The Exigent Duality
No Excuses - 06:56 CDT, 4/21/19 (Sniper)
I know I'm working through a translation here, but I hate Inzaghi's response to yesterday's Chievo humiliation, and it tells me a lot about why the team has been in the doldrums since-- really-- dating back to the back portion of last season.

The game was not "tainted by the expulsion"-- Sergej didn't get sent off until the 34th minute. Inzaghi was using that as an excuse to get himself off the hook. In that entire third of the match with Sergej on the pitch, I saw some of the worst football I've ever seen Lazio play, and that includes the "which circle of hell are we in" Ballardini season. It wasn't until Parolo came on that I saw a player in blue who had absolutely any interest in acting professionally. In other words, I think we would have lost the match even had we been on eleven men!

As for Sergej, if I were manager I would sit him in the Milan Coppa match. I know it's a huge fixture for us, but no player is bigger than the team, no player is bigger than the manager. There are no excuses not just for what he did to get sent off, but how he was behaving even prior to that. I'm really getting the vibe that it's this lack of accountability in Lazio which is causing this team to be so very poor. Randy Moss was deliberately misconstrued when he supposedly said "I play when I want to play"-- but in Inzaghi's Lazio, that quote is accurate, and not just of Milinkovic-Savic!

If I owned the club, and once this dreadful season is over, I would take an "all of the above" approach: for starters, clean house with this roster, even if it meant not getting "top dollar" on the sales. Surely someone out there would pay a few million for even someone like Wallace; Luis Alberto and Sergej would both be gone; I'd use that cash to go shopping for a new play maker, and a pacey and dangerous wide player, who can also play wingback. And then I'd start making a list of the most exciting young managers in Europe, and have Inzaghi re-interview for his position.
Z Spotting - 09:05 CDT, 4/20/19 (Sniper)
I just saw this commercial in my Lazio-Chievo feed, and Salah drives up in... what's basically my car-- well, it's a 370z technically, but still.

It must be a low budget commercial. I'm pretty sure Salah and his millions of pounds wages can afford a nicer car than I can!
Blind Spot - 07:50 CDT, 4/20/19 (Sniper)
I just can't take a Leftist seriously when they express anti-violence sentiments.

Crazy Bernie has been in the news denouncing "war", and stating that police departments "shouldn't look like invading armies." What does he think his world view, if implemented, would look like to those who peacefully say "thanks but no thanks" to participation in their getting filched?

Only Libertarians can take anti-militarization stands and not be total hypocrites, because they logically follow those principles even in their own lives and prescriptions.
Invasion of the Hobby Snatchers - 18:25 CDT, 4/19/19 (Sniper)
At long last-- years of anxiousness, frankly-- I've figured out one of they key reasons why I'm so discontented with my non-career personal life, specifically as it pertains to my seeming lack of identity, and my hobbies more specifically.

A few days ago I posted a link to this, and as happens so many times when I'm performing menial physical labor, I had a significant revelation hit me while I was out washing the WRX not an hour ago. But before I spring the punch line, let me first isolate for inspection a few themes of mine which regular readers of both this blog and my reviews will no doubt find familiar.

To begin, there is my absolute contempt of much of modern gaming's artwork. You can find me complaining in reviews like this. Indeed, there are non-emotional aesthetic taste reasons why I've always loved Claude Monet and harbored distaste for Picasso. But it's deeper than just that, because when I say "contempt", that doesn't even encompass the complete sensation: playing "Rayman Legends" made me physically nauseous at first, and viscerally angry second.

Why?

Next, there is my borderline preternatural hatred of hipsters and social justice warriors. I have very pragmatic, mostly political reasons (such as, them want to put a literal government gun to my head) for not liking these people. But as was the case previously, it goes deeper than that, so deep that I in fact wrote a post reflecting on that emnity. I even admitted via that discourse-- and the urge is still very real-- that every time I play Switch, I want to smash the screen as hard as possible into the nearest sharp surface.

Why?

Now let's flip over to an extended quote, with added bold emphasis, from the afore-linked Reddit discussion. I think you, dear reader, will piece it together yourself given the above preface, but in case not, I will elaborate below. But first::

"I used to go to a comic book shop that was the second floor of a tattoo parlor, and every Friday i would play magic the gathering with a lot of different types of people. There were students, there were people who after a long work week wanted to sit down and enjoy their hobby, there were people with disabilities, people on the autism/ Asperger spectrum that used this as their only social outlet. We all played and laugh together, would open card packs and get jealous of other people's cards, it was fun, and our outside lives were only really mentioned in passing.

