination, by innumerable libertarians over time-- many of whom Ayn Rand herself was in frequent (and, interestingly, sometimes not too friendly) contact with.

As an overall course, it wasn't clear to me how trying to poke holes in the non-aggression principle was a criticism of Objectivism per se, since Ayn Rand merely adopted that principle from others, who I've personally read or heard explain all of the "holes" that the podcaster points out. It makes more sense to take objection with and seek answers from them, not Rand.

As a fun exercise, I've supplied a few of those explanations below.


Fifth, the presence of gray areas does not invalidate a principle; just because it's difficult to tell if someone committed murder in a given instance does not invalidate the principle that murder is wrong.

That's why, in the real world, States have court systems, and anarchist societies have non-binding arbitration and other forms of communal dispute resolution. The real world is complicated!

The podcaster devotes time to dismissing the non-aggression principle based on "where do you draw the line" argumentation. But this same argumentation is true of any ethical or legal-based system. Ask a jurist from any criminal trial why they and their peers deliberated for hours or days regarding their verdict; did the culprit actually perform fraud, when it was a fine line? Did the person actually escalate the tragic conflict? And so on.



Non-Aggression Principle explanations
  • Parenting is fully compatible with the non-aggression principle. Fellow contributor, Dude, once explained this compatibility in a post. I will re-articulate the argument here:

    1. Children have the value of life. If they didn't, they'd stop eating and keel over dead (as an infant), or kill themselves (as an older child)
    2. Children begin life totally unable to independently fulfill their value for life, yet gradually become more and more able to as they age
    3. When you do something immoral, you live with the consequences (people won't want to interact with you, you might be harmed via someone else's self-defense, and so on)
    4. When you do something moral, you get to live with the consequences (for example, obtain property rights over whichever discrete, physical thing you've made or labored upon)
    5. When you inflict life on a child, you live with the mandatory consequence of helping them fulfill their preference for life, only to the moment-to-moment, varying degree that they are unable to do so on their own, or until they are able to rationally express that they no longer value life
    6. Your assistance must follow the principle of proportionality; your forceful actions must never exceed the bare minimum required to help the child fulfill its value towards life-- just like during self-defense, where your forceful reaction must be the bare minimum required to neutralize the threat
    7. The same applies to a drunk man; an empiricist must conclude that the unconscious drunk values life, because he hasn't killed himself yet. You are not initiating force by pulling him out of the middle of the street
    8. You are also not obligated to do so, because that would imply a positive right-- positive rights are logical impossibilities
    9. The same thing applies to the mentally ill; whomever inflicted life upon them is obligated forever, as the child never obtains the ability to reason. Absent a genetic caretaker, someone else could "homestead" the mentally disabled person, and take on that responsibility, if they so choose (and as is frequently the case with voluntary, charitable organizations)


  • Loud music-- merely annoying, or potentially even deadly, air vibrations-- is a form of property violation, just like combustion smoke, the kinetic force of a bomb explosion, or the poisoning of a well. The exact same logic applies to noise as it does to any of these other forms of aggression.

    Specifically, one is morally within their rights to act in self-defense, according to the law of proportionality-- meaning, the use of the minimal amount of force needed to counter the severity of the threat.

    Maybe the victim can sleep with ear-blocking mechanisms on, if the music-- the air vibrations-- are mild? "Pick your battles", as the wise say. More severe vibrations could require dispute resolution; the vast majority of neighbors' self-interest will compel them to merely turn the volume down, for a plethora of social-fabric driven motivations.

    Extreme cases, where the vibrations could shatter ear drums or break windows, call for the same kind of self-defense that would an active gunman situation. Fortunately in the real world, those cases are extraordinarily rare.


  • Intellectual property, the ultimate oxymoron, is a topic which I've utterly debunked here. Besides the arguments presented therein, "theft" means to deprive someone of a physical possession; by definition, you can't "steal" someone's ideas, or words, because they still retain their copies.

    Really, "intellectual property" is born from the provably fallacious, classical liberalism notion of the "labor theory of value", which was adopted by such intellectual heavyweight luminaries as Karl Marx (no sarcasm at all intended here, I assure you).


  • Lying; you can't universalize it, therefore, it cannot be moral to lie-- in fact, lying is a violation of the victim's natural rights.

