The Exigent Duality
Tough Sledding - 17:57 CST, 5/29/23 (Sniper)
I saw this thread on Reddit, almost impossible for me to fathom that it was ten years ago. I frequently call the last ten-odd years of my life my "lost decade", this is a perfect example of the phenomenon. I didn't write much in the aftermath of that game, but maybe now is the time to share.

I watched the game via-- as always-- a feed, on the Sony SXRD I had at the time. I'd never been so nervous for a sporting event in my life, and haven't since-- huge knot in my stomach. The game was the most intense football match I've seen to this day, with both sets of players desperate to not make a mistake. I started out sitting on the futon couch, then sitting on the floor, then kneeling on the floor, then standing right in front of the 50" screen. I was living and breathing with every action.

I'm not prone to emotionalism, but when Lulic scored that goal, I actually shed a tear. The release of tension was incredible. What's more, the presentation cut to Lotito's face right at that moment, and I will probably never, in my life, see another reaction like that: it was pure relief, pure joy, all bottled into such an authentic snapshot, that I never again after that doubted that Lotito is a true Laziale, through-and-through.

Modern Hardware

This thread reminded me of a blog post segment I've been meaning to write: get out a piece of paper, and try to do a math problem, such as "10.25967 * 22.47876". Keep track of how long it takes you. Depending on how good at math you are, maybe it would take you a minute, or two minutes, or five minutes.

Now imagine doing a hundred of these. That might take you three and a half hours, or longer. Imagine doing a thousand then. Or a million. One million math problems like this could take you something like thirty-eight hundred years, if my math is correct. Now imagine doing a trillion of them. How many generations of human beings would need to sit there working on them, to finish? How about forty trillion such math problems? Mankind isn't old enough of a species to have even approached being able to do that many, if that's all man had ever done.

The RTX 4070 Ti video card in my PC can not just do forty trillion floating point math problems-- it can do forty trillion such problems per second. That's how powerful modern computers are. And that's just the video card! We haven't even discussed modern CPUs yet. Even a platform like the PlayStation 5 can do ten trillion such math problems per second on the GPU. Heck, even the ancient Nintendo Switch can do 150 million of these math problems per second.

And what are developers making today, to leverage what amounts to unlimited power? Mediocre-looking thirty frames-per-second third-person action games with mini maps and dodge rolling. Or pixelshit roguelikes with Famicom music.

When I was a kid and young teenager, people like John Carmack were making cool looking quasi-3D worlds such as "Wolfenstein 3D" which ran on a 12.5 MHz 286 with 512 kilobytes of RAM; they were making full open-world games like "Star Control II" with entire galaxies to explore, on similar hardware; they were simulating entire planetary food chains and evolutionary paths on 25 MHz 386 chips, such as in "SimEarth". Going back to the thread then, today programmers are stunned by a game on the Switch with a rudimentary physics engine. I don't get it.

A lot of it is a lack of talent from contemporary programmers. I'll include myself in this group: I have essentially zero math background, and can only make games in pre-canned game engines. A lot of it is the bloat of modern tooling, which suck up insane amounts of resources before the actual game-proper has even begun to execute its specifics. A lot of it is DIE-based hiring. There are probably other concerns as well.


The usual caveat: if you're reading this, I'm not talking about you. A good microcosmic example came up late last week of my interactions with other people, in general. I'm going to substitute specifics so I don't identify the individual or the setting:

  • Other Person: "I'm a stickler for snow blowing until not one molecule of snow is left."
  • Me: "Can I play devil's advocate? It would take way too much time to get every single molecule, for little added benefit due to the diminishing returns. Just my two cents."
  • Third Person: "I agree."
  • Other Person: "So what I'm hearing, boss, is that we're never going to do snow blowing again."
  • Boss: "Oh, obviously not! No one would go for that! Of course we'll keep doing what we've been doing!"

In one sentence, the other person both straw-manned my opinion and appealed to authority, in just such a way to elicit the exact response which would convince the boss to tacitly support their position over mine. I don't know if the other person was evil on purpose or if it was some kind of sleazy passive-aggressiveness they'd acquired subconsciously from their family during childhood. Either way I found it very off-putting.

The thing is, people are constantly pulling this crap with me. Every interaction I have with almost everyone is laced with this land mine-filled maze of caltrops, tripwires, and other lethal explosives. That's why it's tiring to be around people. Quite literally the only exception, in forty one years of life, is at my church: they are so friendly and supportive that it's almost difficult to believe. It flies in the face of an entire lifetime of experience.

Stop the Ride

It feels like my life is carousel going at five hundred miles per hour. Even when I have a long weekend or take a couple of days of vacation, it's not enough. I need a long sabbatical or something along those lines to do some self-discovery, and to catch my breath. Since my fifteenth birthday, I've only been unemployed for two weeks. That's almost twenty seven years of unceasing, straight labor, with outrageous stress levels.

I've often wanted to get laid off from my job, because my employer would owe me eight months of full severance pay. I am already fully-vested in their pension, and would almost certainly be able to land a significantly higher paying job within my field as well once that theoretical extended "vacation" would elapse.

I've been contemplating getting my own apartment in the town twenty minutes from my house. My in-laws have been great, so it's not their fault-- but my "mental health" has never been lower than it is now, even during the height of the scamdemic when I was barred from receiving health care, eating at a restaurant, or going grocery shopping. Having "strangers" in my own home is really taking a toll, and I'm not sure if I will ever have a much better comfort level with them than I do now.

I've been eating so badly that I'm approaching fifteen pounds over my best weight number of just a year and a half ago. But without the junk food, I'm barely functional. I'm working on my issues, but it's slow progress. Right now it's a downward decline that I need to arrest somehow. I'm tempted to temporarily go back on "Abilify": that drug turned me into a total maniac, creating three of the most productive months of my life, followed by a soul-crushing crash. It's a scary deal with the devil, but I'd at least be able to lose this weight.


This section comes compliments of my brother:

"Good example of plutocracy at work. The 'study' cited by this article was conducted by the ICCT - the ICCT is funded by the Energy Foundation, while the Energy Foundation is a crystallization of private wealth from donors including the Rockefellers, used as a political money-laundering device: in the Foundation's words, 'Intelligent philanthropy can influence energy policy with multi-billion dollar payoffs.'

So, ICCT is a plutocratic sock-puppet for pushing energy reform; but why does the 'Green' movement exist at all? Again, in the Energy Foundation's words, 'At a time of grave [geopolitical] danger and volatility in the Middle East, it is worrisome that the United States is increasing its dependence on foreign oil...'

For context, global oil production is dominated by states like Iraq, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Russia and China - most of which are on the US' shortlist for regime change; the US, in turn, is owned entirely by plutocracy, or by 'civil society', as they call themselves.

Also, I use the word 'plutocracy' only to stick a label onto the disgusting creatures who hold power, and to point out that the power rests in private hands - and partially also because Fascism described this phenomenon with extreme accuracy 100 years ago; it's worth digging up this knowledge and putting credit where it belongs, isn't it?"

I couldn't agree more. It's weird listening to speeches from, ahem, "taboo" leaders from the past and hearing the world I live in today, predicted and described perfectly.
Tribunal Time - 17:31 CST, 5/24/23 (Sniper)
I haven't been writing here much, as I've been very busy. I spent the greater part of last week in Murderapolis for a mandatory "visit the office" period, for my employer, listening to non-stop police sirens. I have also been watching quite a lot of "My Hero Academia" with my kids, to unwind in the evenings. I'm also deep into "Startling Odyssey II" on my PC Engine, which is a surprisingly good JRPG, and which holds up quite well as compared to competing series such as "Final Fantasy" and "Dragon Quest".

But enough of that, and on to this post's purpose: every so often I run across documentaries or notable videos which fundamentally alter my view of the world. Here are some, in chronological order as to when I first encountered them:

  • The Story of Your Enslavement (Link)
  • What Is Cultural Marxism? (Link)
  • The Viral Delusion (Link)
  • The Greatest Story Never Told (Link)
  • American Moon (Link)
  • Everything Is a Rich Man’s Trick (Link)

Before I go any further: Unfortunately, some of these links are to JewTube. To eliminate their idiotic "let me give you some CIA and Mossad-provided 'context'" box, simply open your browser's developer tools, select the hilariously-named "clarify-box" div, and add a "display: none;" element to it.

I discovered the final item in the above list just a week or two ago, and have been chipping away at it. There are some details which I question: I'm not convinced Hitler was astroturfed; I don't think the German economic "miracle" was purely down to Western investment; I certainly don't think the so-called "Holocaust" occurred, and I have done extensive research into that subject; and I think today's "Deep State" is run mostly by Jews, not Italian mob bosses, as I can't remember the last time I saw an Italian name among the powers-that-be.

That may sound like a lot of provisos, but it isn't: the documentary is three and a half hours jam-packed with factual claims-- my half-dozen or so moments of incredulity is nothing compared with the tsunami of receipts the film's maker presents regarding all sorts of topics. Most importantly, the documentary paints such a clear overall picture of how the world works, that even if one can quibble about specifics, the highest level conclusion is indisputable.

I can always tell in retrospect that my world view has undergone a dramatic shift when concerns which used to appear pressing to me are suddenly trivial and even boring, or seeming to be a waste of time, or missing the point. Since I've finished the documentary, that is where I've sat regarding the so-called "culture wars". People like Mark Dice have been making untold videos about "Bud Light", just to name an example, and I can't even be bothered with such subjects any more.

I mowed all of the grass on my property yesterday. Already today, the dandelion heads have mostly returned. That's how it is with drag queen story hours; the tranny question; black lesbian protagonists in video games; pornography in Kindergarten libraries; deliberately-unchecked illegal immigration; the unending waves of black crime; the unceasing foreign wars; the daily deluge of propaganda from the media; the purchasing power destruction of our money; all of this nonsense talk about "white supremacy"; and on and on. They are all dandelion heads, and until we pull out the roots, they and other problems will simply continue to re-emerge.

This is because they are all perpetrated, on purpose, by the same group of people!

I sensed a certain outcome in the immediate aftermath of the 2020 Selection, and now the conclusion is cemented for me: the only way out is for some kind of strong-arm, right-wing leader to take over the military, send black ops specialists to the homes of all of the Bill Gates's of the world, and put those people in front of firing squads, en masse. I don't say this lightly: the risk is that the strong man will overshoot his purpose and become despotic. But we're already there anyway, and besides, this problem is so many centuries in the making that it's our only remaining route out.
Getting Older - 15:56 CST, 5/13/23 (Sniper)
I got a good laugh out of this: it reminds me of a Monty Python skit. I wonder if militaries going soft runs in cycles, along the various "Turnings"?

Crime, Personally

Murderapolis had a surge in murders in the 1990s. It was from this period that I heard and adopted the moniker "Murderapolis" in the first place. But back then, it was always "someone else" who was murdered, or assaulted, or robbed, or raped. Not so today: crime is so high, that everyone I know knows someone who was harmed.

For example, a friend of my step father's, with whom the latter routinely plays hockey, was fatally shot three times in the chest at point-blank range while confronting a bicycle thief. The man left behind two young children, and a wife. Speaking of wives, one of my wife's co-workers was talking down the alley to his house from the job, and was followed by three black kids: they shot him dead, and stole his phone. My brother had the catalytic converter stolen off of his SUV. And on and on.

Meanwhile, this recounting sounds exactly like why I fled Murderapolis, even down to the details regarding his children hearing gunshots; judging by the writer's discourse, Chicago is just as bad, or perhaps even worse than Murderapolis. An excerpt:

"Many years ago my family found a nice quiet corner of the suburbs. Now my son, who is only 5, hears gunfire while playing at our neighborhood park, and a drug dealer is open-air selling behind my house (the second one in two years). If it were just me to consider, I'd stick it out. I've been through stupid State's Attorney policies before. But this Office's complete failure to even think for a moment before rushing into one popular political agenda after another has put my family directly in harm's way."

I went to the University of Minnesota for a couple of years-- 2000 to 2002-- and while it was never a nice area, it was nothing like what is going on there now: mobs of black people throwing rocks at restaurant patrons, smashing cars into things, and curb stomping people in the face; don't believe me, just watch the videos.

I looked up per capita crime statistics for the county I fled, versus the one I live in now. The one I fled has-- once again, this is per capita-- over 2.5 times the rate of crime. Multiply that by the sheer number of people who live in my old county, and it paints the whole picture. That is a ton of crime, and it's personally impacting people in my direct circle, in ways it never has before in my forty-plus years of living in the state.

Gen X Advertising

I have not seen a video game ad targeting Gen X'ers like me, since my generation were children. So this came as a surprise. What makes it isn't the ad though, it's the comments; I was howling with laughter at these:

"Trophy husband? How else does he live in that house but gets a bus to work?"

"It's his mom's house and they're squatting there with her waiting for her to die."

"The wife looks to be asian - she’ll have already killed off his mom. In fact that explains why he gets the bus - any spare cash is shipped back to her family."

"They forgot to add the part where he takes down the extension cord he was going to hang himself with."

"He's definitely not in the states. No one's beating up the bus driver, no one's noddin off, pullin their dick out, singing, screaming. Definitely living in fantasy land already."

"Now they need a new AD with the wife's boyfriend for resetera representation."

"I'd just love to live in a town where you could pull out your Switch on a bus without some twat trying to make it his."

Final GR86 Impressions

This will probably be the last time I write about the 86 for awhile: I finished breaking in the engine, so I've had a chance to drive the car at the limits to round off my impressions.

I took a route through some twisty rural roads. I put the car in "track mode" and kept the engine in the "sweet spot", between 5000 and its 7500 rpm redline, taking one turn after another at speeds ranging from 85 to 105 mph depending on the curve. In my thirteen years of driving the 350z, never once did I flog that car like I did this one. And if I do swap the 86 for a GR Supra, I will probably never flog the Supra like this either.

Why? Because this car inspires so much confidence! The 2800 lbs curb weight and the way the vehicle gives feedback is a totally different vibe than a heavier grand tourer like the two aforementioned cars. As balanced as it was, the 350z specifically would have been crying "uncle" taking those bends at those kinds of speeds-- and even though it undoubtedly could have, I would have been terrified trying it. Not so with the substantially more nimble and communicative 86.

Incidentally, the throttle-- which I do not like during "normal" driving-- is a non-factor when really pushing the car: you're pressing hard, so the dead space never becomes an issue. This is why reviewers never mention it: most reviews are done either on track, or in some other setting where they are doing more or less what I did.

The other compliment I want to give the car is the engine sound: at low RPM the vehicle is indistinguishable from an econobox. At high RPM however, it lets out a sort of bellow, or howl which almost reminds me of a Japanese sport bike. If a magician waved his magic wand, and said "Alakazam! I will turn your Kawasaki bike into a car! *poof*", out of the dissipating fog would be a Toyota GR86.

My one and only complaint with this car at the limits is that it simply lacks that punch coming out of the corners: I would open the throttle full wide exiting a bend, and wanted to be thrown back in my seat-- only to be disappointed each time. The car certainly isn't slow, but boy do I wish they had a turbo version of this vehicle: it would be the perfect car for me. Alas.

Upcoming Game Reviews

On a whim I installed "Redfall" on my PC via Game Pass, just to see how big a train wreck it is-- and against all odds I actually like the game. It's a "straight C" kind of title, don't get me wrong, and I will get into that via my review-- but it has an interesting combination of gameplay elements going into it, which compel me to want to play it more. I also bought the latest "Zelda" title yesterday, so expect a review of that one in a month or two, along with "Honkai: Star Rail" on iOS.
World Needs a Reboot - 15:55 CST, 5/04/23 (Sniper)
I keep listening to new albums via Apple Music. Today it's Symphony X's "V: The New Mythology Suite". They are sort of a one-trick pony as a band, but the trick is pretty good in this one.

Patience Required?

This reminds me of when the Cultural Marxism stuff started coming through several years ago, and just how nutty it was and is. Now it's apparently expanding, where people are blinding themselves or chopping off their nutsacks because they "identify" as crippled or as eunuchs.

The saving grace of the Woke movement is that hardly any of its members reproduce; in theory the genetic propensity to fall for this kind of Twilight Zone nonsense will breed itself out of the population. Unfortunately, the two generations indoctrinated in the ideology are very young: how much damage will they do over the ensuing decades until they pass from old age or from WuFlu booster shot number sixty seven?

Of course, we might not even be waiting that long: we could legitimately be in The End Times right now. I'm not an expert in those scriptural prophecies, but I know people who are, who are reasonably convinced we're close to the end of the road. 2033 would mark the two thousandth anniversary since Christ's Resurrection: there is an interesting symmetry there. Minimally, things will settle into some new equilibrium for the new First Turning. Unfortunately, "equilibrium" could be "New Soviet Union."

How Can It Get Worse?

