The Exigent Duality
Time to relax - 19:58 CDT, 6/23/17 (Sniper)
Nothing like the satisfaction that comes from hard work.

I worked late last night to get some critical bug fixes into QA testing for an upcoming release of my work team's product. Then today, I put in a long shift and got an entire new feature implemented, when the user story only called for discovery.

After all of that coding, I spent a few hours on the riding mower and got the entire three acres completely done-- it looks fantastic.

Now, it's time to make a big bucket of pop corn and watch some TV. I started this series last night; even though the writing and cinematography is really tropey so far, the phenomenal costumes and sets are making it worthwhile.
Regression - 10:44 CDT, 6/22/17 (Sniper)
Is the Microsoft of old re-emerging? Sounds like it.

Heck, the present version of Windows 10 has been raising my eyebrows: I got a "Skype call" from someone once, and had no clue such a program was even running-- creepy! I also regularly get spammed with ads in the system tray, like "Try Office365!"

And this is just in my brief interactions with the OS; I'm booted into my Arch installation 99% of the time. This "S" version sounds like a smartphone operating system-- do I even own the hardware at that point?
Picture speaks one thousand words - 14:31 CDT, 6/21/17 (Sniper)
Here is the background image on the login page for Microsoft's online services. And people ask me why I live in the country...

Fellow admirer - 18:42 CDT, 6/20/17 (Sniper)
I whole-heartedly agree with this article. Heck, I don't think Thiesson is significantly inferior to Patric, who played 1007 minutes for Lazio last season, or the present-day, thirty two year old version of Basta, who is nominally Lazio's starting right back.

After all, some really high quality players come from Swiss football. Who can forget Stephan Lichsteiner, who was with Grasshopper before moving to France and, later, Lazio? Indeed, Minnesota United bought Thiesson from fellow Swiss Super League club FC Luzern, where he was a regular starter. He was even worth a very respectable 1.25 million Euro just one year ago, at age twenty eight.

It's too bad the rest of Manny's "high profile" signings didn't pan out. I remember reading an article earlier this season, which provided the anecdote that the club had close to half of its payroll tied to players like Demidov, who either weren't starting, or who couldn't even make the match day squad. Talk about a waste of resources-- resources which aren't exactly in ample supply at the club anyway!

But, Thiesson is nonetheless the one bright spot from the team's European recruits.
Gone fishing - 17:54 CDT, 6/20/17 (Sniper)
On the way to our favorite fishing spot, the car splattered about ten dozen bugs on the windshield and front fascia. I didn't think twice about it. Once there, Henrietta and I smashed several deer flies that kept biting at our arms. Neither of us had any apprehension about it.

We caught a nice big sunfish, and put it in a water-filled bucket so it wouldn't painfully suffocate while we continued to fish. When we got home, I took my absurdly sharp knife, started to push down on its neck, with the fish writhing to get away from me-- and I almost couldn't do it. But, I followed through, and the fish was dead in an instant: quick and painless.

Why did I hestitate? There is no moral or ethical difference between smashing dragon flies on the car, swatting a fly, and filleting a fish.

Analytical people have hearts too, they are just able to rationalize beyond their feelings, when their feelings don't make any sense. And that is why I don't like emotional people in leadership positions; to use a fictional example, I'd love Troi if I were having emotional issues and needed support-- but I wouldn't want her anywhere near the captain's chair.

Because an emotional person would not only fail to follow through when making good decisions, but would then become vegetarians, try to use the coersion of the state to "protect the fish", and self-righteously lecture everyone about how fish-- but not ants, or bees, or dragon flies-- are just "people who can't talk". And all because they got a little misty-eyed once while preparing dinner.

Emotional people who are handed "authority" are not just a nuisance-- they are dangerous.
Facepalm - 17:38 CDT, 6/20/17 (Sniper)
It's funny how incredibly difficult it is for Lefties, in general, to actually grasp what's actually going on in the real world. Because they're unable to comprehend it, they come to bafflingly hilarious conclusions. I have two related examples to illustrate this phenomenon in action.