    Fraud is lying; it is the reneging of a previously, voluntarily-entered upon contract. It is an initiation of force, because it violates others' natural rights.

    When you exchange goods with someone else-- for example, if you sell a product that you've made-- you are entering into a contract with the other party, where they are acting according to the terms set forth in the agreement. One such term is the stated quality, or condition of the product.

    If you have misrepresented that quality or condition, you have violated the contract that you have made, committing fraud (lying) in the process.


  • Preemptive force; it is not the initiation of force to hypothetically hurt someone in the future, in the same way that one can not claim ownership of a house in the hypothetical case that they might buy it in the future.

    The only exception-- and this is an excellent (and unfortunately somewhat rare) intersection of the American judicial system pillars, and natural law-- is that you aren't providing a real and imminent threat to their property. In fact, this notion dates even back to English common law.

    Unfortunately, the favorable intersection ends there: clearly, simply driving a car is not an initiation of force. Swerving a car towards a pack of pedestrians is, in the same way that pointing a loaded gun at them, or actively trying to knife them with a machete, or pointing an armed nuclear missile at them, is.

    Each action needs to be evaluated separately. "Speeding" harms no one; ramming into their vehicle does. Assuming otherwise leads to the kind of confusion that the podcaster was exhibiting; to the kind of "worldly irrationalities" of which Kant warned when trying to universalize a mistaken principle.


  • Consequentalism; On the prior bullet's note, and with regards to ethics, consequentialism is an invalid form of reasoning, because value preferences are subjective.

    The podcaster asks if one should balance force, with "benefit". But he doesn't define "benefit"; what one person views as "beneficial", another will view as "harmful".

    Whenever someone says that the State should steal, or that initiating force is "worth it" (to use the podcaster's language) because it's "beneficial", that someone is injecting-- sometimes unconsciously (as I'm sure is the case with the podcaster), other times malevolently-- their own subjective values, and are assuming the (illegitimate) authority to impose those values on everyone else, at gun point.

    This is why Ayn Rand was rightfully opposed to the notion of the "common good"-- it presupposes what "good" is; it sneaks unspoken, subjective values in through the back door. People often fall for these claims, because they aren't attentive or vigilant enough to notice the parlour trick. Josef Stalin called these kinds of people "useful idiots".

    The podcaster uses the example of preventing a "foolish accident". Note the value-loaded term: "foolish"-- but with no accompanying explanation as to what "foolish" entails, nor an acknowledgement that what appears foolish to one man, is perfectly in line with another man's subjective value preferences.

    Everyone thought that this writer was foolish for attempting to drive a rear-wheel drive sports car through the Minnesota winters. And yet, subjectively, he was willing to trade perceived safety, for driving engagement. Incidentally, the car has wound up being a marvel to drive in snow, proving the "foolish" notions to be outright incorrect!


  • The infamous trolley car! I'm ending with this one, because it's one of my all-time favorites!

    If I had a dollar every time someone brought up the trolley car, and how it was so obviously great to choose to run over a single person people instead of multiple (or to push the fat slob over the bridge-- there are so many variations of this theme that I've lost count), I'd be living on a beach somewhere!

    In reality, the moral act is to leave the switch alone, for the simple, irrefutable reason that it's impossible to cardinally rate the value of human lives; is running over a single person still better, if the multitude contains a miraculously resurrected Adolf Hitler amongst their number? What if the "multiples" group contains mere janitors, whereas the one is a renowned brain surgeon?

    The podcaster says that it's "intuitive" to kill the few over the many. The use of such a squishy term is an admission that there is no logical or moral way to solve the quandary. The only permanent is that killing anyone is wrong-- which means to ignore the switch altogether.
Preserved, for posterity - 11:21 CDT, 3/20/17 (Sniper)
This is absolutely incredible: someone recorded themselves playing Quakeworld back in 1997, then preserved the recording this entire time!

For all I know, I was one of the people he was playing against in this video; from the day QTest hit to even after Quake 2 came out, I spent hundreds of hours playing Quake deathmatch. My 14 year-old self even ran a clan-- called "The Assassins", with the name suffix "[ASN]"-- with over fifty members at its peak! I organized all of the matches, maintained the roster, wrote and maintained the web site, and so on. I wish I had preserved the site... it used a frame for the menu, with animated GIFs that I'd made in some program in OS/2. I had a MIDI file of Yuzo Koshiro's "To Make the End of Battle" playing in the background, which became our defacto clan theme song...