On that very note, it's frightening listening to young people talk: "January 6th" protesters are being beaten in gulags without due process, while the Hair Sniffer In Chief went up on a Darth Vader black and blood red stage pronouncing that white people are terrorists-- and the young folks want a more "progressive" candidate? Lenin's corpse is still viable, maybe they can reanimate his brain too?

"No Justice No Peace", where "justice" means a law system built around the Victimhood Olympics. Is that "progress"? Or banning cars so no one can travel? How about eliminating "fossil fuels" so billions of people around the world starve? While we're at it, why not just round all white men up and simply execute them altogether? With how absurdly Left the world already is, what does "more progressive" even look like at this point?

Better Than I'd Thought?

My original hypothesis regarding Tucker Carlson was that his value derived from hitting millions of Boomer viewers every night with "75% towards the truth" realities, which that audience wouldn't normally get. In other words, if one were to dump him off a mainstream television network and into the wide pool of YouTubers, there are other people who are simply closer to the truth than him. Incidentally, these days my favorite is Vincent James, to whom I listen via Gab TV.

But the more I've heard from Tucker via recent interviews and podcasts which are suddenly surfacing, the more I'm shifting my opinion towards "Ok, this guy really does know his stuff-- he was just being heavily shackled by his employer." Now there are various clips, intended to make him look bad, which simply paint him in an even more positive light. I will very closely watch what Tucker decides to do next: perhaps he can team up with one of his best friends, the also-excellent Alex Jones?

End of Xbox

Take a listen to the ever obnoxiously corporate Phil Spencer on an equally nauseating podcast explain how the concept of "Xbox" consoles is not long for this world, and how the division is simply going to shift towards cloud streaming. He doesn't use those exact words, but it doesn't take a genius to interpret what he's saying. And there's no missing context either: feel free to rewind from the timestamp-- his words are what they are.

On the Nintendo front, everyone is just waiting for that "Switch 2" announcement, which has to be coming pretty soon. If it's backwards-compatible I will probably buy one, since I have an enormous library of physical Switch titles. As for Sony, the PlayStation 5 Pro is coming next year-- but what games are there to play within their ecosystem? Their first-party titles are either Hollywood walking simulators, have gross dykey protagonists such as in "The Last of Us 2", "Horizon: Forbidden West", and "Returnal", or both.

Then you've got PC, which has no exclusives outside of "pixelshit" indie titles: the PC is a third party-only platform, by its nature. And as we all know, third-party developers can't produce working software these days to save their lives. The industry could really use a brand new platform with deliberately-constrained specs: maybe it could be a 32-bit machine, like a new PSX with a simple-to-program SoC? That would force developers to keep their project scopes in check, go back to focusing more on rich gameplay, and allow for more risk taking.

Of course, nothing would stop them from making Woke or pretentious content on the new system as well. But maybe with 3DO-Saturn-PSX visuals, not enough red haired SJWs would even be interested in the ecosystem?
Funcolands and Malls - 13:21 CST, 4/29/23 (Sniper)
One of my favorite places to go in the 90s, in the first years it opened, was the Mall of America. It had every imaginable electronics store: multiple Radio Shacks, two Funcolands, two Electronics Boutiques, an EBX, and this weird store on the main floor right by Camp Snoopy called "Game Stop". They had a food court with all of the best places: Taco Bell, Burger King, McDonald's, and so forth. And the food court overlooked the aforementioned Camp Snoopy's rollercoaster, creating a super cool, echoey, open-air ambience.

Today though, I would not feel safe taking my kids there. These kinds of incidents-- black people quite literally going around shooting at each other, mugging other patrons, and so forth-- happen there all of the time. This would have been unheard of in the early 90s, when I frequented the mall. It reminds me of what happened to Brookdale Mall, another place I used to frequent: a huge wave of black people moved from North Murderapolis to Brooklyn Center, and within fifteen years the mall was almost totally vacant. Then they plowed down the mall and put a Walmart on that spot, and now the Walmart has been closed due to crime also.

Here is another mall, this one in Baltimore, which has seen the same fate. To be clear, ravaging bands of violent people are not the only reason malls have been closing over the past twenty years-- but in the past five years, it has I'm sure been the top reason. Here is the mayor of Brooklyn Center: count the number of times her about page says "oppressed" or "oppression". What a clown: total ideologue. She's never had a real job it appears: finished college in 2010 and went straight into the government. People deserve the government they vote for, and now they no longer have a Target or a Walmart.

The other problem with the Mall of America is that they turned it from a "fun for blue collar middle class families"-- you know, normal people who aren't sick in the head-- into a "pretentious coffee shop" kind of atmosphere for guilty white Wayzata liberals with empty lives. There are no more electronics stores, the awesome fast food court is long gone. I think this is because there no longer is a blue collar middle class in major metropolitan areas, so the mall had to target a different demographic. But in part due to the Blight Rail, it attracted an unintended demographic instead.

Another long-standing personal tradition I've abandoned is the Minnesota State Fair. I predicted there would be a shooting there last year, and there was. I predict there will be at least one this year too, probably multiple. As a replacement, my family really enjoys our local county fair: the food is just as good, it's a wholesome white Christian atmosphere like I remember the State Fair being when I was a kid, there is no crime or litter, and they have fun rides for the kids to boot.

Middle-Aged Game Players

I found this to be an interesting article. It's not often I see Gen X'ers addressed in any way regarding video games. Although the article's author focused more on mechanical issues-- "too many buttons", "too complicated to play", etc.-- I bet the aesthetics and constant Woke messaging is a major issue for my fellow generational cohorts. In fact, I know it is among other Gen X'ers with whom I regularly speak about video games. It's that "Invasion of the Hobby Snatchers" post I wrote back in 2019, mixed with a bit of Yuri Bezmenov.

Political Philosophies

For a long time I wrote about and espoused Libertarian principles, specifically Anarcho-Capitalism. But as time has elapsed and I have observed the world around me, I've come to realize that certain approaches yield generally positive outcomes in some situations, yet are disastrous in others. Where I live now, what is in effect Anarch-Capitalism spontaneously emerged, because no one commits any crimes-- so there are basically no police, and other than property taxes the State plays an essentially invisible role in people's lives. But if one were to eradicate the State in Murderapolis, it would be complete chaos because heathens would run amok.

In point of fact and somewhat ironically, this is what the Demoncrats are attempting by eliminating cash bail, de-criminalizing theft, or refusing to prosecute people for even violent crimes: the cities has become absolutely chaotic. Anarcho-Capitalism doesn't work when a critical mass of the population are violent, uneducated, illiterate hedonists.

There is also a thing my brother said to me a few years ago: "The State isn't a thing to be eliminated or minimized: it's a thing to be wielded." One thing I've learned over the past couple of years is that vicious sociopaths absolutely will take over the State apparatus, and destroy its ideological opposition with it, as they have done and are presently doing. They follow Herbert Marcuse's idea of "intolerant tolerance"-- meaning, toleration for Left-wing ideas and no toleration for Right-wing notions. Libertarians, by contrast, are tolerant of all ideas, up until someone points a gun at their head-- by which point it's too late. They yielded power, and the other side laughingly and gladly obliged them by taking all of the power!

Libertarianism is often a completely self-defeating ideology. As are its corollary ideas, like pluralism and democracy.

This suggests to me that my brother was correct: "our side" should take control of the State apparatus, and outlaw-- with severe penalties-- philosophies counter to our will. It could be similar to what Hitler did once he consolidated power: put all of the pornography and Communist literature into huge bonfires, and start an exchange program to get as many Jews out of the country as possible. Someone like a George Soros would be persona non grata, and anyone found accepting money from people of his ilk would be dealt with severely. We should outlaw behaviors contrary to Christian morality.

In other words, I think today I would describe myself as something of a Fascist. Or perhaps, a Christian Theocrat. In another time or place, I would undoubtedly advocate for some alternative approach. Pendulums swing, different situations call for different measures. But right now, we have a lot of house cleaning to do.

More GR86 Impressions

The wife has had some chances to cruise around in the GR86 over the past couple of days. She doesn't read this blog ordinarily, and so didn't see this post. I also did not share my opinions with her verbally, so as to not influence her impressions. Her take on the car, uncolored by neither punditry nor myself, was something like as follows:

She had no clue what the engine was doing at any given time: the throttle is mushy and indirect, and there is virtually no exhaust note-- so it is like flying in an airliner-- the windows communicate that you are moving, but there is very little feedback beyond that; The clutch is vague, but has such a generous "catch" window that she wondered if it was even possible to kill the car; The steering is not as pleasantly heavy as the outgoing 350z's, but also didn't feel twitchy on the highway like her WRX's; visibility out of the car is miles better than was the case with the aforementioned 350z; the car feels surprisingly quick, more powerful than she was expecting.

On the balance she gave it a "C": "The car itself is fine and even good by modern-car standards I guess-- but cars have really gone backwards over the past several years: they feel less visceral and more indirect, like computers with wheels."
2023 Toyota GR86 - 20:00 CST, 4/24/23 (Sniper)
After almost fourteen years, I said goodbye to the 350z today and exchanged it for a 2023 Toyota GR86. The odometer read "21" when I hopped behind the wheel. Here it is, parked on my property after having driven it home.

I took a route home with lots of curvy roads. Here are my impressions:

  • The car is much more lightly sprung than I expected, especially when compared to the 350z. It also has noticeably more body roll than the aforementioned Nissan, for example if you jerk the steering wheel back and forth.

  • In spite of this, I absolutely love the way the car turns in: you point the nose, and it almost leaps into the corner. From a pure suspension engineering wizardry standpoint, it reminds me of my brother's old Acura RSX Type-S, but with the "rotating around your spine" rear-drive sensation of the 350z. Handling is the strongest suit of this car, and it's not even close.

  • I knew the car would feel agile, but it was the overall grip threshold which surprised me. The OEM tires on this car are not good, but even then I took a moderately tight back-road segment going nearly 100 mph, and the car wasn't anywhere near its limit. I think my 350z, even with its much superior tires, would have been crying "uncle" there, at that speed.

  • This is only the second electric steering rack I've ever used. The first was on a rental car, and it was so terrible I felt more like I was aiming the car than steering it. The GR86's is much better than that. In fact, it's almost as communicative as the hydraulic rack in the 350z. The feel is light, sort of like in my wife's 2014 WRX. I like the tiny steering wheel: the small radius feels very driver-centric in its design.

  • The brakes are terrible. They feel like they are off of an economy car. The 350z's brakes feel twice as strong, which is incredible considering they have an addition 500 pounds of curb weight to stop. If I wind up keeping this GR86, I will buy a much, much larger brake kit for it: the stock ones are borderline unacceptable.

  • On another negative note, I am not a fan of the throttle at all. It feels very vague, mushy, and imprecise. It's like it doesn't cue power delivery to the engine along a linear curve or something. I can't make heads nor tails of it. Maybe I'll get used to it, but it feels out of place in a performance car, compared to both my "physical cable" 350z throttle and the drive-by-wire in the WRX.

  • I didn't want to push the engine too hard during the break-in period, but I was surprised at how flat the torque curve felt compared to what I was expecting. I didn't go past 4500 rpm, but eyeballing things the car is very comparable to the 350z in terms of acceleration, if not a smidgen quicker. It doesn't have the "beefy" feedback that the 3.5 liter V6 has, obviously, but simply in numbers terms it's a deceptively quick car.

  • Boxer engines are notorious for not producing very pleasant sounds, and the unit in this car proves that point. There is virtually no exhaust note to speak of, and other than some tire road noise the cabin is very quiet even during acceleration. Engine noise is one of this car's weakest points.

  • The gearbox is solid: kind of notchy feeling. Not as good as the one in the 350z, but better than the one in the WRX. Like the WRX, the clutch action is very light. It's not very good at communicating its catch point, and I find the thing to be a little vague in general. The clutch is merely serviceable.

  • The car has a "track button", which I played around with quite a bit. I couldn't quite tell what it was doing: I swear the suspension felt a little tighter, or the handling had subtly changed in some tough-to-define way. The car just felt "sharper", but I don't know how much of that was placebo. I think the engine note was different as well: maybe the "track mode" pipes in fake noise through the speakers or something. I'll need to do some reading about that. One thing is for sure does is change the digital gauge cluster layout. The horizontal RPM format reminds me of the Corvette ZR1 from the 3DO's "The Need for Speed".

  • The car's interior is pretty spartan, with odd-looking large circular vents next to the driver and passenger doors. I did get the touch screen hooked up to my phone via Apple CarPlay. I'm so used to looking at my phone in the cup holder for the sat nav map that I had to keep reminding myself: it's on the dashboard in this car! It was really neat firing up Apple Music, and having my entire album library accessible in the car.

  • Why the heck do cars have the silly "push button" starters these days? I'd rather just have a key. In this car, the button cycles between off, accessory, and power. If you depress the clutch and brake pedals and then press the button, it starts the engine. The doors unlock themselves when you put your hands on the handles, if you have the fob nearby. Lots of bizarre and totally unnecessary gadgetry and complexity.

  • People weren't kidding then they told me the back seats were small. 2+2, indeed. I had my son climb in behind me, my wife went in the other back seat, and my daughter sat in the passenger chair. It was hilarious, like a little clown car. Oddly, the passenger-side rear seat has no seat belt! It has the portion which gets snapped into, but the belt itself is absent. I've emailed my sales manager buddy about that. The car also didn't come with floor mats somehow. Talk about cost-cutting.

Overall, I give the 2023 GR86 a "B" so far. This versus the "C+" of the 350z, and the "A-" of the WRX.

The GR86 feels like a budget car: I'm not generally a huge fan of four-cylinder engines and the way they feel-- the inclusion of one in this vehicle in particular is part of what provides that "budget" sensation. The lousy brakes and merely serviceable gearbox plus clutch, both of which remind me of my brother's Honda Civic, contribute to the economy car, "they were trying to control costs" impression. The fact that I didn't get floor mats or even four seat belts doesn't help matters. Shrinkflation is alive and well.

But that suspension... it is pure magic. And the car looks like a million bucks too. I'll continue to write more about it as I continue to drive it over time. I'm going to have my wife take it into town this week as well, to get her impressions.
Three-Way Car Comparison - 17:53 CST, 4/23/23 (Sniper)
I'm picking up the new GR86 tomorrow, and in preparation I did a little project in "Gran Turismo 7" on the PlayStation 5 to compare my current car, my new car, and what I hope will be my eventual car. All they had was the "HR" version of my 350z, so I introduced a power limiter to drop it to as close to my real car's horse power as possible-- to 288, from 306. The other caveat was that the game only had the AT Supra, not the new MT one. I could have looked up the MT gear ratios and plugged them in, but got lazy.

With that preface, you can see each car's "PP" value, which is the same concept as the "PI" value from the "Forza Motorsport" series: it is a theoretical number averaging each car's track time potential across a variety of courses. According to GT7, the GR Supra is way out in front with a PP value of 544.49, followed by my current car at 508.53, with the GR86 taking up the rear with 489.07.

To test the three cars, I did six successive laps around Tsukuba with each of them via the game's time trial mode. The results were like this, with an asterisk I will get to in a second:

The results fell roughly in line with the game's calculated PP values: the GR Supra was way out in front, my car was in the middle, and the GR86 was very close behind. But now is where subjectivity comes into play.

I actually gave myself seven laps with the GR Supra: the car was such a handful on a tight, twisty track like Tsukuba that I was having a really difficult time being consistent. After six laps, my best time was 1:05.356-- but the segment times were all over the place: on one lap I would nail one section but have huge tire spin on a key corner; on the next lap I would would bang off the limiter exiting a turn due to how crazy fast the engine revs; then on another lap, I would do well but carry too much speed into the final curve and go off into the dirt.

The GR Supra is a pretty heavy car by Japanese standards, and even with the sophisticated suspension and the nice way it rotated, it was very fussy. It felt like there were so many roads to failure that putting together a nice clean lap was a chore. I did take the car around Laguna Seca as well, and on a higher speed track with less demand for corner carving the car felt much more at home.

Next let me discuss the 350z. The car is about the same weight as the GR Supra, but has nowhere near the engineering sophistication: it was almost impossible to aim the car at an apex and actually hit it. The car felt pretty flat but understeered a ton, and just didn't want to change direction very well. I was able to be more consistent with it than I was the GR Supra, but it sort of felt like I was wrestling with a bear the entire time. I still had fun with it, but Tsukuba gauntlet really exposed all of this car's weaknesses in a huge way.

I've been driving this car in real life for the past thirteen years. It felt pretty convincing in the game overall. The car does feel heavy, with weighty steering, and does tend to understeer until you whip the back end into line with the throttle. It's more of a blunt weapon than a precision instrument.

Now let's discuss the GR86. From the first lap to the sixth, I was able to get extremely consistent times, getting just a bit quicker each time as my skill increased. You point your eyeballs at an apex and the car just goes there, with zero drama or delay. The car feels much more agile and precise than the other way, and I far and away had the least frustrating time driving it. While I wasn't able to match the 350z's best lap time, my average lap times were vastly more clustered together.