In true Fascist-style, the government and giant food corporations pushed for the "food pyramid", and massive subsidies to things like corn. Food stamp recipients, brainwashed with the "pyramid" in government schools, in turn gorged themselves on corn syrup-laden carbs, leading to an obesity epidemic.

Note: these people aren't naturally fat-- they are fat because they're eating too much damned food, and of the wrong kinds! Just ask me: I was 240 lbs, changed my diet, and dropped to 150 lbs in the span of twelve months. I didn't intrinsically have a fat ass "body shape"-- I had bad eating habits.

But liberals don't get cause and effect-- so I see threads on the super Lefty game forum "NeoGAF" applauding video game makers for having characters of "different body shapes"-- you know, just born that way, and it's ok, diversity is good, and the usual word salad barf-- because the video game producers are now filling their games with fat characters! I'm sure historians will look back on the games of this era and wonder, "why the hell are all of the NPCs total porkers??"

A second, related example comes from this Mark Dice video, where once again liberals don't understand cause and effect, and simply can't or won't reflect that the current state of affairs is anything but natural.

I wrote about the exact causes of the Western family's annihilation in this post, and I don't want to recap the whole thing again. But needless to say, here come the Lefties: "Father's Day isn't relevant anymore, because humans don't have fathers anymore! Hurr durr!"
Reservation purchase - 17:21 CDT, 6/20/17 (Sniper)
I take back everything bad I said about "Monster Hunter World"-- it's a real Monster Hunter game, complete with the goofy animation, paint balls, and segmented maps.

I'm still not totally sold on the art style though. From a technical standpoint it looks amazing, and will undoubtedly be fantastic on my GTX 1070-4K TV duo. But it's a little too monochromatic and drab from an artistic perspective.
It can be fixed - 17:15 CDT, 6/20/17 (Sniper)
I recently reviewed "Arms", and although I rather panned it, one thing could just about single-handedly save the game: a "One Must Fall"-style tournament mode!

Arms' fighting action can't quite stand on its own when delivered via a standard arcade-style mode-- in the same way that a "Street Fighter II" or, heck, a "One Must Fall" can. But the game's entire premise seems tailor measured for replayable tournaments, filled with surprise cameos from other Nintendo characters-- and where the money earned can be used to improve the power and speed of the characters' equippable weaponry.

I can even envision Arms becoming "broken" in the same way that "One Must Fall" does, with maxed-out characters. And that would push the door ajar for almost sandbox-like characteristics, in what is already free movement open arena gameplay. Arms' existing mechanics almost couldn't be a better fit for an OMF-style "meta game"!
No beauty nor joy - 18:46 CDT, 6/19/17 (Sniper)
This is one of the best guests I've ever heard via Molyneux's show. The guest's description of Boston University around the twenty one minute mark is especially great.

Unfortunately, he also described Ben Shapiro as a "cuckservative", the same day I read that Mark Cernovic and the aforementioned Shapiro were at it, and just a few days after I found out about the tit-for-tat between Tom Woods and Mark Levin a few years ago-- all of which brought me back to this post of mine.
And it did catch fire - 22:16 CDT, 6/18/17 (Sniper)
It's hard to overstate just how good is the third season of "Halt & Catch Fire".

Take the scene where Cameron is writing code, punk music blaring into her headphones-- she's suddenly confronted in her office, has a heated exchange, is called a bitch, chases after the perpetrator forgetting that she's tethered to her stereo; she strides forward, the headphones rip out of the stereo, tripping the music out of the speakers. As she furiously stumbles to shut off the stereo, her phone rings just as the music stops: it's her mother. She forgets all about the argument-- it's written on her face.

What a masterfully crafted scene! It reminded me of the climax from the famous French film "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge"; the character is taken through a quickfire sequence of dissonant jarring, with the viewer fully in tow. And this third season is filled with moments like the above.

I enjoyed the first two seasons, but they were "meh", time-wasting material. I wasn't expecting the show to morph into what it became. It's almost like its creators handed the show to brand new writers: "fix it for us please."
Weighty - 09:28 CDT, 6/17/17 (Sniper)
Yesterday, Henrietta said, "Papa, sometimes I wonder if I would have been better off not ever being alive-- because eventually I have to die, and death doesn't sound very pleasant."