I also continued my tradition-- established with Wolf3d and Doom-- of making first-person shooter levels. In fact, I remember the first ever custom level for Quake, which someone made by reverse-engineering how the engine's BSP code worked. It was just a single room, but I was blown away by it anyway.

My proudest moment was when I was recruited by one of the top clans in the country during an impromptu match, where I went toe-to-toe with one of their leaders. I wish I remembered the name of the clan, because I sure do remember the guy and his playing style... I turned him down though, I was kind of getting "out of the game" at that point, in lieu of Quake 2.
Magical - 18:52 CDT, 3/16/17 (Sniper)
Molyneux never ceases to amaze me with the advice he gives people. Out of all of the great videos he makes, nothing beats his call-in podcasts.

In maybe the dozen or so of these that I've listened to, he's given Earth-shatteringly, life-alteringly good advice, to the point where I think these people will look back sixty years from the time that they called in, and point back with a pocked, gnarled finger: "That was the moment that put my life on track."

In this one, even though my situation is different than the callers-- she's a woman, I'm a man, for starters-- this exposition from Molyneux hit me really poignantly, and articulates, better than I ever could myself, why I chose to get married and raise a family. My transcription:


"...they [people who have children] have purpose, they have a house full of laughter, and noise, and games, and mess... it's lived in; it's alive. There is a future; their children will grow strong, as they grow old. And they will have companions, they will have friendship, and they will have love, and they will have care as they age. And they will have grandchildren. And they will be sitting at the edge of a very full table.

And you, will be binge-watching Netflix, with some frozen shit on your lap... no one to cook for. Your house will be tidy, because there is no one there to mess it up-- there is no life to knock anything over! There are no stains, called 'existence'..."
Nintendo Scratch - 18:39 CDT, 3/14/17 (Sniper)
I brought my Switch into work today, and under the auspices of the office's overhead lighting I noticed several small scratches up and down the bevel that circumscribes the screen.

I tried to capture them with my phone's camera, but not being a photographer I couldn't get the scratches in focus. Fortunately, I found a picture of someone else's unit, with nearly identical marks:



Lo and behold, I got home and inspected the dock: as it turns out, if you view it exactly from the side, it's visibly bent inward at the top-- as in, the opening's distance at its peak is much smaller than at the bottom:



For better visibility, I removed the "joy-cons", and from a profile vantage, I slid the Switch into the dock as slowly and gently as possible-- and sure enough, the plastic rails for the entire first third or so of the system's travel make continuous contact with the screen as the system lowers. There is no way to avoid the contact-- it's physically too tight of a fit.

I think I know the cause too: the front panel has a discrete, inner piece of plastic-- and if you bend the outer portion of the dock outwards with your hands, it flexes along that crease. I think during manufacturing, some of the docks' screws-- which hold these two plastic items together-- were torqued too much. You can reproduce this easily with other materials: even take two pieces of wood, and join them with screws so they are perpendicular: if you over-torque the screws, the vertical piece of wood will start to warp towards the pressure.

Frankly, I don't even care that my unit has scratches, and am going to just keep using the dock anyway; I can just manually flex the plastic outwards with one hand, and use the other hand to maneuver the system.

If I get adventurous, I may try removing the front panel altogether, although Nintendo insisted on using these really bizarre "safety" screws, for which I lack a driver. Which is why I prefer PCs-- they are 100% standardized and modular. In fact, most of them are "tool-free" now, with the proliferation of thumb screws.

But despite my apathy, I can easily see others with bent docks never buying a Nintendo product again because of this issue.
Literal icicle disaster - 18:18 CDT, 3/12/17 (Sniper)
I've basically seen teams go straight from Serie C1, to Serie B, to Serie A in consecutive seasons, and I have never in my life seen such a team concede eleven goals in their first two games in the top flight. In fact, has that ever happened in the modern footballing era?

It's so bad that it's difficult to even put it into words. The largest issue is that Adrian Heath seems utterly clueless; as I pointed out after the last thrashing, the team should have been built and trained to sit back, in two giant banks, and get goals on the break. Instead, the team bought winger after winger after winger, and subsequently is trying to play in an expansive attacking manner...

Imagine if Crotone had tried to play "as equals" this season: their -27 goal difference after 28 match weeks would be more like -70.
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