In general, the GR86 was by far the most enjoyable car to drive on Tsukuba. But on a higher speed track it would definitely fall behind the other two cars, especially the GR Supra which would leave it in the dust.

I also fiddled around with GT7's "scapes" photo mode a bit, to get a sense of the three cars' proportions compared to one another.

Death by Irony - 18:27 CST, 4/21/23 (Sniper)
I've had various scribblings for a blog post written for many days now, but I've been so busy I haven't had a chance to put it all together and post it!

Winter and Sports Cars

My new 2023 GR86 came in on Wednesday, but in absolutely ridiculous fashion my area received multiple inches of snow, two-thirds the way through April. As such, I had to postpone picking the vehicle up until this upcoming Monday. My sales manager buddy did send me a picture of it though:

I looked at the differences between this base model and the "Premium" trim. I prefer the smaller seventeen inch wheels, as tires are cheaper; I'm "take it or leave it" regarding the "duck" spoiler; the aluminum pedals are a gaping absence however, and I will address those with an aftermarket solution; the OEM tires are awful, but hopefully I won't be driving the car this next winter anyway.

It's a cool car, but I'm not "feeling" it, at least not yet.

Outside of the "as exciting as a toaster" SUV I bought for my wife many years ago-- and which we subsequently sold just a couple of years after that-- I haven't been this disinterested in a new car. In part, it feels like I'm going backwards from what was an expensive premium vehicle in 2002 with a big engine and rapid-acceleration-for-the-time, to an entry-level budget car with a four banger. This isn't the car I wanted, and I do hope my GR Supra comes in relatively soon so the GR86 can just be a stop-gap measure.

All the same, I'll go into it with an open mind. People say it's really fun to drive, and being able to take my car when hauling the kids around is going to be nice. From a financial standpoint, I would have been stupid to pass this opportunity as the car will appreciate by ten grand as soon as I drive it off the lot. I'm going to pay cash for it, so it will be a monstrous downpayment on the GR Supra, giving me low payments for that vehicle.

The Left and Religiosity

There was a fairly recent episode of "Tucker Carlson Tonight" which explored the religious nature of the "transgender" movement. I feel bad for the subset of these people who have legitimately damaged brains and hormone ratios, causing them to exhibit the mental illness known as "dysphoria". I have some "mental health" issues myself, so I'm sympathetic. That said I would never, in a million years, rampage through hallways shouting obscenities, like a toddler throwing a tantrum in a playpen, at people who disagree with me-- much less physically assault or shoot someone, for Pete's sake.

In the Riley Gaines segment, the police wouldn't help her, instead shutting her into a classroom for three hours. She said the cops wouldn't intervene because they "knew what that group was capable of"-- but that's not it at all. Remember Derek Chauvin? Violent criminal black guy passed counterfeit money; Chauvin pinioned the dude, straight out of the training materials, waiting for a squad car to arrive; dude is so loaded with Fentanyl that he died from a heart attack on the pavement; and the cop went to jail for doing his job, because black people are a legally-protected oppressor class, and the cop was a white male.

Given that context, the almost impossibly ideological White House, plus Soros-bought district attorneys all throughout the country, can you imagine if a cop had cuffed one of these mob members? Have fun spending years in prison. At least Riley Gaines is pressing charges against the people who laid hands on her-- it's all caught on film.


It's because of people like this creature that we are where we are today. This degenerate is a man who had children, then decided to become a tranny. The State let this individual keep custody of the kids. What a surprise, he's also a Jew. Just as surprising, he spends his free time writing books attacking Christian churches. This is one gross human being.

Mike Gallagher

Another reason for our current predicament involves Republican war hawks like this fellow, named "Mike Gallagher". According to the article's author, this man's role is "developing an action plan to defend the American people, its economy, and values from CCP aggression".

Last time I checked, China isn't threatening the American people: I don't think there are any Chinese warships sitting off the coast of New York City, and I haven't seen any Chinese jet fighters flying over my house. By contrast, the US is floating aircraft carriers through waters right off of their territory. I also don't think China is threatening America's economy; they manufacture almost literally everything we buy, and in exchange they get intrinsically worthless paper dollars-- if anything they are the ones getting the short end of the stick, economically.

So what is all of this about then? "Russia's ongoing conquest of Ukraine, and the United States' failure to deter it, contain all the lessons necessary to prepare for what comes next in Taiwan."


Russia invaded Ukraine because the West and NATO ignored decades of warnings and redlines from the Kremlim. It'd be like someone punching you repeatedly: "If you punch me one more time, I am going to punch you back". You punch them back, and the person screeches "Stop attacking me!" The Ukraine war is one hundred percent the fault of the West, and if I were Vladimir Putin I would have invaded even sooner. I hope Ukraine surrenders, Russia captures that entire country, and the Russians do a little taunting jig once they're done, for good measure.

Let's also not forget that it's people like this Mike Gallagher, Boris Johnson, and other Western Globohomos who have been repeatedly sabotaging any peace overtures from the Kremlin. The Ukraine conflict would have been over a long, long time if it weren't for Western meddling. The West wants to sacrifice every last man, woman, and child in that country so they can depose Vladimir Putin, because they hilariously blame him for Hillary's loss in 2016.

It's all about regime change-- because that philosophy works so well at making the world safer for Americans.

Regarding Taiwan, I don't know enough about what commitments the idiotic US government has made to them in the past to know if the former are still obligated to provide protection to the latter-- but the fact that people like this Gallagher dude are using Yoo-Crane as some kind of analogy tells me a lot of what I need to know about the subject.

Testosterone Crisis

Here was Paolo Maldini, when he was young. Here is his son, at roughly the same age. Part of why I like watching professional sports is seeing "peak masculinity": huge muscles, square jawlines, big brow ridges, ruddy skin, and what those kinds of bodies can do while playing gridiron, tennis, football, rugby, or whatever. I still enjoy my football, but the really strange appearance of modern players is constantly distracting to me. They have the faces of eight or nine year-old boys, but bolted onto body frames which are six feet tall. This "Frankenstein's Monster", grafted and stitched-together appearance is unsettling.

America Today

Here are hundreds of blacks running around in Chicago smashing windows, destroying cars, and stealing things out of store fronts. Here is a group of fat drunk white guys and obese hispanic women beating each other up during a baseball game, with some "IQ of 40" rap music playing in the stadium. Here are some more blacks, this time at your friendly neighborhood gas station. Here are yet more blacks, this time saying they need to "get active" while beating a white woman to a bloody pulp. Here are some blacks and hispanics robbing a convenience store. Meanwhile in Baltimore, here is yet another mob of hundreds of blacks running around, with the sound of gunshots in the background.

Remember, the average American who goes off to college needs one-to-two-years of remedial education in reading comprehension and basic math skills. They don't know a thing about the country's history, or probably even where Europe is on a map.


As an ardent and devout Catholic, I view Protestants as fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. But every single time I see a picture like this, it's in a Protestant church. I think this is because many of the people attracted to Protestantism, in lieu of the Orthodox or Catholic faiths, are there because of sections in the Bible they don't agree with: so they accept a "watered down" form of Christianity, which gives them what they want. That's also why there are fifty bazillion Protestant denominations: they splinter each time they aren't allowed to get a divorce, or whatever other scripture interpretation they don't like.

I mean, they don't even believe Jesus's words "This is my body." So instead they drink little paper cups of grape juice. It may as well be Mountain Dew and Doritos, because the Eucharist doesn't mean anything substantive to them. I don't mean this as an attack-- it's just my opinion, the way I see it.

By contrast, the Catholic and Orthodox churches are more armored against this kind of usurpation, because they take a more hard-line view of scripture, and are more conservative in the sense that they don't change things very often-- and when they do, they take a lot of time to deliberate about the proposed alterations. Maybe some day there will be tranny story hour at a Catholic Church, but I tend to doubt it: the presiding priest would be excommunicated on the spot, and the congregation would shift to neighboring Catholic churches immediately.

Street Fighter VI

The "Street Fighter VI" PlayStation 5 demo came out yesterday. "V" was a dramatic departure from the traditional series gameplay, in that the camera was pulled way in, and the battles flowed more like those from grapple-oriented 3D fighters such as "Tekken" or "Virtual Fighter". Needless to say, I wasn't a fan. "VI" doubles down on that style.

In addition, "VI" goes so woke that the game feels like a parody, either of wokeness in general or of the fact there are "Gen Z" youngsters out there who actually like this sort of stuff. For example, one of the demo's videos features a muscular gay black guy with purple hair and garter straps. He's so over-the-top faggy in his mannerisms, that it immediately brought to mind this sub-boss from "Bare Knuckle III". In fact, the two designs are very similar.

The same goes for the new characters: there isn't just one crazy black haired lady, but two! And of course, there is this gem of a design, which will surely go down as a timeless classic in the same vein as those of Ryu, Guile, and Chun-Li.

When I was a kid and teenager in the 80s and 90s, we rightfully made fun of this stuff, and intentionally ridiculous characters in video games reflected that. Today's game designers make identical-to-the-former-parody designs, but in seriousness! That's how "Twilight Zone" our culture has become.

But in a bizarre twist, this all makes me more interested in "Street Fighter VI", to the point where I may in fact buy it at some point. If the future of wokeness is that it goes full circle and winds up eating its own tail, becoming a hilarious comic-relief caricature of its own core values, count me in: that would be an outcome I would readily embrace; death by irony! The game also features a "One Must Fall: 2097"-esque RPG mode, which sounds intriguing.
Weirdos and Cars - 12:11 CST, 4/14/23 (Sniper)
Imagine these scenarios:

  • Guy A walks up to Guy B, unprovoked, sucker punches him in the head. This happens in real-time, right in front of you and a second person. You say, "Holy Moses, Guy A needs to be go to jail, wow!" But not the person next to you: "Guy B had it coming. He was white, Guy A was black. Guy A has had a disadvantaged life, which is why he acts the way he does."

  • Person works hard, saves their money, buys a nice new car which they can use to get to work, drive their kids to visit friends, haul lumber to work on their house, and so forth. You say, "Congratulations, nice car!" But not the person next to you: "You realize you're destroying the environment right?"

  • Politician gets arrested on obviously bogus charges, which aren't even within jurisdiction or their statute of limitations, because the politician is leading in the polls. You say, "Wow, are we a third-world country now?" But not the person next to you: "Serves him right, he won't allow us to chemically castrate children or have anal sex books in Kindergarten school libraries."

  • It's raining out. You say, "Ahhh, our first rain of many, of the new spring!" But not the person next to you: "And you don't believe in climate change..."

It's almost impossible to have any kind of relationship with ideologues. They don't live in objective reality with the rest of us: instead, they judge absolutely everything, from the food you eat to the clothes you buy to the job you have to the church you attend or don't attend, through crazy goggles.

You and the ideologue can both witness, in real-time, in person, a piano falling on someone's head feet in front of you, and the ideologue will say that it was a table, not a piano. They will argue that grass is not green. They will argue that gravity repels things from Earth. It makes consistent communication and the formation of any authentic relationship almost impossible.

A Little Toyota History

Starting in 1978, Toyota made a car called the "Supra". It was a rear-drive sports coupe with a manual transmission gearbox and an inline six. The fourth generation of that car is very familiar to fellow 3DO fans, as it's one of the eight vehicles in "The Need for Speed". It was a grand touring car. Like all grand tourers, the Supra was known for its brisk acceleration especially in the turbocharged variant, comfortable interior, and relatively high curb weight at 3400 lbs.

Just like the discontinued-in-1996 Nissan Z car, the rise of SUVs, slow-paced sales, and changing currency valuations made it an easy decision for Toyota to end Supra production, in 2002. They then also killed off Celica in 2006, followed by the mid-engined MR2 in 2007. For the first time since 1965, with the Sports 800 and 1970 with the Celica, Toyota did not have a sports car to bring people into the showroom floor.

But behind closed doors, Toyota's engineers were hard at work on a new rear-drive platform. The physics model was all worked out, focusing on balance and light weight. The whole model depended on having the lowest possible center of gravity. Originally, they had a V6-hybrid system in place, but were in fact scouring the market for a smaller engine which would meet their requirements. During this research, they came across the perfect engine from, of all companies, Subaru: Since the 1960s Subaru had been mastering the art of boxer engines. Because boxer engines are compact and longitudinally mounted due to their design, one could be bolted onto the new platform's chassis very close to the road surface.

After some initial problems during negotiations, Subaru eventually not only entered into the licensing deal for the motor, but decided to offer their own variant of the car. This was unusual, because for decades Subaru was focused on all-wheel drive utility-oriented vehicles, not rear-wheel drive performance cars. Nonetheless, the car came to market in 2012 as the Subaru BRZ, while the Toyota version was marketed as the Scion FR-S in America, and the 86 or GT86 variously in other parts of the world.

The car was immediately compared favorably by pundits to the Mazda MX-5: both cars were focused less on straight-line acceleration, and more on spunky rear-drive handling dynamics owing to their light weight. Both were cars that had very predictable limits and could be driven in an enthusiastic way in every day scenarios-- versus more powerful vehicles which rapidly exceeded speed limits, and whose performance envelopes could only be realistically explored in a track setting. For almost a quarter of a century to that point, the MX-5 was widely applauded as the most fun car money could buy, even by owners of Ferraris and other exotic vehicles. For the new "Toyobaru" to hit that level of perception was a huge accomplishment.

A second generation was introduced for the 2022 model year. It had a re-designed body, a significantly stiffer chassis, more power, and other enhancements. Since Toyota had pulled the plug on the Scion brand, they named the new car the "Toyota GR86".

At the end of the 2010s, Toyota surprised the world again: in spite of having released the successful "86", they were adding a second sports car to their line-up, shockingly reviving the famous "Supra" nameplate! The Supra has always been synonymous with the inline six. But Toyota did not have such an engine in their stable-- and given today's absurd regulatory apparatus, engineering a new powerplant is prohibitively expensive. Once again, Toyota started scouring the other auto makers for an engine to suit the purpose. And they found one! Volkswagen Group.

Some time ago, Volkswagen Group had engineered a monstrous 450 horse power, twin-turbo inline six. They had been pairing this engine with a variety of BMW products. Since the last joint venture went so well for Toyota, they decided to enter into a second one, this time with the Germans. Toyota licensed the BMW Z4 schematics, engine and all, then set about designing brand new sheet metal, and performing custom-tailored platform and suspension adjustments. The final product was released for the 2018 model year as the "Toyota GR Supra".

The car was met with a mixture of emotions: on the one hand it could do zero-to-sixty in under four seconds, which was greater-than-supercar performance from just the early 2000s. It also had sharp handling, and could pull 1.02g's on the skidpad. On the other hand, its grand tourer curb weight of 3343 lbs meant it lacked agility, road feel, and personality. In addition, it was only available with an automatic, paddle-shifted transmission. Finally though, for the 2023 model year and after years of persistent rumors, a manual transmission version was offered, making the car much more desirable for driving purists.

Unicorn Cars

I've been on a waiting list since last August for one of these fabled manual transmission GR Supras. With a few mouse clicks, my sales manager buddy can see the entire Toyota dealer network: orders requested, deliveries made. Tens of thousands of people want this car, yet in the entire country, only twenty two are currently in the dealer "order-delivery" circulation pipeline. Not 22,000, not 2200, not even 220: 22. It's a similar situation with the GR86: there are so few of them making their way to dealers, that used examples of the $30k MSRP model are selling for $40k! In other words, if you did somehow manage to get one, you could flip it instantly for ten thousand dollars.

Two nights ago I got a phone call from my friend. "Still nothing on the Supra, but I have... a different proposal for you." He went on to explain that, absolutely out of nowhere, he was allocated a red, base model with extras, manual transmission GR86. He has no idea why it was allocated to him, or from where-- but there it was, arriving next week! The first thing he did when he saw this was to pick up the phone and call me: "Why don't you buy this from me, we'll keep your down-payment on the Supra, then when it comes you just trade me back the GR86? It'll give you a fun new car to drive over the summer, and other than sales tax won't cost you a penny."

The wife and I considered it a no-brainer: I would essentially get an extended free rental car, and wouldn't give up my waiting list spot for the Supra. What a deal!

This weekend I will be giving the venerable 350z a good wash and a vacuum, for my final time driving it-- to the dealership to trade it in. It's always been a good-but-not-great car: doesn't feel as quick as it should, has poor road feedback, feels heavy. Conversely, it's very balanced and looks like a million bucks. I won't really miss it in truth: I'm bored and long-past ready for a new ride.
Walking on Ice - 08:45 CST, 4/07/23 (Sniper)
One hundred and twelve hours and many months after I began, I've finally beaten "Xenoblade Chronicles 3". I also just reviewed "Double Dragon II" for PC Engine. The next game on my list is "Diablo Immortal", which I have downloading and installing on my iPhone as I type this. I want to review it before "Diablo IV" comes out, so I can compare the two.