I replied with a corollary to the "it's better to have loved and lost, than to never have loved at all", to which Henrietta replied, "Oh, that makes sense!"

Pretty deep stuff from a seven year old.
Figured it out - 19:52 CDT, 6/16/17 (Sniper)
I've heard that Left wing academic professors have been pushing the narrative to their students that everything is political.

A loaf of bread? It involves the harvesting of wheat, which involves the exploitation of workers. Going for a jog outside? That just means you're oppressing less fit people with your hot bod. Emptying your bowels into the toilet? That's perpetuating inequality, since not everyone has a toilet.

I've been trying to figure out what they're on about, and I finally figured it out: if you tell students that absolutely everything is intrinsically political, then not pushing a Leftist agenda at all times and in all places merely leaves a vacuum, into which those creepy alt-righters might slither.

The argument also provides Leftists with an escape hatch when called out by ordinary people, who rightfully complain about TV shows, news media, and video games constantly pushing propaganda: "Everything is political anyway! It's not possible to keep the politics out of entertainment!"
Inexperience - 10:37 CDT, 6/16/17 (Sniper)
Mowing a hilly tree-filled yard, on a riding lawn mower for the first time ever, is like trying to shave with a blender.
Decisions, decisions - 20:32 CDT, 6/13/17 (Sniper)
Elation to abjection in twenty days... that would make a terrific book title! I've heard people refer to "World" as "Battlefield: Jurrassic", and that about sums it up for me too.

If I keep the Switch it will still take the record as the system I'll own the most games for in its first twelve months. And yet, very little in my projected library is essential:
  • Arms
  • Breath of the Wild, The Legend of Zelda
  • FIFA 18
  • Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle
  • Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
  • Puyo Puyo Tetris
  • Sonic Mania
  • Splatoon 2
  • Super Bomberman R
  • Super Mario Odyssey
  • Ultra Street Fighter II
  • Xenoblade 2

The only indispensable games on that list are Sonic Mania and Super Mario Odyssey. The former is also going to be available on Windows 10. The latter, however, looks like it might shape up to be Ape Escape territory for me based on the lengthy gameplay footage shown today-- I'd hate to miss it.

On the other hand, if I ditched the Switch I could easily substitute in PC titles that I want just as badly as most of the other games on this list: Fortnite, Destiny 2, and Total War: Warhammer 2 come to mind.

But then again, the Switch's hardware is really cool.

Crap - 19:21 CDT, 6/13/17 (Sniper)
My best attempt at providing the Z with some cover for the reportedly inbound hail storm. There is about a one inch clearance between the tree trunks and the door mirrors-- the car just fits.

In a couple of months we'll have a large pole barn on the property, but for now, this spot provides the thickest and most uniform tree cover. I hope it's enough...

E3 - 12:07 CDT, 6/13/17 (Sniper)
Super Mario Odyssey has music with cheesy vocals? It really is "Mario Adventure"!

Metroid Prime 4 is a huge announcement as well. I wonder if From Software is doing the development? Seems like a match made in heaven.
Spin that fake news - 14:44 CDT, 6/08/17 (Sniper)
So, the James Comey testimony finally puts all of this Trump / Russia "investigation suppression" nonsense to bed, and instead of posting the "elephant in the room" outcome, what does ZDNet post? Why, this article, which doubles down on said nonsense!

What is the evidence in the ZDNet article? James Comey's word. Literally.

Talk is cheap-- free in fact; anyone can make any claim they want. Did you know that my cat can speak fluent English? It's the evidence that matters!

The only reason I'm even subscribed to the "out in Left field" ZDNet's Atom feed is because they carry Big Data-related tech articles.
Going backwards if anywhere - 17:38 CDT, 6/07/17 (Sniper)
Here is an example image I put together of graphics from the ten year period spanning 1988 to 1998:



And here is an image comparing graphics from the ten year period spanning 2007 to 2017, which I lifted from this article:



I could have made an even more spectacular comparison image for the first one, but I wanted to make sure I picked a 1988 game with 3d graphics, since people always discount these reflections on the basis of "well duh, that ten year window shifted from sprites to polygons! It's not a fair comparison!"
Conflation nation - 10:51 CDT, 6/07/17 (Sniper)
Here is a perfect example of a comment that I hear a lot from the illegal immigration supporters: "Country XYZ is utterly corrupt and violent, so we need to let the people from those countries into the Western nations to save them".