Then when gaming was more mainstream, it was great! More people enjoyed the hobby i liked, and i didn't feel as ashamed about talking about said hobbies in front of people. But at some point, people wanted to move nerd culture away from the 'greasy nerds' that started it. What happened then is that the very people who shunned the 'greasy nerds' starting invading the culture that they weren't really invested in and trying to change it to suit them. People wondered why the nerds were so against 'gamer grrlls' and attributed it to mysoginy, when a more palpable reason would be that these nerds (mostly male at the time) would probably be shunned for openly enjoying their hobby by the opposite sex, so they probably felt pissed about the girls being celebrated for enjoying it.

Nerd culture started as a gathering of people that came to escape reality together, to do away from the politics of the every day lives. But then with it becoming mainstream, the original people who started the hobby are being shunned and kicked out of the space that they created, and worse of, saying that they don't deserve to have their own space even though they get ridiculed the spaces they share with others. Then they see their hobby, get changed and warped by the political ideologies and personal preferences of people who don't really have an investment in it to begin with."


Growing up, I had significant social issues relating to kids, who were my age. My earliest best friend was the probably seventy year-old bus driver I had in kindergarten, with whom I used to talk "Star Trek".

On top of that, my way of visualizing the world and perceiving reality, combined with my totally naive open-mindedness and non-judgemental nature, caused me relentless teasing and bullying all throughout childhood. As my kindergarten year progressed, I made best friends with a kid who, looking back and even at him as an adult, I swear is an Aspie-- he has every one of the traits, to a fairly significant degree as well.

He and I were notorious for being the "twin loners". We spent every single recess period for nine years-- kindergarten through eighth grade-- walking around the perimeter of the fenced-in church parking lot which our school used as the playground, talking about computers, video games, and logic puzzles. We even got our first jobs at ages 15, washing dishes together as a tandem at the same restaurant.

I can, and I'm sure my friend could as well, one hundred percent relate to the above discourse. Video games and computers were our "escape" to a place where things were more logical, and made more sense to us. And because borderline Autism spectrum people like us were the primary people who played games back then, the games were designed and marketed directly to people like us! It was a place in the world where we belonged: a little oasis of familiarity in the middle of a strange and alien world.

More:

"That experience, and all the others besides, formed a core of shared experiences that pervades nerd culture. There was a discussion on slashdot right after Columbine, with thousands and thousands of posters all sharing the same reaction: 'I could never condone what they did.... but I get it.'"


This was exactly my reaction as the Columbine aftermath unfolded: I abhored violence, but boy could I understand what caused them to go through with it! I hated them for what they did, but also had empathy for my fallen "comrades" of sorts.

And some disjointed but insightful remarks regarding hipsters specifically:

"Hipster douchebags and SJWs are generally incapable of producing anything of merit (or even judging it) and therefore have to co-opt someone else's culture to have any at all.

Cultural appropriation your culture belongs to hipsters now. You can't have it back until they find something to replace it with but by then you won't want it anymore.

...they ruin every culture they invade. Whether it be sci fi and fantasy, indie music, gaming, anime, tabletop. You name the subculture, if it becomes trendy, hipsters will latch into it abd ruin it."


The thing which characterizes hipsters is a total lack of authenticity, in everything they do: the way they dress (all alike), the way they wear their hair (all alike), the stupid glasses they don (all identical), and so on. The odds of all of these people totally independently, coincidentally, and in a free-thinking manner swarming to the exact same neck beard style and hobbies is impossible.

Like a toxic mold spreading across an encrusted bathroom sink, at some point in the past decade a critical mass of these people started flocking to crafted beers, soccer, and-- you guessed it-- video games. But because they all hopped on the video game train simply because it was what all of the other hipsters were doing, they fundamentally don't understand the medium.

I once heard "The Big Bang Theory" described as the "blackface of nerds". There is a kind of correlary which also represents the hideous creations of these hipsters, as they started founding and taking over game studios: "look mom! I made a 'retro' game with 'chiptune' music!" Their games are pretentious and cargo-culty because they're in the business to make themselves socially acceptable to their peers, not because they are particularly invested in the medium, or even really understand what makes a game-- or any work of art good for that matter-- good in the first place.