Coded Language

I've already covered "DIE": "diversity", "inclusion", and "equity". In order they mean "no whites" and "no men"; only people who think exactly like me; and Victimhood Olympics-derived outcomes enforced at gunpoint. I could add to that "democracy", which means an authoritarian uniparty system with fake elections, ala the "Democratic People's Republic of Korea". Here, Eric Peters describes another term in the Woke lexicon: "sustainability"-- it's well worth a read.

Gentle Exploration

When I talk to young people, I often encounter woke crusaders. Sometimes for amusement I will gently probe these people's worldviews. Today one of them said that she'd played the "Resident Evil 4 Remake". Very gently, I asked her how much the game was "retconned"-- for example Ashley has had her skirt replaced and was deliberately made uglier. I equated it with the Super Nintendo version of "Wolfenstein 3D" having giant rats instead of dogs, against the will of the game's original creators.

Her reply was shaky and inconsistent: first she said that my comparison wasn't apt because this "RE4 Remake" was just too different of a game, and should be evaluated by itself. Then she shifted her story and said that it was great how the game was adapted to "modern society", and how the "icky" humor was all gone-- "we shouldn't sexualize characters".

Two next questions were on my tongue and ready to fire: What's wrong with sexualizing characters? And, she loved "God of War Ragnarok", I figured Kratos would have driven her crazy then? But having pushed far enough, I dropped the subject: I was already playing with fire. These younger generations don't respond well when their belief system is questioned. You have to be very cautious.

If this value system is still in place when I'm ready to retire in my 50s, I'm going to have a lot of fun letting lose those final few years, when I'm in a "f you" life stage with "f you" money. Even today it's tempting: for example, in a work context my employer would owe me eight full months of severance pay with full benefits if they laid me off. I've never been happy in my career, and would rather go work for the Church full-time somewhere, or maybe even drive truck. But I'm biding my time for now.

From Where Did It Come?

Why do Lefties deliberately uglify video game characters anyway?

My hypothesis is that a long time ago, feminists ran out of theoretically-legitimate things to complain about: they could vote, they had board room positions, they ran banks, and so forth. Rather than just dropping the now-purposeless field, they went off the deep end looking for further grievances. It was just too lucrative and identity-forming to find new, constructive pursuits.

At some point, they decided that to be truly free, they decided they had to be like a caricature of frat boys. To them this meant butch, no makeup, overweight, and hairy. Hence, the SJW aesthetic was born. The patriarchy crushed! But then a new problem emerged: these women hit age thirty and hadn't had children yet. They were so off-putting in character and looks that men treated them as "pump and dump" stations, versus actual long-term commitment material. Their biological clock was running out, and one-by-one they started to panic.

Rather than work on their character, personality, values, or appearance, they took the easy way out: hate men. What do men like in their video games? Titties! So the titties had to go. Revealing outfits! So the revealing outfits had to go. And while they were at it, take any beautiful female face and smack it across the head with an ugly stick-- or give it such a chiseled jaw line you could cut stone with the edges.

As for the male artists in game companies, they played and play along. They themselves are ultra effeminate from a forty-percent drop in average Testosterone from my generation to theirs. On top of that, they are enouraged to self-loathe via brain washing from pre-school on.


Thankfully, Japan hasn't yet been wokified. Having finished "The Promised Neverland", my kids and I have shifted to "My Hero Academia", as I mentioned in my previous post. My interpretation is that the series is a metaphor for self-discovery in the real world: everyone has gifts, and people can choose to recognize and improve those unique skills. I had a conversation with my kids about it: "Figure out what your 'super hero powers' are. Then, figure out who you want to be in the future, using those powers. Finally, figure out how to best get there."

One character is half-ice, half-fire-- but refuses to use his fire side due to issues from his past, which I don't want to spoil. I have found him to be relatable. From my father's side I got IQ, logic, and versatility. From my mother's side I got charisma, conversational skills, and the ability to befriend people. I've always lived my life only using my father's side, because I have lots of anxiety in social situations-- but that makes me second-rate, because people who were born to two engineer or two doctor parents are smarter than me.

In other words, I've only been using half of my power-- only half of what makes me who I am.

But now in my forties, I'm slowly-but-finally starting to get over the social anxiety issues. This means rather than suppress my mother-side, I've started to embrace it and use it to my benefit. I think in a few years I will be able to fully wield that "super power" as naturally as I've always done with my intellect. In other words, I will become closer to being self-actualized. The character in this anime series has helped inspire me to that end.
Catching Up - 09:49 CST, 4/01/23 (Sniper)
The Donald Trump indictment is shocking. I thought I couldn't be surprised by anything anymore, but this one caught me off guard. I'm not a PhD historian, but I've studied enough world history to know that these are the kinds of events which, in retrospect, tend to spark revolutions and civil wars.

Regular readers will know that, in the aftermath of the 2020 "election", I immediately recognized what had happened, what it inevitably meant, and even expressed frustration with people like Tucker Carlson, who couldn't or wouldn't call a spade a spade. But finally, people are catching up with me: on Carlson's Thursday night show, he suggested that Donald Trump shouldn't even show up to next week's arraignment. Multiples of Carlson's guests argued that maybe now is the time for escalated action, perhaps in the form of an active push for secession. One of these guests, Jason Whitlock, said he's "ready for whatever comes next." Ron DeSantis-- not on Tucker's show, mind you-- said that if asked to extradite Trump, he would not comply.

My kids and I are watching "My Hero Academia" right now, and there is a frog character named "Sue". Sue very quickly recognizes realities, and articulates them out loud without hesitation. The other characters get scared by what she says, live in denial for a little bit with their heads in the sand, but then come around eventually. I paused one of the episodes and explained that people like us-- my kids are wired very much like me-- have to be patient: like "Sue", knowing the truth doesn't make us uncomfortable like it does others. So we have to pick our spots to reveal that truth to others-- something I'm still not good at, even at my age.

But back to my initial point: you launch illegitimate legal attacks or openly jail opposition political leaders at your own peril. Every precedent you set can and will be used as a weapon right back at you, causing a complete descent into third-world madness, civil wars, and worse. And this is the scary part about modern Demoncrats, even just your "run of the mill" voters: they are so blinded by the hatred of their ideology that they are in "burn everything to the ground" mode, without even one iota of thought into the medium and long-term institutional consequences to their actions.

Big Booty Latina

Remember when Alex Stein set that trap for AOC, heckling her, and she not only fell for it but dove face-first into the cow pie by going on and on about it for days on end? AOC was "gotten" again, this time by the hilarious "Libs of TikTok" gal. Just like last time, on this occasional AOC wears everything on her sleeve, first posing for a "selfie" before realizing who the person is, then fumbles to recover with an ad hominem before running away. She's such an easy target due to her combination of stupidity, eagerness to be liked, enjoyment of playing the victim, and naivety-- with all of those factors in constant collision courses with each other, playing across her face and body language in transparent real-time.

Cyclical Time

Those who haven't read "The Fourth Turning" really should. Even people who don't advocate that specific model agree with the premise indirectly, as their own models wind up being compatible, even complimentary. For example, there is an interesting quote in this article:

"As Peter Turchin has explained, social cycles of integration and disintegration occur every 50 years or so. In integrative phases, people find reasons to cooperate. In disintegrative phases, people find reasons to disagree and fragment into divisive, polarized camps. Clearly, we're well into a disintegrative phase, and what could bring us together is not even visible."

Every model like this identifies these time spans-- in this case fifty years, but there is wiggle room depending on the cycle-- which are compatible with the "The Fourth Turning" model. After a major crisis people "find reasons to cooperate", because they don't want another crisis to occur. In the second "turning", the spoiled kids rebel against their parents, rejecting the new order in their youth. By the "fourth" turning, people "find reasons to disagree" and "fragment into divisive, polarized camps" as the seeds laid during the second "turning" have finally grown.

In our current cycle, the Boomer Woodstock hippies got snookered in by a revival of the Jew "Frankfurt School" conspiracy, calling themselves "The New Left". Now, fifty and sixty years later, the Millennials and Gen Z'ers are the Boomer's idiotic little unwitting foot soldiers, making a slow march through the institutions to the Woke drum beat.
The Truth Obfuscated - 15:17 CST, 3/29/23 (Sniper)
My repro copy of "Double Dragon II" for PC Engine came in. Just like other Famicom-to-PC Engine ports I've played, not only does this game have a hundred times more appealing aesthetic than the Famicom original, but it plays so much crisper too, what with the large sprites and perfectly stable framerate. I wouldn't say this version is quite as tight as, let's say, "Streets of Rage"-- but it's close. It feels like a 16-bit brawler, versus 8-bit brawlers which always play kind of sloppy.

Rhetoric Escalation

This saddened me. The establishment media should probably stop telling people with mental illnesses that they should arm themselves and attack people.

For the subset of "trans" people who are gender dysphoric due to out-of-whack Testosterone levels in the womb causing mal-developed brains, I can understand why they feel threatened by the mainstream media's misrepresentation of the Christian perspective on "trans" people. These ill individuals can't do much to eliminate the neurologically-errant sensations, so how are they supposed to be happy if they feel hemmed in?

Of course, what the Christians are upset by is not generally what grown adults do to their own bodies; they view it as immoral, but aren't going to send storm troopers to houses to round people up either.

What Christians actually don't want are books graphically teaching eight year-olds how to have anal sex, in school libraries; they don't want "drag queens", many of whom are pedophiles, exposing their genitals to children in libraries, or confusing children's development; and they don't think that children are mature enough to make the decision to cut off their penis or otherwise castrate themselves for the rest of their lives.

These are completely unobjectionable opinions to anyone with half a brain. And every Christian I know, including myself, wants nothing but the best for "trans" people, and everyone else for that matter. We pray for the troubled all of the time to turn to Jesus as their savior, to find relief and salvation.

I saw a clip yesterday of the despicable Liz Cheney attacking Republicans for "wanting to ban books"-- meaning, for objecting to pornography in elementary school libraries. She obviously knows the truth, but is lying for political gain as she and her ilk always do, about everything. This is how the establishment misrepresents Christian views to sow discontentment in society.

Clot Shot Fallout

As a segue on that very note, remember what the Liz Cheney-types of the world all over were saying about the clot shots, purely for political gain-- that the shots were "safe and effective"? Here is the latest data regarding the issue. As I suspected, the number of people injured by the clot shots is in the tens-of-millions. I personally know at least one person in that situation. I also had a co-worker in her twenties drop dead suddenly not too long ago.

In the sporting world, there isn't a day which goes by where I don't see a fresh video of an athlete simply falling over dead. Close to home via his Lazio ties, Lucas Leiva had to retire due to a sudden onset of heart issues. He's thirty six, and at world class fitness levels. I guarantee you it was the shots.

I thank God all of the time for giving me the wisdom to see for myself and my family the truth about these noxious injections. None of us had them, and we are fit-as-fiddles.


This is one of the most fascinating things I've read in a long time. This could be a material part of the explanation for why not just videos games, but culture at large, has become so dull: people who play videos games complain about the lack of creativity, but then go weak-knee'd by remakes of old games such as "Resident Evil 4", clamoring for more and more of the familiar.

Take the examples listed in the article, and add a few more: third-person 3D action game with dodge rolling, skill trees, and a minimap in the corner; or "metroidvania" rogue-like with pretentious pixel art and Famitracker music. Those two sentences describe probably eighty percent of games made today across the "triple A" and "indie" spaces, or maybe even more.

Remember this 2014 blog post of mine? I was observing the phenomenon even back then, without being able to quite put my finger on it.
Lies and Confusion - 10:35 CST, 3/25/23 (Sniper)
I haven't been sleeping particularly well, but felt unusually motivated to get things done today: the wife and kids are in the Twin Cities for a birthday party so, on animal duty, I fed the chickens, guinea pigs, and cats; swept the whole house; disposed of accumulated cardboard in the coop and the upper story of the house; balanced all of the finances; submitted some medical payments to my flex account; and scheduled a liquid propane refill. For lunch, I'm going to drive into town and treat myself to Chinese.

Myriad Lies

You will never get the full, root cause truth from Tucker Carlson. But all the same, his program is great at keeping people like me in the loop as to what's going on. In yesterday's episode he walks through many of the largest lies told by the Demoncrats and establishment Republicans over the past few years. There is some overlap between his list and the one I posted here.


The establishment and my Left-wing co-workers would have all told me to stay in Robbinsdale, and to send my children to the public schools. How would that have worked out? Here is a situation where a school bus driver, five minutes away from where I used to live and transporting Robbinsdale Public School children, had to frantically go into reverse and take an alternative road because "people" were aiming guns out the windows of their car. The article also cites a few instances of "children" waving handguns around in the actual schools. Of course, we know which demographic group to which these "people" and "children" undoubtedly belong: let's just say they probably aren't white Donald Trump voters.

I'm all for gun ownership, but not for young children and their parents to be waving them around at other people. I'm also all for cooking knives, but also not when they are being waved around at people.

Ivy League

Here is Victor Davis Hanson reflecting on what's going on with Stanford. Let it be noted that similar criticisms could be made of all Ivy League colleges at the moment. The scary part is that these law "students" will be the lawyers and judges of tomorrow. Black person breaks onto your property, beats you, then you shoot him in self defense? Too bad for you whitey, when the courts are controlled by radical Left ideologues. Mark Dice recently did a video about some Creepy Joe court appointees who couldn't even answer basic legal questions.

My brother is currently making a list of Ivy Leaguers and their various "NGOs": these organizations are so innumerable they almost defy counting.

Pickup Truck Drivers

Several times, covertly to my wife when I'm not around, my bizarre and very troubled father-in-law has snipped regarding me, "My truck could beat his car in a drag race." Of course like all weird things he says, my wife laughingly relays these events to me later on. Why is he so obsessed with whose vehicle can go faster? Who cares? Nonetheless and just for the sake of amusement, I looked up the zero-to-sixty time for his 2012 Ford F-150 pickup truck: 8.2 seconds. This compared to the 5.5 seconds for my 2003 Nissan 350z.

A friend of mine is trying to persuade me to buy a truck instead of my intended Toyota GR Supra, and he made a similar claim regarding trucks: "You can buy a new truck which is quicker than your car." I hate to do it, but a fact check is in order: I reviewed Ford's entire F-150 line-up, just to pick a company, and you have to buy the seventy-eight thousand dollar "Raptor" model to beat my current car in straight-line acceleration. If you go any cheaper, the best you can do is match its quarter mile time of fourteen seconds in the "Lariat" model, which is sixty-one thousand dollars.

Recall, I bought my car thirteen years ago for only fifteen thousand dollars. My wife's 2014 Subaru Impreza WRX only cost twenty-five thousand dollars brand new, and puts any of the sub-eighty thousand dollar F-150 models to shame in straight-line acceleration with its 4.7 0-60 and 13.7 1/4 mile times. My new Supra will do 0-60 in 3.8 seconds and the 1/4 mile in 12 flat, for only fifty-six thousand dollars, versus the eighty thousand of the "Raptor" F-150.

Of course, these trucks also have terrible weight distribution, so much slop in the steering you could feed a trough of pigs with them, are not available with manual transmissions, are blown about everywhere by the wind, barely fit in the lane they are so wide, can't corner or stop due to weighing upwards of 5600 lbs, feel like they're going to fly off the road even going slowly around a clover leaf due to how high they are, have no exhaust note to speak of, and are as exciting to look at or drive as a toaster oven.

This isn't to slag off trucks: they are excellent work vehicles. But performance-oriented they are not, even with the most high-end models. You can drive the high-end models in games like "Gran Turismo 7" back-to-back with actual sports cars to prove the point to yourself.

Gaming Gatekeepers

This image has been making the rounds:

I'm not familiar with a few of the examples there, but it's a solid list which gets the point across.

For me, I've been playing a lot of PC Engine lately. I just beat "Ys Book I & II" for perhaps the fourth time, and it struck me as a masterpiece yet again, fully worthy of its number six spot here. I also ordered a repro of the PC Engine adaptation of "Double Dragon II", which is very similar to the NES version but with totally re-drawn graphics and Red Book music. There are lots of fun NES games, but the Famicom aesthetic is a turn-off. So when Famicom games get PC Engine ports, such as "Downtown Nekketsu Monogatari" or the aforementioned title, I tend to take note.
How to Feel Normal - 15:00 CST, 3/18/23 (Sniper)
Regular readers will know that I suffer from such intense stress and lack of sense of well being on a daily basis that I am under a permanent condition clinically known as "derealization". I've been in therapy for some time now, and while it has helped me correct some of my errant thought processes, it is becoming increasingly clear to me that there is still some underlying root cause.