Countries are the people who live there! Country XYZ and its people aren't separate entities; put another way, "countries" can't be corrupt or violent-- only people can. The reason these countries are corrupt and violent is because the people who are there are corrupt and violent! Their individual actions merely get rolled up into summary statistics, with their country's flag next to it on Wikipedia. How people then read these stats and somehow conflate things is beyond me-- it's not rocket science.

With that said then, what do you think will happen to Western countries when you import violent, corrupt, low-IQ people in an attempt to save them from themselves? Do you think it's rational for the high-IQ, native born civilians of these Western countries to be wary of such importation?
Childhood bike - 15:56 CDT, 6/06/17 (Sniper)
I'm not a huge bicyclist-- the minute I got my driver's license I never looked back, such is my love of cars-- but two summers ago my mom pulled my early-90s Schwinn High Plains out of her garage so I had something to ride alongside Henrietta, who I'd just taught to ride bike.

I just took it for a ride around the neighborhood about a half hour ago. It's never had any maintenance done on it, has never even been cleaned to my knowledge, yet at age twenty six there isn't a thing wrong with it, other than fourth gear "skips" a little. The aforelinked reviews tell the same tale.

Apparently it was a $330 bike, which adjusted for inflation comes out to just under $600 in today's Yellen Monopoly Bucks-- not bad for something that lasts through decades of negligence! I bet with how much more cheaply built things are today, a $600 bike would meet a cataclysmic end after just a handful of years.
Everyone gets one deviation - 13:09 CDT, 6/06/17 (Sniper)
In one camp, you have the old guard conservatives: the Mark Levin, Bill O'Reilly, Sean Hannity, perhaps even Rush Limbaugh. In another camp, you have the new breed libertarians: Stefan Molyneux, Lauren Southern, Mark Cernovic, Mark Dice. And never shall those two camps meet, even though they have 95% of their views in common, and are after the same ultimate goal of reducing State power.

Why?

I'll confess that I don't daily watch or listen to the former crowd, so I can't say for certain that they don't reach out or cover the latter group. But I can say that going the other way, other than a ten second clip of Jan Helfeld trying to catch Mark Levin's attention in a crowded hall some years ago, I never hear any mention of the old guard at all.

Yesterday, in preparation for an upcoming lunch with a conservative co-worker, I listened to the aforementioned Mark Levin's show from the previous Friday, and in addition to issuing a figurative "call to arms"-- boy does he agree with what I wrote here-- he stated that rather than the older crowd making fun of young people, constitutional conservatives should reach out to them.

Political power is all about forming coalitions. What a fearsome alliance that would be if these two groups could join forces! Imagine Lauren Southern plugs from Sean Hannity on national television, or Bill O'Reilly interviews via Alex Jones? What if Stefan Molyneux could start plugging Mark Levin's "Liberty Amendments" approach to his millions of listeners?

Or speaking of Levin, what about getting him and Tom Woods together? Those two should be best friends, both being great historians and Constitutional experts-- why have I never heard them speak together?

On a grass roots level, this would also get the retirement age, Tea Party, gun rights Constitutional people hanging out and working together with the Millennial libertarian types.
Hypersensitivity - 10:40 CDT, 6/06/17 (Sniper)
Working full-time from my home office has revolutionized my life; between the consequent reduction in stress and the weight loss, my blood pressure at a recent doctor's visit was 122/80-- versus the routine ~135/90 readings from just a year ago.

Why does this work arrangement suit me so well? I stumbled across this article today, and I strongly fit every single listed bullet, a list which I will reproduce here:

  1. Are you easily overwhelmed by such things as bright lights, strong smells, coarse fabrics, or sirens nearby?

  2. Do you get rattled when you have a lot to do in a short amount of time?

  3. Do you make a point of avoiding violent movies and TV shows?

  4. Do you need to withdraw during busy days, into bed or a darkened room or some other place where you can have privacy and relief from the situation?