And this is why I've spent years yo-yo'ing between buying and being unhappy with 4K HDR televisions one minute, and purchasing and being dissatisfied with old Atari ST's the next: I've been trying desperately to escape to "my space", but it's all been totally lacking in fulfillment, because I haven't understood the root of why I was unhappy! Stefan Molyneux once said, "do what you're going to do-- just make sure you understand why you're doing what you're doing." Maybe I can just relax and get on with enjoying myself, now that I have this new-found awareness.

Finally then: why do I feel compelled to run my Nintendo Switch over with my car? Go back now and watch the initial reveal video, but through the lense I've laid out above. Boom.

No Wisdom - 08:41 CDT, 4/19/19 (Sniper)
Sometimes I get curious about people with whom I work, and I decide to look them up online.

One I checked on this morning has a Twitter feed. They are: opposed to having a wall on the border (despite perhaps having a fenced yard?), posted tributes to war criminal John McCain, are pushing for "gun control", "re-tweeted" quotes from Moochelle (or should I say "Michael") Obozo telling kids to "reach new heights" (?), and on top of it posted that they "admire" Elon Musk, and have "empathy" for him.

What a train wreck.
Maybe Football? - 16:48 CDT, 4/18/19 (Sniper)
I officially have the third fastest video card chipset on the planet. And interestingly, in terms of raw clocks it has the highest boost frequency of any of the chipsets.

In other news, done with work for the night, got the grocery shopping done already, and the house all picked up. The kids have had dinner, and are on their PCs. Time to figure out what to do! All of this Champions League action has made me want to boot into Windows to continue my "Pro Evo 2019" Master League team.

The last action I took was buying Matthijs de Ligt with almost every transfer kitty Euro I'd saved up over three full seasons. I was astonished that I was able to complete that transfer, since he was only three stars' worth of keen-ness to join me. But now I've got him and Mukiele as my first-choice centerhalf pairing, which is phenomenal.

My Minnesota United team (with real kits!) right now, 4-2-3-1 formation. Also, there are some famous names in my team-- those are re-spawned retired players, one of my favorite long-standing options in the series:


GK: Justo Villar (17 yo, 74), Beto (17 yo, 72)

LB: Teixeira (18 yo, 74), Ayovi (16 yo, 75)

LCB: De Ligt (21 yo, 83), Panzo (20 yo, 72)

RCB: Mukiele (23 yo, 81), Dainelli (17 yo, 73)

RB: McDowall (19 yo, 70), Glen Johnson (17 yo, 73)

DMF: Lucas Tousart (23 yo, 81), Lassana Diarra (16 yo, 72)

CMF: Federico Valverde (22 yo, 77), Mutsuo Ogasawara (16 yo, 72)

LMF: Luis Sinisterra (21 yo, 77), Levi Garcia (23 yo, 75)

AMF: Mott (25 yo, 78, Captain), Lincoln (22 yo, 77)

RMF: Matheus Cunha (21 yo, 77), Diego Villar (17 yo, 76)

CF: Nicolas Gonzalez (22 yo, 78), Kucic (17 yo, 75)


It's been fun watching Ajax in this year's Champions League, because they remind me exactly of my "Pro Evo" team: super young and pacey side which plays crazy one-touch passing in the opponent's final third-- but which also sometimes can be naive and get caught on the break.

Funnily though, Nicolas Gonzalez in-game reminds me a lot of Cristiano Ronaldo when the latter was at Manchester United at about the same age: kind of inconsistent, but has phenomenal physique, pace, and technique.
Speechless - 20:35 CDT, 4/17/19 (Sniper)
Holy shit and a half to this!
Exiled - 19:53 CDT, 4/17/19 (Sniper)
I've been playing video games since the Atari 2600, and have been a platform early adopter more times than I can even recall. Video game technology is one of the things in life which really gets me going-- so I'm really trying hard to be excited while watching this. But I'm just not.

I was just flipping through my Xbox One and PlayStation 4 reviews, and there's so precious little in terms of games which really got me going, or which seemed particularly iconic or defining for their platforms, that it's kind of depressing. Over the past several years, the only two games I played on either system which I really liked were Doom 2016, and Sonic Mania. That's it.