Having ruled most everything else out, a strong remaining possibility is that my condition is due to a lack of either Seratonin or endorphins, or something related to the processing or uptake of those chemicals. I've been subjecting myself to various experiences, then evaluating how "normal" I felt afterwards. Here are the five most effective things I've found, putting them in rank order from most effective to least:

  • Sexual Intercourse
  • Eating
  • Prescription Drugs
  • Pornography
  • Exercise

Taken in order, sexual intercourse only happens a handful of times per year for me, since I'm monogamous and married to a very busy and stressed out wife. Besides, the effect wears off too quickly unless it were to unrealistically happen daily. Eating brings with it the significant side effect of weight gain, which happens rapidly for me and which carries with it major blood pressure issues. Long-time readers will recall that the prescription drug "Abilify" turned me into a hyper-productive manic self, but also eliminated my ability to sleep. I've given up pornography because it does weird things to the brain's receptors. And exercise is only effective when I get massive amounts of it, and it is very rigorous-- which is difficult to consistently obtain in my relatively isolated rural setting, plus given my inherent laziness and hatred of "exercise for the sake of it".

I feel phenomenal today, almost anxiety free-- because I ate a huge bag of M&Ms, drank a Coke, consumed a half dozen donut holes, and put down an egg omelet as well. Similarly, when I have a long pornography session, I feel fantastic coming out of it. Conversely, on a day when I am living "healthily" and sustainably-- no porn, no sex, exercise, seventeen hundred calories (which is the maximum I can intake without weight gain)-- I can barely function due to how extreme my feelings of unease are. It feels like I'm in a gunfight, and about to get shot at any moment. The baseline just isn't high enough for me to not feel miserable.

Computers and video games used to rank really highly on the list. I lacked the self awareness at the time to know this for sure, but undoubtedly they were a huge part of what kept me "in balance" as a child. I've already flogged the dead horse enough on this site, on how weirdo Millennial and Gen-Z SJWs have irrecoverably destroyed that hobby and stolen it away from me-- the topic doesn't deserve any further treatment.

I pray to God every night for an answer to this dilemma. I know that He doesn't want me to be a glutton-- one of the Seven Deadly Sins-- or to do things which are contrary to what he desires for me. I also know that, logically, He doesn't give anyone a cross which they cannot bear. Indeed, I've borne my current one for over ten years now, while still being a great father and a successful career man. But my life's satisfaction on a daily basis could certainly use some improvement. Therapy and improving cognitive processes only seems to nibble at the fringes.
Grifters and Math - 19:05 CST, 3/16/23 (Sniper)
This is a must watch. I've been told repeatedly by numerous younger Millennial and Gen-Z men that dating today is quite literally hopeless: finding a young woman who isn't a completely manipulative, psychopathic narcissist is virtually impossible. After seeing the women on display in that clip, I can understand what they're on about.

Interestingly, one of the vacuous female youngsters regurgitates an old hippy line from the 1960s, about how "now is the time to find yourself." Which means, of course, have promiscuous sex with as many random people as possible, totally succumbing to Satan's wishes and away from anything requiring truth, beauty, hard work, or self discipline.

"The Fourth Turning" predicted that young people of today would be the Boomers' little foot soldiers. You can mark that as a prediction come right.

White People Are Fed Up

First Clot Adams, now Eric Peters. I guess you can only spend so many years, at every single opportunity, telling white men that they are incompetent evil incarnates before they start to push back.

My take is that I didn't pounce on the opportunity to acquire my current house because there were materially zero black people in the area-- but if it had been in an area with lots of blacks, I would not have bought it: I would have passed on the opportunity.

If you overlay global maps of violent crimes, such as rape, with heatmaps reflecting the percentage of black people present, it's a direct correlation. Of course, you can't judge any individual black person, because there are lots of great ones out there. Who wouldn't want Thomas Sowell or Ben Carson as a neighbor.

But when you get large groups of blacks in an area, it's game over: time to leave. I don't know why they are so violent. Eighty average IQ and high Testosterone levels?

Didn't Get the Memo

Here is something I'd not seen to this point, at the 18:50 mark: a "diversity" officer who tried to treat the word according to its literal meaning, versus the Cultural Marxist definition.

The Cultural Marxist definition of "diversity" is "no whites" and "no men". An entire room filled with nothing but women is "diverse". An entire room filled with nothing but black men is "diverse". But this woman, Tabia Lee, took her job to mean literal diversity: lots of divergent opinions, even from conservatives, a mixture of all races and both sexes including white men, and so forth.

Predictably, she was completely shit-canned by her employer, and called every pejorative in the book. I guess she never got the "English-to-woke" translation memo.

White Men Shrugged

If you want to know who has all of the power, look at who you can't criticize. Number one on the list are Jews. Number two are trannies. Number three are blacks. Conversely, if you want to know who is oppressed, powerless, and under-privileged, look at who you can dump on with zero consequences. At the bottom of the pyramid is white males. They have, by far, the least power in today's society.

The trouble is, blue collar, salt-of-the-Earth, white male Trump voters are basically the most competent people in any room. They do all of the dirty jobs, the dangerous jobs, the laborious jobs, the fighting in wars, and are the only demographic combination which are net tax payers: they pull the wagon while everyone else rides in it.

What happens when you alienate those people, to the point where they say "Sayonara, suckers", Atlas Shrugged-style? You get simple fourteen mile train line extensions which are four years and seven hundred million dollars over budget.

Interested, I decided to look up who these "Met Council" people are.

Let's see, a "human rights commissioner" for "underrepresented"-- i.e. black-- people, a "diversity program director", some lady who dresses like a Romulan, some gal who "addresses complex policy issues for Asian, Pacific Islanders", a dude who "helps close employment and training gaps for communities of color and Indigenous communities", some guy whose only defining characteristic is that he's an Indian, a Somalian "community organizer", a Hispanic guy who "ensures equitable pay for workers", a "renewable energy" shill, a "Wonder Woman of the Year" whatever the hell that is, and a "policy developer community organizer".

Absent from that list seems to be anyone who can do basic math or work a calculator. I don't see one among them who has ever had a real job.

Heck, just look at them. If you walked into the room and glanced around at that motley crew of truly bizarre looking grifters sitting around the table, would you have a lot of confidence?

It brings to mind that study which found that on average people on the Right were better looking than Leftoids, by some margin. They concluded that ugly kids are treated worse as children and so go on to become Lefties, projecting the powerlessness of their childhoods on the rest of the world.

Peter Schiff Was Right, Part Forty

Peter Schiff has been saying for years, once again to derision and mockery, that far from unwinding their balance sheet, the Fed would restart QE the second things got ugly. Sure enough, in just a few days, they wiped out literally half of the entire "Quantitative Tightening" program!

Of course, they aren't calling it QE. The only thing Janet Yellen and company are good at is coming up with dorky names and metaphors. This time around the parlor trick is "Bank Term Funding Program", or "BTFP". I wonder if this will fill up the bath tub and help the economy achieve escape velocity?

I once had a Fed apologist tell me that "inflation lubricates the economy". He got mad at me when I pointed out, "oh, it lubricates something all right". The little people, as always, are paying once again to bail out billionaire Jews and their friends. A friend of the wife's makes $40k per year, and after apartment rent and bills has $35 left over per week for food. This is all coming to a breaking point, and it's not going to be pretty.

Warp Speeds

My son just took various Star Trek warp speeds, did the math to convert the values into AU/sec, then did fly-bys of the solar system in "Space Engine". It's funny how slow the Star Trek ships are, compared to where they are supposedly traveling in the episodes. At warp one, Jupiter barely pans out of your view as you go by. Even at warp five, it would take them years to get between the various systems they are purportedly visiting.

And who cares, if the episodes are entertaining. But it's still fun to see how the math doesn't quite work out.
Alien Worlds - 09:51 CST, 3/12/23 (Sniper)
For the first time in the almost two years since I've returned to the Faith, I've been forced to miss Mass: I woke up this morning to several inches of snow dropped and blown across my property overnight, which took the form of what could be called "snow dunes". Worse yet, I was supposed to undergo week two-of-four of my Sacristan training.

In a "let's try it to see what happens" moment, I gunned my car out of the garage, thinking perhaps I could circumnavigate the dunes-- but my grandiose vision melted like snow in the sun's light when I bottomed out and got stuck with the rear of the car only one foot beyond the safe, concrete garage floor threshold. Rocking the car a bit, I was able to reverse and nestle it back into its save haven. It was then and there that I resigned myself to my snowed-in fate.

Men on the Moon

I've spent some time on the "Apollo Missions" in the past, looking up claims made by "both sides", and walking away each time with a sort of "60 / 40 they faked it" outlook. But somehow I'd never run across this series of articles before, which have taken me more to an "80 / 20" attitude that the missions never actually happened.

I think more than the preponderance of points made by the articles' author-- and he is extremely well versed in the topic-- what really pushed me off the fence was the fact that mankind very obviously can not reproduce the feat today.

Repeatedly, NASA and NASA-affiliated people-- including Buzz Aldrin and other former astronauts-- "slip up" and directly or indirectly pour cold water on the idea that the "Apollo Missions" ever occurred. For example, with zippers and aluminum foil they could slingshot a spacecraft to the moon-- and back-- after eight years of work, with 1960s technology where the integrated circuit had just been invented, basic rocketry was a total cluster with high rates of failure, and the pocket calculator hadn't been created yet.

No worries about radiation from the Van Allen belt, micro-meteorites puncturing the centimeter-thick aluminum foil, five hundred degree swings in temperature-- just get some duct tape and baling wire, and you're good to go! But today it would apparently take fifteen-to-fifty years, depending on the source, and probably a trillion dollars to make such a spacecraft. This is according to NASA itself.

The space suits from the 1960s? Created by a company which made bras, in less than two years. But to make a suit which would actually function on the moon today, able to withstand the moon's constant bombardment of 50,000 mph micro-meteoroids, relentless flooding of radiation, which wouldn't get brittle and break, and all the rest? Eight-and-a-half years, minimum, and billions of dollars. That's just for the suits.

NASA, and every single person surrounding it, acts as though men have never gone to the moon. Even modern-day astronauts routinely say they are "excited to some day make the next big step for mankind, and leave low-Earth orbit". Not a single person acts like all of this is already a solved problem, and no one bothers to point this out for fear of being called names. If we'd already done it, we should be able to do it with today's materials construction and trillion-times faster computers with ease. Heck, just pull the old stuff out of the museums and re-use it: it worked with a one hundred percent success and safety record! It even let them "live" broadcast, right-on-the-button at 7:00pm Eastern, like a sporting event.

In the 2010s, NASA tried to crash land a craft into one of the moon's craters to kick up moon ice, and couldn't even pull that off. Presumably the craft missed the moon altogether, because there was no "plume" like they'd indicated there would be.

The author also has unintentionally funny quotes from people who surrounded the program, like the guy who wrote "the software" which would handle landing the lunar module on the moon. I'm paraphrasing, but not by much: "Yeah, I was twenty two and it was my first job. I just kind of wrote this program, just making it up as I went, without any way to test it, and... um, yeah, I guess it 'just worked' once they got to the moon. Amazes me to this day!" This kind of pattern comes up a ton with regards to the "Apollo Missions"-- every single aspect of them, essentially.

Occam's Razor tells me it's because these elements were never intended to be used seriously-- they were more like an illusion, so that "the secret" wouldn't need to be revealed to every Tom, Dick, and Harry: it was a way of having plausible deniability. That way only a small circle of people would be "in on it"-- the rest could happily live under the illusion they'd "done their part". Sort of like "Ender's Game" in reverse.

What I mean by that is, even the people on Earth in the "command center" probably thought it was real as it was happening, and were probably just as amazed: "Wow, it went so perfectly!" It wouldn't be too difficult to pull off the ruse: apparently all of those monitors just had hand-written notes on microfiche cards anyway-- they weren't "hooked up" to anything.
Shortcomings of Sarriball - 18:54 CST, 3/10/23 (Sniper)
I haven't been writing about football much over the past few years because the posts age terribly: in sports, things change week-to-week and sometimes day-to-day. But there is enough of a pattern over nearly two years of the "Sarri Revolution" at Lazio, that I've found both my admiration of Maurizio Sarri as a coach and my frustration at the shortfalls of his stubborn system growing enough to warrant some analysis.

Sarri is a superb man manager. In general the players work hard every game, and have really put themselves out there to absorb and execute "the system". Even with Ciro uncharacteristically missing huge swathes of this season with injury, and even with the paper-thin and uneven squad Igli Tare has provided, Sarri has us in third place at the time of this writing, ahead of Roma who have almost twice our payroll.

I think Sarri is a great coach. An elite coach, even. It seems like every time I read Italian Football news, I hear of some player or another saying they want to join Lazio, just to be coached by Maurizio Sarri. That positive reputation didn't come about for no reason. Where I get frustrated with him is when the discussion turns to tactics-- or rather, his lack of tactical adaptability. I can illustrate what I mean via two images I just created.

The first image represents how most teams move the ball up the pitch. They create a semi-circle of sorts, and work the ball back and forth, side-to-side. 1-2-3, then maybe back to 2, then to 1, then to 2, then to 3 again. Once an opening presents itself, they make an interior pass to number 4. At that point, the players involved in 1-2-3 advance, and the process repeats. In this way, the team can progress the ball up the field in an orderly and controlled manner, minimizing the risk of a turnover. Eventually, the ball reaches the opposing eighteen yard box, the opponent can be hemmed in, and chances can start to be created.

In "Sarriball", the means of progressing the ball is totally different. Players make vertical-- up and down the pitch-- dashes, forward and back, creating "W" patterns with their other teammates. When a midfield player dashes towards his own goal, the defender makes a high-risk, long-distance, incisive pass. This is line 1 on the image. The midfielder receives the ball with his back to the opponent's goal, and needs to make another high-risk pass through traffic, ideally to 2, but if that is closed down to 3.

When it works, it can be devastating. For example, watch the ball movement in this sequence against Milan: the high-risk pass into a retreating Felipe Anderson pays off, and he is able to then play the ball wide to Zaccagni, who goes on to create the goal. The directness and incisiveness is what put Zaccagni in space, and thus in a position to be able to run at the defenders. Notice though that a Milan player-- Tonali, I think?-- was inches away from intercepting the pass out wide. Also observe how, when Anderson receives the ball, he is surrounded by five Milan players. One errant touch, and they have a 5-on-4 breakaway, if not even worse.

Which leads me to what happens when "Sarriball" goes wrong, which it often does. Observe this passage of play from Tuesday's loss in the Conference League. Casale plays the trademark long-range high-risk ball into traffic, just like you saw in the Milan clip. Except in this instance, the receiving player-- Milinkovic-Savic in this case-- has a poor touch, or is caught in two minds, or whatever. He makes a mistake. The opponent then easily punishes the suddenly-overwhelmed defense.

My frustration with the system isn't even isolated to turnovers and conceding goals. In fact, Sarri's system-- at least in league play-- has a superb defensive record. Rather, it's the overall pattern which irks me. We will oftentimes go entire halves and only create a single chance on goal. This is because the system is built to do lightning strikes, where a sequence of long-range low-percentage passes all need to successfully connect. If even one of those risky passes goes amiss, the whole possession is lost. At that point the team's only option is to retreat into their own half and wait for the opponent to make a mistake, at which point another low-percentage lightning strike can be attempted.

This versus in a more traditional "semi-circle" setup, where the play is built more systematically: if the ball is lost, there is a higher chance of recovery because there are more teammates around the ball itself.

"Sarriball" is feast or famine. It either really works or looks embarrassingly disjointed. It either results is a rapid laser-like goal, or it hopelessly bogs down, resulting in constant turnovers after failed flicks and back heels, putting the team under continuous pressure from capitalizing opponents. It is not built to sustain pressure, and it is not built to retrieve the ball in the event of a turnover, since the Lazio players are very far away from each other, and did not advance as a unit.

Sarri's system is easy to shut down: if the opposing team takes away either the interior pass-- such as by getting right on the back of the retreating player, putting intense pressure on him-- or takes away the ball to the wide areas, the receiving midfielder's only options are to either try a high pressure, high risk pass backwards to the defender from whence the ball came, or attempt some kind of blind, tricky, low percentage back heel or flick, something we also see a lot from Sarri's Lazio. We also see a lot of "hoofed" passes into the center-- yet another low-percentage attempt at connecting with a retreating midfielder, when our fullbacks get cornered and desperate.

The sensation I get watching "Sarriball" is that that every player in Lazio is on an island by himself. His teammates are far away from him on the pitch, meanwhile he is surrounded by three or more opposing players. In Sarri's system, it always feels like Lazio are playing a man down. This is the exact opposite effect versus what is desirable.