  5. Do you make it a high priority to arrange your life to avoid upsetting or overwhelming situations?

  6. Do you notice or enjoy delicate or fine scents, tastes, sounds, or works of art?

  7. Do you have a rich and complex inner life?

  8. When you were a child, did your parents or teachers see you as sensitive or shy?


I can feel my blood pressure rising after just ten minutes of a Scrum Skype call, because I can hear all of the tension in everyone's voices. Then when the call ends, I take a deep breath to recover.

The interesting thing is that I am in fact a strong intuitive, and am not usually very good with remembering details-- like when attempting to solve a complex mathematical problem. Yet at the same time, I'm often hypersensitive to environmental cues and peoples' emotions, like a sort of sponge. A forum post here describes the sensation:

"for most people a corner on the street is just a corner on the street.

for me it is crooked tiles, curb, bricks.. colour.. of the adjacent building, ant colony and weeds living between the tiles, sounds of the surroundings and sound the tiles produce when walking on them. smell of that particular area and of course abandoned chewing gum left behind like unintentional graffiti for example.

it seems like an extra layer of consciousness which most people don't have.

other folks, even the smart ones, don't seem to realise fully that they are alive even when you point it out to them. they don't grasp the concept of being...

being a tiny organism on a planet in a solar system in a galaxy surrounded by billions of other galaxies.."


And that explains the seeming contradiction very well: this hypersensitivity is not a product of the Myers-Briggs "S", but rather part and parcel of the "N"s insatiable need to understand the connectedness of things.
Compounding problems - 18:13 CDT, 6/05/17 (Sniper)
Some of the nicest people I've ever met have been Mexican, and I really like their culture, their food, and so on. As such, it pains me to speak this truth: their country is a lawless shithole.

I sold my old PC to one of Ellyn's friends, and not only did the brilliant State workers nearly ship the box all the way back to Minnesota because it had a package of freaking Girl Scout Cookies in it-- Ellyn's friend was able to ream them out over the phone and get the package back on track just in time-- but they ripped the entire PC apart, visibly damaging parts of the motherboard, to the point where I can't guarantee it's not going to short out under power.

Since I don't think cocaine could very easily be hidden in a freaking PCI-Express slot, I can't chalk this up to anything other than deliberate malovelence combined with sheer stupidity. The average IQ in Mexico is a rather sad 88, and I'm sure these customs agents are well below that mark.

Not only do you have the usual universal problem with government bureaucrats, where they are unaccountable as their behavior is not checked by market forces, and where only the most thuggish people apply because it legalizes the behaviors that would otherwise land them in prison-- but in Mexico, on top of all of that, the government workers are utterly vile and corrupt. I can't tell you how many stories I've heard of cop bribing and "civil servant" money laundering I've heard from that place.

In fact, Ellyn's friend-- an actual Mexican-- had me take detailed pictures of the inside of the PC before it was sent, with the explanation: "I give it a 50/50 shot that the customs agents are going to steal components from it."
The importance of the challenge - 18:47 CDT, 6/04/17 (Sniper)
I recently had a friend tell me that when a Leftist uses a captive audience to spread factually incorrect, perhaps even race-baiting rhetoric in a quasi-public forum for the express purpose of influencing opinions, that as a conservative I only have one job: to sit down and shut up.

Really?

On Friday my company's intranet site, which has daily articles written by a small internal staff of writers-- yes, even private (sort of; it's hard to tell in a Fascist economy) companies have full-time political propagandizers these days-- fell so far to the left that it landed right into Stalin's back yard, with a particularly egregious piece.

The seldom-used comments section became filled with factually-challenged emotional tripe from Leftists. For people like those who read this blog, it's easy to just laugh at the Left, especially since their tiny fold of feeble arguments are so eye-rollingly predictable and easy to short circuit-- but it's no laughing matter, because this kind of bilge sways peoples' views over time in a very real way!

If you wonder just how effectual this garbage is, just ask yourself exactly what conservatives have conserved over the past sixty years.