Contrast this with the Xbox 360 days, when I remember not being able to sleep at night because I was so excited for Dead Rising, Blue Dragon, Fable 2, Gears of War, Ghost Recon: Advanced Warfighter, Lost Odyssey, Mass Effect, and Oblivion. When I got a PlayStation 3, I absolutely had to have 3d Dot Game Heroes, Gran Turismo 5, LittleBigPlanet, and Valkyria Chronicles. I never would have dreamed of putting either system in a box for months on end-- yet that's exactly where my PlayStation 4 Pro has been for ages.

And what makes things extra sad is that back during the time, I correctly observed, with bucket loads of specific concrete examples, just how bad that period was versus the golden ages of the 70s through 90s. But through 2019's lens, the Xbox 360 looks like a smorgasbord of creativity by comparison to the hyper-commoditized, absurdly conservative stuff we get today. In other words, things have only gotten worse since 2011. The kinds of tech-pushing "triple A" games I prefer are down to like three genres now.

And this isn't even getting to the $800 I dropped on my RTX 2080-- on which I've played about three hours of games in the entire time I've owned it.

Interestingly and by this metric, Nintendo is a completely different story-- almost the total opposite. For me, the Wii was their dark age, and the Wii U and Switch have been their renaissance. But the problem there is that the technology is so boring! It's that intersection of cutting-edge technology married to games I want to play which gets me going, not just one or the other. The Switch is hardly more powerful than the aforementioned Xbox 360, from 2005!

My worry is that I'll be so tempted, out of pure habit and momentum, into buying a PlayStation 5, or whatever Microsoft's next console is, that I'll lose sight of the risk that those too will wind up boxed in the cellar because there are no games up my alley. What a waste of money! The only hope is that those companies have Nintendo-like revivals-- but given that I suspect increased development budgets due to the technology may be the reason creativity has fallen off a cliff, odds are the next platforms will be even worse.

Stepping back, I suppose this just kind of sums up the state of the world for me today, which seems to be leaving me and my values behind: modern cinema and television shows are ADHD "in your face" with cinematography, and have lots of obnoxious "social justice" themes; cars are commoditized like toasters, with nearly identical specs, and are hell-bent on moving towards hideous "external combustion" self-driving electric designs; computers are so mainstream-oriented and polished that they have long-since ceased scratching my hardcore "geek" itch; and video games... well, read the above.

I mean, just look at when you search for "geeks in underwear"! Chads and thots. None of you are geeks. This is a geek in underwear-- the real deal. Hell, this could have been a direct picture of me in high school, and I'm damned proud of it, albeit I was never quite as heavy as this guy. It's called "authenticity".

I'm really curious to hear what the "real nerds" like me are doing for hobbies these days. But they're surprisingly difficult to find! Although once in awhile I do run across a post somewhere like this, which nails the sequence of events, and how I feel.
Again - 12:32 CDT, 4/16/19 (Sniper)
First words from the immortal Mark Cerny related to the "PlayStation 5", or whatever it's going to be called: it'll use a Ryzen CPU and a Navi GPU, the latter of which will apparently have some sort of hardware ray tracing implementation. Cool! The system is slated for a 2020 release at the earliest.

Of course, those high-level specs basically describe the PC I have right now, just replace the AMD GPU with an Nvidia RTX 2080. But to the extent consoles support ray tracing is the degree towards which that technology will get wider PC support. So I benefit too in an indirect sort of way.

The big question for me is, I'm still not sold on Cerny as a hardware designer: he took things super conservative with the Vita, and it was basically a total failure on the market. Then he took the same path with the PlayStation 4-- a boring black box with a disc drive that plays games via a 1998 controller design-- and won by default, because both Microsoft and Nintendo shot themselves in the feet simultaneously, ceding the entire market to Sony. Now he's treading the same "safe" path a third time: will it be another Vita, or a PlayStation 4 in terms of sales?
Pests - 12:23 CDT, 4/16/19 (Sniper)
When I first saw this story, I thought it was a piece of satire-- a quick follow-up search revealed that it's apparently true, as it's being picked up absolutely everywhere! People are so insane today that it's almost impossible to tell parody from the real thing. Bold emphasis is mine:

"A bed bug was spotted April 12 in a manager's office after several weeks of other bug sights... there was a mass exodus... employees were freaking out they felt really unsafe. Employees claim the first bed bug was spotted three to four weeks ago after a corner had to be roped off during the overnight hours."