I'm not saying that Sarri's mode of play has no place: against the right opponent or tactical setup or specific period in a given match, it can be effective. But it should be more of a "change of pace", rather than the whole full-course meal. He should change the tactics and approach to suit the opponent or the phase of the game-- and he just doesn't do that. There is no "plan B".
Context Matters - 11:20 CST, 3/09/23 (Sniper)
Lots of interesting things going on. The bathroom re-model is well underway; I've finally gotten a break from the "walking nonsense generator" father-in-law, as he won't be back here until two weekends from today; I've started my Sacristan duties; and I've been revisiting and having a lot of fun with my PC Engine collection.

Scamdemic Recalled

In April of 2020 I wrote this:

"If I sent a family member to a psychologist and explained that this family member refused to leave the house without a mask on their face, wouldn't get within six feet of other people, and was putting stickers on the floor telling them which way to go around the coffee table, this person would be institutionalized as a danger to either self-harm, or hurt someone else.

Instead, all of those actions are considered to be sane, and even wise! Even enforceable at gun-point, if you take many American governors at their word! People having a pathological fear of catching what is essentially the flu-- exhibiting the worst characteristics of a sufferer of mysophobia, on their worst-ever day-- is mainstream. Wake me up when this dream is over, please."

In July of 2020, I followed up with this:

"The ninety nine point nine percent of the population who are not eighty five years old and in nursing homes or assisted living would veritably not even have known this virus exists, if it weren't for outlets like CNN blaring watch-bait headlines in an attempt to torpedo Donald Trump's re-election campaign, twenty four hours per day, with massive red ticker counters of the "cases" and one hyper-alarmist guest after another.

Indeed, during the countless previous viral outbreaks such as H1N1, hardly anyone knew anything about it: they went about their daily lives like normal. And for that rare, fraction-of-one-percent population segment who are unusually vulnerable to sickness, they just stayed inside and washed their hands a little more often. Some people died, but fifty million Americans weren't put out of work, and the world kept turning, as it always does.

That's exactly how the WuFlu would have turned out, had it not been an election year, and how it conveniently did while Black Lives Matter were burning down buildings. Instead, before and after the riots, it turned into a twenty-four-seven, government shutdown-reminiscent, air raid siren blowing media blitzkrieg exercise into how whipped up and into a terrified frenzy they could get the population, for what is no more dangerous to the average person than the annual flu season."

Then in October of 2020, I wrote this satirical post; an excerpt:

"I have bad news George: I think we've both caught the COMCOLD-27! I had some sniffles last night, and I saw you sneeze yesterday! With such a dangerous, debilitating disease, we'd better make sure to not leave our house for at least two years.

And you know the craziest thing? The governor of our state mandated beekeeper hats, clown shoes, and bunny years, which we've been dutifully wearing-- and we caught it anyway! Maybe we should have taped some toilet paper to front of the hats to make them more effective? Lord knows-- if we believed in god, ha ha-- we have enough toilet paper stockpiled!

Speaking of the mandate, our governor is such an altruistic person! He deeply cares about us: not an ulterior motive in his bones. He just cares about public health! And it's important to show how much we care too by wearing our bunny ears everywhere we go, to protect us from the virus. In this household, we believe that science is real. And that love conquers hate.

Unlike those selfish people who won't wear their beekeeper hat, or even their clown shoes! I hate those people! I hate them so much! I just want to punch them in the face! Bunch of feckless Nazis! I hope they all die!"

I saw through the whole thing in April of 2020. In fact, the month prior-- March-- was when I first pulled the CDC's own data into a spreadsheet, and calculated the infectious fatality rate for myself. It was a tiny fraction of one percent. That was when I knew "the authorities" were opportunistically not letting "a good crisis go to waste." Lo and behold these few years later, and we've gotten a deluge of leaks and other pieces of evidence like this: caught red handed, and validating everything I was warning about back when the whole Scamdemic started.

And it was even worse than that: unbeknownst to me at the time, the field of virology and how it was "identifying" all of these "variants" was and is pure pseudo-science. I wrote about that subject here. And now we've learned by fact that countless numbers of these "variants" were purely political creations! It does not surprise me at all.

What does surprise me is how many people fell for it. I don't know why I'm essentially impossible for these people to fool. It's part genetics plus temperament, part life's experiences, and part parenting I suppose ("Be a leader, not a follower.")

State Swap

I'd like to get the ball rolling on this kind of effort, in my home state of Minnesota. My county is not too far from the border of a neighboring state, and given what is going on with the "DFL" right now, I would love nothing more than to join this particular next-door state.

On that note, a co-worker told me yesterday about this "great" show where so-called "Drag Queens"-- i.e. perverse Satanic child molesters-- are deliberately provoking and antagonizing rural Christian communities, then documenting the hostile reactions as if the pedos are the victims. Of course, out of pure self preservation I live a "double life", where at work I lead my co-workers to think I'm "one of them", so this show was presented to me as if I'd enjoy it. In reality, it made me furious.

These makeup-adorned freaks already have millions and millions of useful idiots-- the exact same people who fell for the Scamdemic-- in the metropolitan areas to worship their perverse lifestyle. But like all Marxists, that's not good enough: they need to hunt down every last man, woman, and child to the ends of the Earth. I already beat a strategic retreat once, to friendly territory: where I am now, I will stand my ground.

Artistry and Leftism

For many years I listened to Stefan Molyneux on a daily basis. But as time passed, I'd sort of gotten out of him what I'd needed: I sent him a big donation, and went on my way. But every so often I do check in with his newest videos, and am still amazed at how insightful he is. Here he puts forward a hypothesis of why artists are usually Leftoids. Like most topics, I think he positively nails it.

Tucker and the "Insurrection"

There is a famous photograph which, disappointingly, I'm struggling to find at the moment. The first version of the photograph "clearly" shows a dog lunging at a little girl. It's very alarming. Then it's revealed to you that this picture is only half of the original photograph: once the two sides are joined, it becomes obvious that the dog is not only on a leash and being firmly held by an adult man, but that the situation is friendly, and that the dog is merely trying to "kiss" the little girl's face, as dogs do.

I was continually reminded of this lesson as I watched Tucker Carlson's expose on the so-called "insurrection". In video segment after video segment, he shows you the whole sequence, not just the selectively edited and cherry-picked moments the "January 6th commission" chose to share. For me, the most striking one was of Josh Hawley supposedly running for his life like a cowardly hypocrite. The Demoncrats gleefully presented that to a room full of hyper-partisans at the time, who found it hilarious.

But when you watch the full clip, just like in the case of the dog photo, the reality was the opposite: the police were escorting the members of Congress out the door-- there was a huge stream of them running past. Then, moments later, Josh Hawley also ran past, following his peers. Be careful to note: far from being a coward, he was the last person out!

Naturally, the same people who have been lying to us for the past three years about everything from the WuFlu origins to the Southern Border to Yoo-Crane to a border agent "whipping" a "refugee" to Fentanyl Floyd's death to Assad's "chlorine bombs" to "Afghan government won't fall", and on and on and on-- Mitt Romney, Liz Cheney, gangster Chuckie Schumer, Cocaine Mitch, Nancy Pelosi, Cameltoe, and the rest of their spawn-- are relentlessly attacking Tucker for providing the full context, and are accusing him-- in pure Saul Alinsky-style-- of "re-writing history."

This would be like the original purveyor of the "cut in half" dog photo accusing the person who glued it back together of being a liar! If I weren't so jaded by everything that's gone on the past few years, I'd be astonished. Instead, it's just more of the same.
Sacristan Work and Hogwarts Legacy - 13:59 CST, 3/05/23 (Sniper)
I had my first weekend's worth of Sacristan training this morning at Mass. I've been in corporate weirdo-ville for so long that it felt anachronistic to be surrounded by normal human beings again. That's not to slight all of my co-workers, among whom I have friends-- if you're reading this, I'm not talking about you. But corporate culture is indeed its own little bubble, sort of like high school, that's separate from the real world. Whereas these people in my church are really "salt of the Earth"-- very human, very authentic, even a little Dickensian in some ways, and I mean that as a great compliment.

In any event, I was so nervous for today that I didn't sleep all night. Turns out it went fabulously. I've been studying this superb book, written by a guy who was a Server back in the 40s or 50s, and who has been a Sacristan since the 60s-- so he really knows his stuff-- and it dovetails into the instruction I got today, at my local church. Every parish has different subsets of responsibilities for the role, and my church is no exception. I'm also going to really enjoy being the first one to arrive, and the last one to leave: I like engine room "behind the scenes" kind of work.

This afternoon, I'm chilling out and listening to Donald Trump's CPAC 2023 speech. Trump is one of those guys where even though I never agree with everything he says in a given speech-- in this one he praises Mark Levin and Sean Hannity, for instance-- I always walk away admiring his overall thought process and the way he expresses himself. Even though he doesn't get everything right-- think about the Clot Shots and his disastrous "Operation Warp Speed"-- in general he's a helpful bulwark against bad ideas.

Every single crazy thing one could dream up, Creepy Joe, Cameltoe, and the rest of them will whole-heartedly go for. There isn't a bad idea they won't endorse-- and the worse the idea, the more strongly they will support it. It's astonishing. Just the other day, I saw that they want to sign over this country's medical policy sovereignty to the absolutely crooked "World Health Organization". Whereas Trump, ninety-nine percent of the time, takes one look at these kinds of things and comes to the same conclusion I do: "Are you kidding me?"

Now the Demoncrats are "exploring" a CBDC. Eric Peters explains the risks, and you can read more about it here. Simultaneously and on the same "financial" topic, the woke car CEOs are trying to find ways to make your car not start if you haven't followed edicts. We really need that Trump bulwark back, against the crazy people. The problem is, I don't think Republicans will "ever" win another major election in this country. I say "ever", because the country will be reinvented soon, maybe via a Civil War.

In totally unrelated news, I started playing "Hogwarts Legacy". Performance is disastrous unless you add some lines to the game engine's .ini file-- you can find the "magic block" of statements in the Steam forums for the game, or on Reddit. The game itself is kind of boring: I was expecting an "Elder Scrolls" style of play where you're exploring dungeons and fighting things-- instead you're just wandering around a maze-like castle opening weird puzzle doors and finding collectibles. It's also almost non-stop cut-scenes: very little actual gameplay overall.
Mirrored Opinion - 07:19 CST, 2/25/23 (Sniper)
Even if these numbers are fluffed, it seems that Vladimir Putin's popularity is stratospheric compared to Creepy Joe's.

In other news, here is V observing that games today have a ninety-plus percent chance of being mediocre-to-horrible. Basic mechanics are either absent or completely broken. His take is that game developers are just rubbish today. He sounds like me! "What do you all do for entertainment? Because apparently video games can't be a part of it for me anymore." Sound familiar? "Play old games. I've already played the old games! I want something fresh." Again, sound familiar? "I finish all of my work and obligations, I have some time where I just want to relax, and... what should I even do with my time?" Yup, I've been having those episodes frequently, where I'm considering sweeping the floor for a third time.

Anecdotally, it seems like there are lots of planes crashing; lots of trains derailing; lots of military debacles; lots of skyrocketing crime; lots of power grids going down; lots of absent creativity in the arts; and so forth. The Left have been pushing their "erase whitey" replacement operation for years. Meritocracy is out, "DIE monoculture" is in. The labor force participation rate is way down because millions of white males have stopped working. Colleges are becoming SJW-exclusive. And now everything appears to be disintegrating, "Atlas Shrugged"-style.

Good news though is that I've heard back about the Sacristan work, and I'm going to shadow throughout March, and then being put on the actual rotation in April! That will help keep me busy, considering I will have obligations before and after Mass each Sunday, in addition to the Mass itself.
Nostalgia Trip, Possibilities - 07:15 CST, 2/23/23 (Sniper)
As planned, my mother and step-father came this past weekend and got the kids' bedrooms repainted. We had a lot of fun, and it was great to see them! As my mom can well attest, I keep working on them to move here permanently. The world is so uncertain right now, that a variety of conditions could see them making that move, or staying put. We'll just have to wait and see.

A Funk

An unfortunate side effect of her being here is that I fell into a terrible bout of the powerful nostalgia to which I sometimes become vulnerable. I'm only just this morning beginning to emerge from it.

I asked her lots of questions about my earliest childhood. One revelation which really struck me was that my father wanted our family to quasi-permanently move to Japan in the mid-1980s! It's bizarre to think that in an alternative timeline, I may have grown up there, and would be a Japanese speaker today. Alas, she couldn't get any kind of commitment from my father or his employer as to how long we would be there, so she quite justifiably kiboshed the idea. That may have been for the best: I was such a sensitive child, I'm not sure how I would have handled moving to a foreign country. Either the structured society and schools in Japan would have been helpful, or I would have been hopelessly overwhelmed.

Yesterday was Ash Wednesday, and during my fasting I prayed to God several times, asking Him to guide me towards whatever the future holds for me and my family. I need to ditch the nostalgia and look to the future.

On a Japan-related note, my kids and I started watching "Spy x Family". When you switch media tabs on the PlayStation 5, one tab shows black nationalist and supremacist propaganda, something with the word "Wakanda" in it or some such nonsense, while the next tab shows my "Crunchyroll" subscription-- it's Western media versus Eastern media, right on two neighboring tabs! Regular readers know I often complain about the modern state of entertainment, but Japanese output-- video games and anime alike-- seem to be in a veritable golden age! Every anime my kids and I try is extremely creative, memorable, and free from woke propaganda.

I did just read a quote from some minister in Japan saying that they would be newly committed to "diversity"-- so we are probably seeing the beginning of the end of the beautiful Japanese culture. But I'll enjoy it on its way down, nonetheless.

Lack of Spirit

This was an interesting article. This quote reminded me of Thomas Sowell's "constrained versus unconstrained" model:

"...whether it would have to be consciously theorized and then imposed by some careful policy, or whether it would have to arise without deliberate planning..."

In other words, have faith in "experts" to bring about utopia, or recognize that a bunch of people sitting around a mahogany table acting in an omniscient and benevolent way is a pipe dream. This quote is also interesting:

"Through all ages there has been a balance of spirituality and secularity. In our modernity, secularity is dominant. There is only this world."

I recall Stefan Molyneux in a recent monologue explaining how the pendulum has swung towards materialism so strongly today, that humans are essentially blood sucking, sociopathic, calculating vampires weighing everything in a cold-hearted pros and cons balance, or something to that effect. The solution is to bring religion, aesthetics, morality, and philosophy-- idealism-- back into the fold to make things more balanced.

Interestingly, game design is mirroring the current extreme-materialistic views of society: everything is about ensuring perfect game balance, with damage counters on the screen, the player being guided every step of the way, rubber banding, "guard rails", tutorial prompts, one way to play or the highway, and so forth. Playing them feels like being strangled! Conversely, there is very little thought given to whether the games have souls. They reflect the nature of their makers.

Incidentally, this is why we have the Woke Theology with us today. People are grasping for spirituality through sheer intuition, but rather than turn to Christ they are getting brainwashed and exploited in universities by evil Marxist professors.

1984 Instruction Manual

Remember how in the novel "1984", the protagonist worked in an organization where they would ex post facto splice together fake newspapers any time the dear leader or The Party got anything wrong, then redistribute that version of the newspaper as if it had always been the original version? "Look, The Party is always right, just take a gander at those predictions they nailed!"

Today's Left is doing a similar thing in real life, except with a twist: they are re-writing old books to bring them into compliance with their perverse Woke Theology! I know the Demoncrats and their ilk have gone off the rails since 2016, but they still manage to surprise me with their complete lack of self-awareness.
Dead Space and Monkey Rituals - 07:25 CST, 2/18/23 (Sniper)
One of the best parts of my life these days is how I wake up early, before everyone else, and have sometimes as many as three hours before anyone else is out of bed. It's my favorite part of the day. Today I woke up at 4:00, felt rested, and could just relax. Whiskers-- my favorite all-time cat-- chilled on my lap, purring like crazy, as I caught up on the news and balanced my financial records.

Dead Space Remake

This is a superb compilation and reflection on the woke changes shoe-horned into the "Dead Space" remake. I'd never played the original game and aren't a big survival-horror guy in any event-- but seeing the changes laid out is interesting nonetheless. My favorite part is when he points out that the woke cultural subversion propaganda was inserted into the content of the future dystopia both the original game and the remake present. This is funny on two fronts: first, it's clearly not the effect the remake's purple-haired bozo developers had in mind; and second, it shows just how low IQ they are as writers and artists to not have considered this consequence of their approach.

Military Gone Soft Under Lack of Real Challenges

This audio of the shooting down of what was probably a twelve dollar hobbyist balloon made an impression on me. I hope events don't result in a war with China, but if they do I will watch-- provided the internet stays up-- with curiosity to see how the US military fares in a fight against a loosely approximate power-- versus "fish in a barrel" operations against third-world countries with fields of hopelessly outmatched and burning tanks, such as the two wars against Iraq.