Conservatives have been losing the cultural wars for a long time, and even with the momentary pressure-release of Trump's election victory, a quick glance at the average Facebook feed, a short channel hop around the late night TV shows, a brief purview of practially any contemporary film or television show, or even an afternoon jaunt through the neighborhood indicates that conservatives' losses are mounting, not reversing.

After a long walk full of careful thought, I daringly and somewhat apprehensively did what the Leftists do without any consideration: I posted a comment to the article on the company's web site. Not because I think I'll change the Leftist's minds: rather, because the act of posing a challenge is inately important unto itself.

Years ago, I started challenging a friend in this way on Google Plus. After not even a month, he stopped posting political content to the site, and focused exclusively on Facebook-- where I wasn't a member-- instead. I think something about that lesson sank into my squishy gray matter without me being aware, only for it to resurface only this past week, as I sat staring at my work laptop's screen in dismay.

The other benefit is that in this way, conservatives will know that they're not alone, off in the wilderness of a world seemingly gone insane, where up is down, black is white, and wrong is right. Indeed, I had two people at work email me to say "thank you!" for having posted that comment. And other than the one friend mentioned above, every person I've run this scenario across has excitedly told me that I did the right thing.

To all conservatives and libertarians out there: stand up and be heard! If you don't pose the challenge, you'll have lost the battle before it's even started!
Point excellently put - 15:15 CDT, 6/03/17 (Sniper)
Tucker Carlson at his finest here.
Dumpster fire - 12:24 CDT, 6/02/17 (Sniper)
What the fuck is this? Case study in Hollywood penis envy from "game" developers.

This is one game series that peaked with the very first title on the 3DO, then has been on an "off a cliff" downward trend ever since-- even including the shitty ports of the 3DO original back in the day!

But hey, at least the pre-order bonus includes "iconic cars"-- such as my real-life daily driver, a 350z. I take my car for granted; how many people walk into a gas station, and have the store clerk tell them, all starry-eyed, that they own the clerk's "all-time dream car?" True story.

Or that one YouTube video I watched, where the kids bought their terminal illness, six-months-to-live father a 350z, as the one thing that he wanted in life before he passed.

Or when I went into a car model store at the Mall of America, and in the bin with the cast iron Ferraris was my identical car, blue paint and beige interior even!
Sophistication - 15:11 CDT, 5/30/17 (Sniper)
Glenn Stafford's "Warcraft 2" soundtrack is compositionally some of the best music I've ever heard, video game or not. My teenage self thought it was great, and my adult self holds it in even higher regard.

It's from some alternative universe where Mozart came back from the dead and made music for a game.
Fits my hands - 13:03 CDT, 5/28/17 (Sniper)
Just watched another video from the same channel as the video I briefly discussed in my previous post.

Thinking back throughout my thirty years of playing video games, I pick characters that "fit my hands" first, and if that's a wash, that are aesthetically appealing second, and if that's a wash, that no one else wants to play third.

Some pseudo-randomly selected games: in "Rampage", one of my childhood favorites, I always played with Ralph, because I thought that George and Lizzie were ugly. In "Street Fighter II", it was the defensive zoning guys like Ryu and Sagat; in "Way of the Warrior", it was Konotori. In the "Streets of Rage" games, I tended to play Blaze because my friends always chose Axel.

One exception is in "One Must Fall: 2097", where Katana-- a super offensive, technical pick-- is my primary choice. But even then, I think that's because aesthetically, I thought and still think that it's easily the coolest character in the game.
Can't get it right - 12:44 CDT, 5/28/17 (Sniper)
Interesting video here, except that my recent experiences have been the opposite of the Street Fighter V phenomenon.

It's easy to solve. My son plays Mario Kart 8 Deluxe with the track assist feature on, while I play with it off. In a fighter, why not make the move frame window adjustable? Analogous mechanisms could be put in place for games in other genres.

Or, you know, just have difficulty levels.
Some better than others - 12:54 CDT, 5/26/17 (Sniper)
Stupid programmers write all of their code in one class.

Smart programmers write incomprehensible code with a bazillion abstractions.

Brilliant programmers accomplish the same thing but simply and elegantly.

When supporting code that I didn't write, my order of author style preference: brilliant, then stupid, and then by some distance, "smart".
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