"Oh my gaaaawd, it might get on my turtleneck, someone please help me, help me!" But hey, I'll never have to worry about people like this infesting my farm house up North: there are mice, deer, and even asian beetles in the vicinity!

Remember: these are the same people who want to take away your cars, your guns, and make it illegal for you to eat meat.
Unscrupulous - 08:05 CDT, 4/16/19 (Sniper)
The Left in America today simply can't be honest about anything! Anything at all! Mark Dice covered Candace Owens's statements recently. No one can open-mindedly listen to what she had to say and not admit-- however hard that might be for some people-- that she's right.

So how does the media cover her? How about this headline: "YouTube tested, Trump approved: How Candace Owens suddenly became the loudest voice on the far right".

"YouTube"-- that evil, evil social media site, which needs to censor people like her. Trump-- that evil, evil bigot. "Loudest", meaning obnoxious. "Far right", a vacuous term with no literal meaning, but with negative connotations for Leftists-- and thus their favorite ad hominem. How much propaganda can you fit into a simple headline? When every word is so carefully chosen, quite a bit!

If you can't fight the battle of ideas on a level playing field, you need to put your hand on the scale. And that's the situation in which the American Left finds itself today. That's why at the very hearing, Ted Lieu had to roll out a totally taken-out-of-context video clip!
No Logical Consistency - 09:30 CDT, 4/14/19 (Sniper)
Hah, typically humorous lack of self-awareness. It's not a crime to run a successful factory either.
Stuck in the Details - 16:43 CDT, 4/13/19 (Sniper)
Sometimes I swear I should go into youth football coaching.

At work, I routinely see "big picture" stuff that others miss-- and when Correa went off today, I could see after five minutes that Immobile and Caicedo were not dropping off into pockets of space, leaving Bakayoko and Kessie to double-mark Alberto. But no adjustment ever came from Inzaghi, we had zero shots the entire second half, and we went on to lose 1-0. Why could he not see what I saw immediately? But it wasn't just that match-- it happens a lot when I watch football.

I think the answer is that coaches are often hyper-emotional, living every tackle, living every pass. Instead of making obvious (to me anyway) tactical adjustments, Inzaghi was too busy getting himself sent to the stands by walking onto the pitch, shouting and gesticulating wildly at the referee. See what I mean? No one in that state of mind can see the forest for the trees. So now it's one point from the last nine: Lazio don't deserve Europa League, much less Champions League.

Now I'm watching Minnesota United in their first ever match in their 250 million USD stadium. They're drawn 2-2 before 25 minutes even, after watching the best defending in the world in the Lazio match, I'm seeing the worst now. In general, Adrian Heath drives me nuts related to the above. He has the tactical understanding of a junior high coach. His "big message" to the players today? "Go win the game!"

My problems with coaching would be dealing with the obnoxious parents-- "get lost, I'm the boss here"-- and not wanting to run the training: I'd want a parent to basically handle the practice logistics, so I could focus on note-taking so I could put each player into the best tactical and instructional position to succeed.
Papa Murphy's VR - 12:30 CDT, 4/13/19 (Sniper)
The two most recent Digital Foundry videos are perfect examples of how there is basically zero intersection these days between cool technology innovation, and actual games.

In the first place, that "Hellblade" looks like the dumbest thing I've ever seen: what is it, a walking simulator? A corny cut-scene generator? Or is it even playable at all, and it's just one big terribad movie? The engine technology would be the perfect way to show off the Switch, but who the heck would want to sit through that pile of crap otherwise?

In the second example, this new "Tomb Raider" game is one of those cheesy early-90s Sega CD "FMV" games! You just watch pre-baked sequences, and once in awhile you have to press a few buttons in the right order to get the thing to keep playing. As with "Hellblade", the engine technology looks super cool, but the "game" the developers built with it can hardly be called as such!

Firing up "Bug!" on the Saturn-- a brand new game for me-- a few days ago was like a breath of fresh air: the game just drops you into the first level, and boom, you're off exploring with zero interruptions. And on top of that, it seriously pushes what the Saturn is capable of, with absolutely insane sprite (quad) scaling and rotation happening all over. In one part, dozens of grasshoppers start careening from the background, to the foreground! Why can't modern games be like "Bug!"-- marry cool technology with pure gameplay?