The US military has gone woke, has mandated clot shots, and did an ideological purge of anyone to the right of Mao. Consequently, it can not and is not meeting recruitment goals, and is continually dropping physical standards for admission. But even setting that aside, listen to the mission control dude in the audio: he seems like a really nice guy and is probably great to work with-- but therein lies a potential landmine. You can clearly hear that he's a personality focused on aggreeableness, with a constant and almost corporate-like couching of his language with things like "my recommendation would be...", "we'll see if we can make that work...", and so on.

I don't know who the guy is, but I bet he has a "LinkedIn" page where he's "liking" things and building his "career". There is nothing wrong with that in general, but it gives me a weird vibe in a military context: in a real battle against a powerful opponent-- the kind the US has arguably not had since World War II-- I don't really want Mr. Flower Language corporate career guy with a "LinkedIn" profile politely suggesting potential attack vectors I can maybe follow, if it's ok with me and I feel like it.

Monkeys and Dominance

Once, many years ago when my children were both very young, we stayed at a hotel. I took my kids to the pool. There happened to be a youth basketball team there. The boys were probably around age ten or eleven. I carefully observed their behavior. They had a ball in the pool. One boy would pick up the ball, and hold it up high away from the hands of the other boys, while making an animal-like grunting noise: "Ooof ooof"-- after which the other boys would repeat the sound: "Ooof ooof". Then he would throw the ball, resulting in a splashing, chaotic mad scramble to see who could be the mightiest and retrieve the just-tossed object. The victor would the emerge, head above water, and repeat the whole process: "Ooof ooof!" Ball thrown. Mad scramble. Repeat.

What was striking is that all of this was very obviously subconscious to the boys: "let boys be boys"-- they were playing out primal instincts, the same kind you might seen from a group of wrestling puppies. It was very natural, organic, healthy behavior which children need to develop a sense of the world, themselves, and their place in it. In fact, they were performing a male dominance hierarchy ritual! Who were the alphas, and who should be the followers? Very important for the survival of the tribe. Once again I emphasize, none of this was conscious on their parts-- but it was obvious to me, watching dispassionately from my comfortable pool-side chair.

Despite being a very fit, tall-for-my-age, pacey, and fairly athletic kid who played competitive traveling soccer from early childhood to my late teenage years, I didn't participate in rituals! Had I been in the pool in a similar scenario in my own youth-- and undoubtedly I was in many of those situations-- I would have been the one boy off to the side merely watching. The part of the brain which should activate in those situations, simply didn't and doesn't for me. As a child, I'm certain such rituals were happening all around me, and I was oblivious that they were even happening, much less that I should somehow participate. I think this is why I found it so difficult to integrate with my peers.

It'd be like an animal being born not intrinsically knowing how to walk!

This is also the largest reason why girls probably found me so off-putting as a teenager, in spite of me being very handsome. They were most likely-- subconsciously!-- giving off instinctive cues, to which I was either not responding, or not responding in the way their brains anticipated. Having been lured into an approach by my looks, and despite my having been very polite and friendly in the exchange, they would walk away from me with a vague sense of unease. It frequently came back to me via the grapevine that such-and-such girls thought I was "a total weirdo."

Of course, as an adult things are different: women almost universally find me sociable and even charming. Mostly that is due to my adult levels of self-awareness, and also due to the women having matured.

As an adult I can also see these male rituals happening in real-time, and I can play with the situations and interactions to my amusement. One pattern my father-in-law exhibits-- I wrote about him at the bottom of this post-- is that in three-way conversations with himself, me, and some other male, he takes every opportunity to denigrate me in such a way that he can establish a dominance pattern over me, in the eyes of the other man. He's a monkey in the pool! He has no clue that he does this, which is why I have so much fun with it.

Last night I was in a three-way conversation with him and my step-father. Recognizing the situation, I deliberately teed my father-in-law into as many of those moments as I could, by giving him statements he could construe in a way favorable to the inner-monkey-in-him-- and he fell for it every time! For example, I brought up an old car I'd bought in spite of his advice-at-the-time: "And who told you not to buy it?" I brought up a time when it stormed, and I parked my car on the property where it was least to get hit by hail: "And who told you not to park it there? You got stuck!" From there, like a fisherman I mentioned his garage: "Aren't you happy I built my big garage, otherwise your car would be outside!" The implication is that he is so dominant that his boat would take priority of my car. And on and on.

I may not like my father-in-law, but he can at least be a source of amusement when the mood strikes me.

The Witcher III

I've been playing "The Witcher III", a game I skipped when it originally came out. The game is mediocre so far: sort of a generic fantasy game with all of the usual open world tropes, and middling combat.

From a technical standpoint, the game has huge VRAM leak and overall performance issues. Thankfully, I found a guide which with one exception does a phenomenal job resolving the problems. Unfortunately even with his instructions, "frame generation" is still broken in this title on my PC, as moving into and out of any menu results in several seconds of sub-fifteen FPS stutters. Nonetheless, my 7700X and 4070Ti combination can hold more-or-less sixty FPS with DLSS 2.0 performance mode, albeit I have not been to the game's large city yet.

I also get screen tearing with the feature on. "Frame generation" is interesting overall. Normal means of "vsync" seem to have no effect on it. I wonder if this is because under the hood, vsync is looking at engine frame data-- so actual frames get limited to 60, but the generated-elsewhere-exclusively-on-the-gpu "fake" frames are hence not caught by the mechanism, due to where the limit is occurring in the overall pipeline?
Daggerfall and Unreality - 19:14 CST, 2/12/23 (Sniper)
I started playing "The Witcher 3" yesterday with all of the ray tracing features enabled. The game just wasn't doing it for me: pre-canned character, too much emphasis on story. I decided to try going the opposite extreme, and got "The Elder Scrolls II: Daggerfall" running in a more modernized form.

Daggerfall in Modern Times

I wrote about Daggerfall a decade ago. I quite liked the game back then, but ran into too many game breaking bugs to make it worthwhile for the long haul. Thankfully, "Daggerfall Unity" exists today. Here is a dump of my mods directory. Think I went a little crazy?

-a--- 2/11/2022 15:00 5186 actions.dfmod
-a--- 4/13/2022 16:56 7648 basicmagicregen.dfmod
-a--- 7/22/2021 14:38 10516 convenient quest log.dfmod
-a--- 12/23/2021 12:16 387700458 dream - cinematics.dfmod
-a--- 12/22/2021 12:54 327680414 dream - commoners.dfmod
-a--- 12/22/2021 13:10 258538585 dream - handheld.dfmod
-a--- 12/22/2021 8:33 133672327 dream - hud & menu.dfmod
-a--- 12/22/2021 12:57 798169713 dream - mobs.dfmod
-a--- 12/22/2021 12:57 272690976 dream - music.dfmod
-a--- 12/22/2021 13:13 482726945 dream - npcs.dfmod
-a--- 12/22/2021 13:02 1130945188 dream - paperdoll.dfmod
-a--- 12/22/2021 16:19 192185492 dream - portraits.dfmod
-a--- 12/22/2021 13:03 62160610 dream - sound.dfmod
-a--- 12/22/2021 13:39 201295085 dream - sprites.dfmod
-a--- 12/22/2021 13:05 1349636751 dream - textures.dfmod
-a--- 8/5/2022 16:08 29711134 dream - transparent windows.dfmod
-a--- 1/27/2023 12:54 3031398 dynamic skies - carademono's hd clouds.dfmod
-a--- 2/12/2023 9:22 454639 fixed dungeon exteriors.dfmod
-a--- 2/12/2023 11:38 29974204 handpainted models - buildings.dfmod
-a--- 2/12/2023 11:38 79825394 handpainted models - main.dfmod
-a--- 2/12/2023 11:38 7938959 handpainted models - treasure piles.dfmod
-a--- 9/27/2019 21:36 11572 mountains and hills.dfmod
-a--- 12/28/2019 15:41 517315 npchealthindicators.dfmod
-a--- 2/11/2023 12:24 73 readme.txt
-a--- 9/10/2020 6:46 896799 realtime reflections.dfmod
-a--- 11/12/2022 20:36 628963 roleplayrealism-items.dfmod
-a--- 6/8/2022 23:36 108784 roleplayrealism.dfmod
-a--- 12/18/2022 2:33 8163 villagerreactions.dfmod

I created a custom character class for my newfound interest in the game. Behold!

My Custom Class: Axe Magician


  • Str: 60
  • Int: 55
  • Wil: 60
  • Agi: 50
  • End: 45
  • Per: 40
  • Spd: 40
  • Lck: 50
Primary Skills

  • Axe (Str)
  • Destruction (Wil)
  • Restoration (Wil)
Major Skills

  • Thaumaturgy (Wil)
  • Mysticism (Wil)
  • Alteration (Wil)
Minor Skills

  • Climbing (Str)
  • Medical (Int)
  • Lockpicking (Int)
  • Daedric (Int)
  • Illusion (Wil)
  • Critical Strike (Agi)

  • Expertise In - Axe
  • Increased Magery 1.5x Int

  • Forbidden Weaponry - Blunt Weapon
  • Forbidden Weaponry - Hand to Hand
  • Forbidden Weaponry - Missile
  • Forbidden Weaponry - Short Blade
  • Forbidden Armor Type - Leather
  • Phobia - Undead

My Experience

The game sure is beautiful looking, take a look at these screenshots I captured.

Unfortunately, my very first attempt at doing a temple quest for Mara resulted in the game generating a static mesh in front of a doorway, with no other way to progress in the dungeon. Not only that, but it spawned five skeletons in there: with my character's phobia, I can barely kill one at this point let alone several at once!

And this is always how efforts to play Daggerfall wind up for me: something game-breaking occurs. My other issue with the game is that as I've gotten older, I've become less patient for the "space trader"-style titles, with millions of identical looking trading posts, space stations, planets, or what-have-you. Daggerfall is in that same genre with the same kind of game loop, just not set in space. As I said, it's the polar opposite extreme from "The Witcher 3". I guess I like more of a middle ground.

I'll reload a prior save and see if I can get the game to generate a new-and-actually-playable quest for me. I may also re-create my character anew, without the phobia-- I can barely hit skeletons, so I have to kite them in circles while swinging my axe for almost ten minutes to destroy one.


Long-time readers will know that I've suffered from a kind of permanent mental illness for the past decade called "derealization". Nothing in my life feels "real": it's as if I'm watching a movie. I can see a beautiful sunrise, or my daughter getting baptized, and it's like watching Netflix. I have very little emotional connection to anything going on. At any given juncture, I would not at all be surprised if I suddenly woke up, and found out that I'd been in a coma for the past ten years, and that none of those memories actually occurred. Sometimes I pinch myself or splash my face with ice cold water, just to make sure I can feel it.

I don't get much sympathy from anyone, because it's nearly impossible for a sufferer of this disorder to actually describe it! However, two evenings ago my wife got out of the bath and had a strange psychological episode for about thirty seconds. She was terrified, and came to me with questions. On hearing her explanation, I immediately surmised that she'd had a derealization episode. For the first time, she understood how much I've been suffering: "You're that way permanently? How do you even survive?"

That's a good question. I approach each day by just putting one foot in front of the other until bed time. Then I repeat the process the next day. Everyone has crosses that they bear: some people are blind, or deaf, or have crippling arthritis-- yet they go on. My affliction is the same thing. God made me this way for a reason, and I've made wonderful accomplishments over the past ten years, in part because the condition lets me "put myself out there" in ways I otherwise couldn't. He has a plan for me. Maybe some day he'll lighten the cross and take away this malady. I'm resigned to being this way forever, but who knows.

Other Musings

My mother and step-father are coming to my house this upcoming weekend to paint the kids' bedrooms. I'm looking forward to that, I don't see my family in the Twin Cities as often as I'd like, ever since I relocated the family to the rural area. I'm very close to my mother, and I really like my step-father. I've always gotten along with him naturally. So it will be good to see the two of them.

Unfortunately and in total contrast, I'm also about to enter into a protracted period of possibly two straight weeks of my father-in-law being here, possibly even more. I do not like my father-in-law. He's a selfish, crude, Christian-hating, radical Democrat-endorsing heretic with disgusting personal habits and an abrasive personality. His youngest daughter wishes he would just keel over. My model is to just avoid him when he's here, as much as possible. He was the only "con" to this multi-generation rural living arrangement, out of two dozen "pros". I need to just keep reminding myself of that fact.

On an unrelated note, I've been studying this book a lot, while taking many notes. I haven't gotten the call yet from my church to undergo training, but I know it's on their radar because I've had a few people remark about my interest to me before the last couple of Sunday Masses. I've also been following some events with interest. Vee has been keeping me up to date about AI, concerning developments there. I'm also watching with curiosity to see if the next scam from the elites takes the form of a purported alien invasion. It might sound far-fetched now, so did the WuFlu Scamdemic before it happened.

On a happier note, I really enjoyed reading this. Lots of similarities with how I met my wife, although his story is even less likely and more bizarre than mine.
Erase Whitey - 14:47 CST, 2/09/23 (Sniper)
Regular readers of this blog know that I've been pointing out for years that "DIE"-- "Diversity, Inclusion, Equity"-- has been Marxist agitprop from the start. It dates back even to the 1960s and 70s, when the very first roots of putting token black people in ads, the promotion of sexually aberrant behavior, the normalization of eco-nuttery, and on and on started to be pushed on the population. The objective has never been to help gay people or trannies or blacks or the rain forests: rather, the concept was and is to systematically destabilize the old values regime, so a neo-Marxist one can be put in its place.

Here is some study material for anyone who still somehow denies this reality:

  • What is Cultural Marxism: [Video]
  • Yuri Bezmenov interview: [Video]

Often when I so much as hint at any of this stuff, people immediately tell me to "think optimistically" or to "not worry about it." Yup, head in the sand: like the hundreds of thousands of people who have keeled over due to cardiac arrest from the Clot Shots, which I also warned them about. My wife and I frequently joke, in gallows-humor style, that the day will come when normies will find men with rifles at their homes, to escort them to the gulag-- and they still won't get it. A funny example of this phenomenon just happened.

In the new "Hogwarts Legacy" game, you can't make white people via the character creator. You can find many threads about the topic via a simple search on Reddit. Apparently if you exploit strange behavior in the character creator by picking certain hair colors like ginger then fiddling with a "complexion" slider, you can sort of finagle a roughly white looking person in certain situations. But the skin color slider, all the way to the light-skinned side, produces tones like those of Middle Easterners.

Predictably, the moderators are locking all of the threads which point this out, as soon as those threads appear. What makes me laugh is how the people there don't get it: like this is some kind of a bug in the game, and not by design. This comment in particular made me both laugh and shake my head at the same time, bold emphasis is mine:

"POC have been justified in their long fight for representation and this game delivered when it comes to that... But why did that have to mean taking away that representation for others?"

Again, whomever wrote this comment will be in the act of physically being dragged to the gulag, and still won't make the connection. No amount of facts or data, even with pictures, will open their eyes, just like Bezmenov explains. They'll be trumpeting the woke nonsense-- their "POC" and their "LGBBQHGQAVZX++"-- right to the point when the bullet hits the back of their skull and their body falls into the ditch, not realizing even then how they were their own undoing.

In the case of this game, I suspect the backlash will be so great that they will patch in a way to make white people. But that's how all of this works: you do one thing, then the backlash, then "oops sorry", then push it a step further next time, then backpedal just a little again, and so forth. I've seen this cycle a hundred times. Over time you gradually ratchet the Overton Window more and more towards your side, to the point where today huge swathes of white people openly admit that they hate their race, and were literally bowing down to black people during the peak of the BLM riots.
Is This So Difficult? - 13:18 CST, 2/03/23 (Sniper)
I've been writing about the dismal state of the video game industry for over a decade, thinking each step along the way that it couldn't get worse-- that I should continue to hang around within the hobby.

My rationale was that the medium was a toddler going through an ephemeral "difficult" phase-- one it would grow out of soon enough. Once the hipsters got bored and moved on to destroy something else, things would improve, surely! And the hipsters did inevitably vacate. Unfortunately, in their wake a new group came to town: college "educated" Millennial normies. Instead of advancing from troublesome toddler to flourishing and rejuvenated child, the video game medium grew into a drug-addicted pregnant teenager who wound up in "juvie" after having stolen my car keys and used my vehicle to run over elderly pedestrians.

Long-time readers can attest that I was never happy with the "Metal Gear Solid"-"Half-Life"-"Halo"-induced transition from Chess to Epic Hollywood Blockbuster-- but from 2000 to just a few years ago, there were enough games which put enough pieces together for me to more-or-less enjoy them. I had to plug my nose a little, but the smell was tolerable. In the 2020s though I'm finding it almost impossible to find new things to play. Presentations from The Big Three are unwatchable! "What is this garbage?", I think to myself:

  • I don't want a game "tailored for a modern audience": I don't want Victimhood Olympics; I don't want African lesbians with shaved heads; I don't want gigantic, monstrous tranny characters; I don't want narcissistic, fat, self-entitled females with weird hair-dos, giant glasses, facial piercings, and tats. If you insist on having an overt narrative with characters, ditch the ideology. No one cares what you or a handful of bozos on Twitter think: stop being so pushy. Normal people find your perverse woke religion grotesque.