In any event and on the complete flip-side of the technology-gameplay coin, I picked up the $40 "Labo VR" kit this morning, and the mini games are super fun to play, but the technology isn't that interesting. I've used the Vive, Rift, PSVR, Google Cardboard, and now "Labo VR", and in terms of capability they go exactly in that order.

The redeeming attribute of Nintendo's offering is that the software has tons of charm-- my kids were going absolutely nuts just booting a football around the "make sure things are working" opening demo scene! And also to Nintendo's credit, the visual experience is kind of neat in a "has character" sort of way; there is aggressive anti-aliasing, yes, but I'd say the overall sensation is that there are large "gaps" between the pixels, almost giving the impression of an interlaced CRT!

The other funny thing about "Labo VR" is that it led to a refresher course on "inflation" between Henrietta and I. "When I was a boy, Sega and others had simple, affordable VR headsets like this, but they were made out of actual plastic, and you didn't need to take hours assembling them yourself!" Nintendo tried to turn lemons into lemonaid by painting their margin-protection not as a bug, but a feature: "It's fun to build!"

Personally, I'm not convinced: I think it's boring as hell, and wish it came pre-assembled in the box. And I wasn't the only one: Duncan sat for five minutes, shrugged, and said "call me in once it's all done".

The other limitation is that it's only "four degrees of freedom": Duncan was walking around my room expecting the camera to track with him, and I had to explain that this didn't have that capability. All the same, the platformer and racing mini games are so cool that I hope the incoming "Pro" Switch is indeed VR-focused (made out of actual plastic, and with a head strap this time), like I hypothesized earlier it might be, because it would be neat to see Nintendo design full game experiences around this foundation.

In any event, I'm going to start on the "blaster" toy, then watch Lazio and Minnesota United very nearly back-to-back.
Interesting Question - 06:21 CDT, 4/13/19 (Sniper)
This is all said in jest, but as a former WNBA fan with Minnesota Lynx season tickets for several seasons, I think it's a legitimate concern.

First, the league has always marketed itself as very liberal to its heavily lesbian audience-- and I don't say that as any sort of attack, I'm merely stating a fact: a huge chunk of the players and punditry are open lesbians, and probably half of the adult attendees when I used to go to the Lynx games at the "Target Center" were women with short hair cuts, holding hands. There is zero possibility the league could say no to letting trans people in: it would be political and financial suicide.

Second, I remember the fawning idolatry the league's punditry had for Lisa Leslie: she was the league's dominant center at 6 ft 5 in, 170 lbs. They loved her in some part because she could (barely) dunk. If she was that dominant, imagine introducing a 7 ft 2 in 250 lbs former-NBA player into the league. How would the league's "girls rule, men drool" commentary react when said player was putting up fifty points and fifteen blocks per game? Would they just go along with it and pretend that the person was a biological female? Would they rebel and feel like it was an invasion?

Third, it wouldn't even necessarily need to be an NBA-caliber player: in football (soccer), boy's high school teams routinely beat women's professional sides-- there is that big of a descrepancy between males and females. All it would take to destroy any sense of competitiveness in the WNBA is for even two or three trans people to go in: those two or three teams would be so dominant, they'd be impossible to stop! And if you think that's an exaggeration, think of how many WNBA games are decided by just a few points: having "Lisa Lesie x2" would virtually guarantee a championship.

The only way I could see it working would be to have a requirement that the trans individual has been on hormones: then they could very well have lost height and muscle mass. But based on all of the precedent in other sports, that is almost certainly not that route things would take.
More Issues - 15:23 CDT, 4/10/19 (Sniper)
Now the new server is having sporadic disk failures! Apache and MySQL must be hard drive assassins or something! So if the blog goes down for a few days again, that means I'm cutting over to server fifty seven.
Political Expediency - 11:57 CDT, 4/07/19 (Sniper)
There are tons of videos of Tesla autopilot-related crashes circulating online. In fact, I've seen two crazy ones just in the past couple of weeks! As I wrote in great detail here, there are just too many variables in the real world for cars to safely drive themselves.

Not to mention, this whole situation is an excellent example of the State abrogating its "delegation of self-defense" duties for an expansion of its own power-- in this case, by pushing not just electric cars, but autonomous vehicles. Tesla gets a two-fer free pass!
Resolved - 09:51 CDT, 4/07/19 (Sniper)
I have a new server all set up and going, so no more "site goes down when Sniper boots into Windows". Perfect! I also re-wrote the three missing reviews, so I'm one hundred percent caught back up to where I was.
Uhhh - 20:31 CDT, 4/05/19 (Sniper)
I got unlazy and fixed the timestamps for the re-created posts. All that's left now is to re-write those few missing reviews.

And you take your life into your own hands going grocery shopping this late: the store was filled to the brim with nothing but rapper mutha black guys, super obese pink-haired white women in spandex, and the odd buttcrack-revealing old dude. I often wonder what someone from, let's say, 1910 would think if you were to time-travel them to the present.
Partial Recovery - 17:55 CDT, 4/05/19 (Sniper)
Disaster has struck again: my "ghetto" server setup has had yet another catastrophic disk failure, and this time I hadn't backed up the database in three weeks. I managed to recover the blog posts from a browser cache on my work laptop, but any reviews I'd published in that period are long gone. I think it was only three: "Sega Rally", "Burning Rangers", and the "Bloodstained" game on Switch.

As for the blog content, I manually re-posted all of the missing items, but I'm too lazy to go back and manually set the dates on them. So it just looks like I wrote two dozen posts in the span of twenty minutes: hey, I'm just that productive, what can I say?

Also, I'm back to running the blog off of my PC again until I can figure out what to do next, so every time I boot into Windows to play a game, the site will go down. So much for up-time!

Totally off topic, but it wouldn't surprise me if the incoming "Switch Pro" was in fact a VR-focused model. Maybe it would even have custom "joy-cons" ("head-cons") with attached headstraps, and additional hardware to improve motion tracking.

My theory fits, in the sense that the rumors say this rendition would be focused on hardcore players-- and rather than just make a marginally faster Switch for the hell of it, a VR-centric approach just seems like the kind of off the wall thing the company would do. Also, then Nintendo could position "Labo VR" as the entry-level experience to get people in the door for the upgrade to the full product.

And in yet other other news, this whole concept of a "freelancer" cracks me up. For example: "Millenials hate the 9 to 5 schedule! When are we supposed to go hiking or drink craft beer???" Or this site: "How to face sexism while doing yoga on a mountain!" Or what about here? "Best parts are freedom! Worst parts are actually having to work to earn the money!"

Like all things, some truths there: bandwidth is so widely available now that most corporate people can work from home way more easily than from the office (which is what I do)-- you don't even need to walk between rooms for meetings. And I find that I do exercise a lot more when I work from home, because I can just mix it in as I have time.

But based on other statistics about millenials, my guess is that most of these "freelancers" are basically treating it as a kindergarten where they can play at grown-up, to make their mommies and daddies happy. Think "Gob Bluth" from "Arrested Development".
Predator Perhaps - 08:32 CDT, 3/25/19 (Sniper)
This stuff is always sad for me; I was an enormous Michael Jackson fan as a kid in the 80s. I had all of his albums, and my second Genesis game in 1990 was "Michael Jackson's Moonwalker".
Nuthouse - 14:15 CDT, 3/24/19 (Sniper)
Juxtapose this kind of absolutely insane dishonesty from the mainstream media, with Pollak's latest editorial, and you can see how batshit crazy the Democratic Party is right now.

Killing babies after they're born, tearing down existing border walls, playing Russian witch hunt for years and not turning up anything, replacing every building in the country, banning people from eating meat... the list of top-drawer nuthouse ideas just goes on and on.

Crowder was recently saying that all Trump needs to do to win in 2020 is to just stand back and let the Democrats talk. I think I agree with him.
Unwatchable - 07:46 CDT, 3/24/19 (Sniper)
I went through this when I was sixteen, almost identical story; spent over a week in the hospital, surgeon was non-commital to my parents that I'd survive, had tubes down my throat draining my stomach because my digestive system had shut down, could barely walk when I was released, and so on. Took months before I was back to normal again.