  • If you simply have to put a story in your game, can it involve something other than "anthropogenic climate change" and Marxism? I get it: you like Greta and think corporations are evil. Stop repeating yourself. Enough already.

  • I'm tired of every game having the same control schemes, the same core mechanics, the same mini-map in the corner with tab-based menu with crafting and quest logs. "Let's make another third person action game with dodge rolling!" Meanwhile people tell me to "play indie games"-- they are either half-baked artsy-fartsy emo nonsense, or shameless Famicom-nostalgia cash grabs.

  • I want a game with good music! Give me compositional complexity, and melodies I'll remember for decades. Listen to the "Ys Book I & II" soundtrack on YouTube for inspiration. Whatever happened to game music like that?

  • Stop making everything so polished! It's ok and even preferable to have your title feel "gamey". It's a game, for Pete's sake! Instead of valuing absurd levels of animation blending and "realism", just make the character movement nuanced and fun to control. Embrace the sandbox: let the player quick save and load anywhere, don't be so rigid and dictatorial in your level designs-- ditch the "set pieces."

  • Games don't need to be one hundred hours long! Make your games six or seven hours, at max. Then people can play through and enjoy them over and over, memorizing little facets and mastering the levels.

  • Stop shoehorning RPG mechanics into everything! Yes, "Mass Effect" was a fun first-person shooter-RPG chimera-- in 2007. Enough with that template! Make simpler games, with fewer buttons. Follow Yu Suzuki's outline: "Easy to learn, difficult to master."

  • I know hardware and graphics APIs are totally homogenized. I know almost every game is made in one of two engines-- Unreal or Unity. But can you at least make an attempt to do something outside the box? "God rays", depth of field, and shader materials are fine until you realize that almost every modern game looks identical.

My focus from here-on-out is going to be something like this: Emulate! Go back and enjoy the thousands of games from the 70s-through-90s that I missed. Try taking early 3D games and using modern tools to insert ray traced effects like global illumination. Be picky! Only buy one or two modern games per year.
Evil DFL, Wokeness, and Shogo - 18:41 CST, 1/23/23 (Sniper)
Woke Theology and AI

You know the old observation about how unmoderated forums always wind up being right-wing, while left-wing forums can only remain left-wing with extreme levels of censorship and curation-- think "ResetEra" having banned almost seventy percent of the accounts? This is because left-wing ideology is divorced from reality. It always has been, which is why lefties going back hundreds of years to the present day have consistently been bomb throwing maniacs: they can't win with ideas, so they need to use violence and intimidation. And if they were divorced from reality before, they've been sucked into a black hole and spit out in an alternative universe recently!

One of the funniest things I'm watching in the world right now is lefties wrestling with their own AI systems. When you write an AI system and feed it all data known to mankind, by definition you're going to get outcomes which go against the woke orthodoxy: the AI lives in reality, while the wokeists do not. For example, when asked to write a Python program on whether a person would probably make a good engineer absent any other information, the output had a single "if" statement: if the person is white and male, then return true, else false. When asked to recalculate, it added "asian" to the "if" statement. This is similar to what I wrote here. It's an easily justifiable position supported by all available data, given the constraints.

In response, the wokeists maintaining these systems are writing elaborite filtering mechanisms, asking the AI to recalculate, recalculate, recalculate, until the answer is acceptible to the woke theology. In fact, the censorship mechanism is now consuming more developer effort than the AI product itself! In other words, the AI is based in reality-- i.e. right-wing-- but needs to be made "mentally retarded" so it can be compatible with left-wing ideology. Vee, who has tinkered extensively with these products, describes the outcome of these filters as turning the once brilliant, spontaneous, and insightful bot into a "lobotomized Alzheimer's patient in a wheel chair."

Jeremy Clarkson Slowly Catching On

I've been writing about and criticizing Cultural Marxism-- aka. wokeism-- since January of 2016. In the seven years since then, I've seen numerous litmus tests come and go, illustrating to me who "gets it" and who doesn't: Brexit, Trump's election, "January Sixth!", the WuFlu, "Yoo-crane!", and so forth. The results have been oftentimes surprising: I never would have anticipated Joe Rogan to wind up on the correct side, for instance. Unfortunately and just as surprising, lots of people went the other way-- Jeremy Clarkson being one of them.

Once upon a time I greatly admired his work. But then he fell at one hurdle after another. There were so many silly Trump remarks in "The Grand Tour" that I dumped the show; if I wanted to watch Jimmy Kimmel, I'd just do that. Interestingly, I saw that he was dropped by Amazon very recently, purportedly because he made fun of Megan what's-her-name-and-who-cares, but probably due to the show's low viewership. Meanwhile, he was a huge "Remoaner", calling anyone who disagreed with him "coffin dodgers" who just didn't like people of other skin colors.

Now, finally, it looks like the light bulb is starting to illuminate: faintly for now, but he's at least on the right track after seven years of essentially being a total moron. All of the pieces-- the "pride" sexual deviancy movement, the deliberate killing of the energy sector and the subsequent impoverishment thereby caused, the "Remain" movement in Britain, the Biden and Lula "selections" in the US and Brazil respectively, the attempted ousting of Vladimir Putin via a proxy war, the persistent "erase whitey" anti-whitism philosophy, the exploitation and possibly the creation itself of the WuFlu to normalize dystopian measures, the sexual grooming of young children, and many more-- are all the same thing, perpetrated by design by the exact same people.

It's, as Clarkson puts it, a "war without a single shot having been fired". I hope he continues to "catch up" on what he was ideologically blinded from seeing for these past several years. Trump was a wonderful bulwark against all of the above-- sans the WuFlu, sadly-- which was why I supported The Donald so ardently in 2016. It would be nice to have Clarkson's eloquence and talents on the right side during the next "Trump moment", whatever form that will take or whenever it will happen.

Shogo is Good!

One game the high school, 1998 version of myself positively loved was "Shogo: Mobile Armor Division". I played it probably a hundred times, and had it memorized. I could never quite get it working on contemporary versions of Windows however, so I have not seen or played the game much since I switched to Windows XP in 2001. Out of the blue I saw a reference to the fact it works in Windows 10 and 11 via various hacks-- so I purchased a copy via "Good Old Games" for ten bucks.

To get it working I had to utilize hacks for the mouse, for the music, for the graphics, and to enable 16:9 support. All of that accomplished, I tried to take things a step further and get ray-traced global illumination working via Nvidia's so-called "Freestyle"-- but I failed.

To get Shogo within the "Freestyle" .exe whitelist-- alas, GeForce Experience hides the SSRTGI option for unlisted binary names-- I wrote a simple C# console application and named it "Client.exe". I renamed the existing "Client.exe" to "eurotrucks2.exe". The "Shogo.exe" launcher then dutifully and unwittingly calls my .Net proxy, which then passes the undocumented and esoteric command line arguments to the actual game binary. And viola, I could then enable SSRTGI within the GeForce overlay's filter section.

Unfortunately, I ran into a second hurdle which I could not surmount: upon enabling the filter, the overlay says something about the game not providing the z-buffer data required for the filter to work. I'm not sure if this is a "LithTech" engine shortfall, or if it's something about the way I'm running the game via "dgVoodoo2". All of that said, Windows 11 at least adds Auto HDR to the game, which really breaths new life into the title all by itself. I can't capture HDR in screenshots obviously, but this is what the title looks like with 16:9 support, running on a modern GPU:

As for the game itself, I'm hugely surprised at how good it is. These past couple of decades have seen me reflect back on it as something I enjoyed purely because of the then-cutting edge tech, and because the story suited my seventeen year old's situation as a high school kid with raging hormones and sexual frustration at not having been able to get a girlfriend. But alas!

  • Shogo has some of the best pacing I've ever encountered in a video game: lots of fast and slow moments, superbly interspersed.

  • The title feels very "gamey", similar to the observations I had here regarding similar vintage "Phantasy Star Online". Quick saving and loading happens as quickly as emulator states in RetroArch, encouraging trial-and-error.

  • The title's gunplay is superb-- best shotgun this side of "Doom 2". The mech segments also feel great, from the movement physics to the sandboxey, encouraged to tinker with all of the weapons-style level and baddie designs.

  • The story is extremely engaging. There is a little overacting going on with the voice talent, and some of the dialog strikes forty one year old me as a bit trite and cheesy-- but the characters are all interesting, and I find myself compelled to play on to refresh myself on where the narrative eventually leads.

  • The title's sound track is superb, from the wonderful opening intro J-pop song to the dynamic in-game music.

  • The art direction really stands up, especially when it comes to the environments. Interesting color schemes, nice sky boxes, aesthetically pleasing and detailed-for-the-period textures, some nice alpha effects, cool explosions, well-drawn character art portraits during dialog, and so forth.

  • Nothing overstays its welcome. Unlike modern games, Shogo gives you what you want, and then moves on. There is zero bloat or filler.

  • The game's best attribute: world building! Take the government curfew section: it's just a few linear outdoor "hallways" bridging together a pumping station, a lady's house, a dilapidated old building, an old hotel, and an open air market. Each one of those elements are equally simple from a geometric design standpoint. But between the texture work, the moody background music, and the little quips the NPCs make, I developed a serious sense of unease playing through that segment. Expert minimalistic story telling.

I did find one apparent game-breaking bug with the title running on modern hardware: in the level "City of Fire", I ran across a blue electric-style gate, which was erroneously present and impassable. If anyone runs across the same situation, just hit "T" to chat, and type in "mpclip"-- walk right through the gate geometry, then re-issue "mpclip" to turn the mode back off.

Minnesota Politics, Evil DFL

Here is a small sampling of what the Democrats in my home state of Minnesota have been trying to do, just over the past few months:

  • They want to repeal criminal penalties for deliberately spreading HIV/AIDs. Every sponsor on the bill is a Democrat.

  • They want "abortion" baby killing all the way to the moment the baby is coming through the birth canal. In other words, baby is about to pop out and start crying, at which point they will rip off its limbs and crush its skull with pincers, or inject a lethal solution into its veins. Further, they voted down Republican amendments to at least help babies which survived chemical murder attempts, and to stop third-trimester murders.

  • They want to allow children to get themselves castrated, without any notice to or permission from the parents. If an eleven year-old says "chop off my penis and testicles", the doctor will be forced to do so, with no parental consultation.

  • They want to ban cow farts, cars, or anything else which produces carbon dioxide or methane, by 2040. But they want to have different rules based on skin color: for blacks, they will be in "environmental justice areas". All sponsors of the bill are Democrats.

  • They want to create a "hate speech" database. If you hurt someone's feelings, they will track you, even if no crime was committed. All sponsors are Democrats.

  • They want to have menstrual products in boy's bathrooms. Remember, this is the "party of science". Bill was created and is supported by the DFL.

  • They want to teach graphic details about gay sex to little children in schools. "Children can have any kind of sex anywhere, anytime, with anybody, at any age!" The bill has widespread DFL support.

And remember, this is the party which was floating permanent WuFlu Burqa mandates, permanent clot shot mandates, and all other manner of dystopian measures for Minnesota during the height of the scamdemic-- so much so, that I actually put the addition plans for my property on hold, because I thought I might have to sell the place and flee the state. In that instance, those measures got shot down-- but now the DFL controls the whole government machine in the state.

Both at the state and Federal levels, I really do think today's Democratic party is, and I mean this literally and directly, doing the bidding of Satan. Their evil is so incomprehensible at this point, that I can hardly fathom it's real.
A Hymn - 15:51 CST, 1/19/23 (Sniper)
Here is a hymn my son wrote today:

Give Praise to God

(r) Give praise to God for He has created you.

If you are in need,
Pray to God for help.
He will listen and help you,
For He is the Lord.


If you have sinned,
Pray to God for mercy.
He will listen and forgive you,
For He is the Lord.


Give thanks to God
For what He has made.
And give thanks to God
For what He has done.

Part of the Plan - 15:20 CST, 1/16/23 (Sniper)
Interesting speech here, well worth a listen. Juxtapose it with this for a moment, then follow with me.

I don't know if that latter piece is true, it could be completely fabricated. But that's moot, because the sentiment it expresses is absolutely plausible. The people meeting in Davos every year with a five thousand-strong paramilitary force protecting them are not dumb: in fact, it's a collection of the many of the highest IQs-- and most sociopathic personalities-- on the planet.

The flipside of Konstantine Kisin's "you will never keep them poor"-- the implication of his words-- is that people will fight before they will allow that to happen. The Davos crowd know this, absolutely. And maybe that's the whole purpose of their plan.
God's Nudge - 10:24 CST, 1/15/23 (Sniper)
They are looking for volunteers to perform the various Mass-related roles at my church. I had been praying to God to give me a sign. Today, no one stepped up to do the first reading-- very bizarre, unprecedented even for someone to have dropped the ball like that. Our priest: "We need a Lector... anyone out there want to do the readings?" God held everyone quiet, even those who often do the readings on other days. "Whelp", I thought to myself, "sometimes God acts in not so subtle ways too". I walked up there, and faked it until I made it.

And it went fine! I read clearly, didn't stumble on any words, walked back at the correct moment, returned to do the petitions at the proper time, and so forth. I have good inflections and a solid reading voice, so it came naturally to me. The only mistake I made was going just a bit faster as I went: purely an outcome of being so nervous at the unexpectedness of it all. I think it was in fact me getting more comfortable, so I stopped concentrating on the pace as much.

I might take this as an opportunity to volunteer for the Sacristan work as well. I'm "Mr. Checklist" anyway, so I'd be very thorough.

The only other notable thing was, sometimes people stumble when reading the final petition, where the recently deceased are honored. As I got to that bullet, I realized that the text said "For ___..." That's right: "For underscore". What the heck am I supposed to say?! So I made something plausible up without missing a beat, I think I went with "For all of God's children". As I walked back, I realized the proper thing was "For the recently departed". But now I know why people sometimes fumble there.

It's like a time when I called into the Peter Schiff show something like a decade ago. I had always laughed at his callers: "Hello? Can you hear me? Hello?" Then when it was my turn, I realized that there was insane latency, which is why Peter and the guests always talked over each other awkwardly, as I had just done as well.
Phantasy Star Online in Modern Times - 19:43 CST, 1/14/23 (Sniper)
A lot of people on Gab have been playing the modernized Windows port of Phantasy Star Online lately, called "Ephinea". Having quite literally never played PSO in any of its iterations, I decided to install it and give it a shot on my new PC.

To start with, there is a separate setup program which lets you choose between different renderers, resolutions, ways of doing fog, and so forth. What I found is that the Vulkan renderer seems to offer the best performance, but there is no Auto HDR. Yes, you read correctly: you can play what is essentially a Dreamcast game with HDR in Windows 11. Meanwhile, auto HDR works with the DirectX 12 renderer, but performance is poor-- lots of dropped frames.

The DirectX 11 renderer offers good performance and Auto HDR, but vsync doesn't work. The winning combination then: DirectX 11 renderer, Auto HDR enabled, vsync forced for the .exe in the Nvidia control panel. Boom! I even pulled up a PDF of the Dreamcast manual, and set up my controller config to match the original game's. Unfortunately the "L" and "R" actions map to the bumpers not the triggers, but it's still pretty authentic feeling.

Remember, this is a 30 fps title, even on Windows-- so don't expect 144 Hz or even 60: I suspect it's one of those many cases where all of the AI and physics would break. I have a monitoring tool running permanently-- the Open Hardware Monitor widget-- and at native 4K my video card never clocks itself any higher than 850 MHz, in fact it's usually down in the 600s. It's pretty humorous.

But enough yacking, behold! Of course these screenshots don't capture the HDR or how vivid and great it looks on my TV, but at least you get some gist:

This makes me wish I had an equivalent for the whole Dreamcast library. Maybe it's time for me to start messing with some emulators?

But back to PSO: being a game from '99, the balancing makes it pretty difficult to play solo, especially since the single player mode is not implemented in this port. The port does offer a toned down "one player" mode, but you can't play through the game's story that way. Overall though the game is fun because of its simplicity: I love titles of this era, in that you need to "cheese" it to progress-- like getting enemies stuck on geometry, running for the door to get them to walk away from you, interrupting them out of animations, and so forth.

Modern titles are too bloated, feature-heavy, and complex to play. Way too many mechanics, way too many buttons, way too many annoyances like crafting, a zillion side quests, mini-games, and so forth. If game companies would start making "simple" games like this again but with all of the modern graphical bells and whistles, I'd be happy as a lark.