In unrelated news, this headline made me think the NFL was trying to find ways to speed up the game. Instead, it's about them adding new replay scenarios-- all because Saints fans threw a hissy fit about a missed call in a single game. NFL games already only have 11 minutes of action in an over 3 hour broadcast, and now they want to stop the game every time there is a roughing the passer or pass interference call? Good grief!
Labo VR - 18:34 CDT, 3/22/19 (Sniper)
The kiddos both gave enthusiastic thumbs up for this. As I've mentioned before, the three of us loved "Google Cardboard", and this has that Nintendo "best in the world" game design pedigree behind it.

The ocean stuff was like a cross between Seaman and Pokemon Snap; I love Arkanoid, so the 3D breakout looked super fun; the shooting games are Super Scope all over again; the puzzle game looks like The Incredible Machine; and the game creator favorably reminded both kids of our Lego Mindstorms EV3 set.

My hope if this does well is that they-- or heck, a third party-- release one with a strap. I could see Minecraft support being brought over, for instance. Or even VR-specific indie games.
Not Many Left - 17:09 CDT, 3/21/19 (Sniper)
Testosterone levels in men have fallen an average of one percent per year, since 1980! What's funny, is that you can see it just by looking at pictures of young men from the 1970s, versus today. And it's not just hair styles or clothing or photography: pay attention to how soft and rounded the features of men today are, by contrast to the more chiseled, broad-boned looks of then!

In any event, the reason I bring this up is because in the span of just a couple of hours, I've hit upon two pictures which perfectly sum up today's masculinity crisis: check out this guy! And then just a bit later, I stumbled on this even more outrageous picture-- just page down a couple of times. I bet these guys have "T" levels in the mid-100s.

The fact that men are an endangered species today makes me wonder if that's a big part of why the world is essentially an ochlocracy today-- ruled by "the wild and furious passions in lieu of the sober judgment of courts". Even the men are basically women, so there isn't that more even-keel force regulating the feminine passions and moodiness. It'd be like having the entire "Enterprise" bridge crew being copies of Deanna Troi.

Don't get me wrong: women serve a tremendous purpose in the world, and in general I get along with them great. I have a daughter of my own, whom I love to pieces. To stick with the analogy, I sure as hell wouldn't want "Worf" as my guidance counselor, just as much as I wouldn't want Troi as ship's captain. Both men and women serve equally important purposes.

For the world to stay sane-- so no Genghis Khan "patriarchy" and no hysterical "matriarchy"-- there needs to be a balance between masculinity and femininity: empathy combined with systematizing. And it's this balance that seems to be way off these days (just look at New Zealand; female prime minister, and the men: "Take my guns! Take my property! Take my wife! Take everything! The horrors!").
Crapitalism and Diminishing Returns - 12:59 CDT, 3/21/19 (Sniper)
Wifey has been reading some early research indicating material risks of cancer with the impending rollout of so-called "5G" technology. Do we really need more bandwidth? And for what-- to send .01% higher resolution cat pictures?

The current crony capitalist model involves the quasi-infinite expansion of "fake" credit not based on any real-world assets, which is then funneled to massive State-protected "corporations" via extraordinarily low interest loans. This "financialization" caused an explosion in the human population on Earth. The "corporations" use their easy credit to mass-produce shitty consumer goods, which people buy on their own credit. In total, cumulative global interest payments for all debt are in the range of trillions of currency. Who collects all of this interest? Hello "income inequality"!

The "corporations" each sit on their own little silos: "healthcare", or car manufacturing, or electronics gadgets, or food production, and so on. They employ the peons, and keep employing them in the same menial, extraordinarily "diminishing returns" tasks (look at surveys of employee satisfaction in today's world), so the commoners can keep getting credit, to keep consuming the shitty consumer goods, and so on. And they will territorially protect those "silos" come hell or high water, even engaging in massive mergers to keep the train going.

We're so far past the point of "diminishing returns" that we're actively moving into "counterproductive" territory: to go with the earlier example, do people benefit more from "5G" if an extra ten percent of them wind up getting breast or testicular cancer? But this endless cycle just goes on forever, with "corporations" not really relinquishing very many resources, since they're so freaking big and thus buffered from market forces to a large degree. It'd be like a group in a small village building a canal, but then building even unnecessary canals and flooding the village in the process, versus just moving on once that first canal was complete.

Of course, all of this will hit a hard stop "Minsky Moment", when the trillions in global debt just becomes that little bit too much, and the process will unwind. In fact, I think it's already happening: all of the social fragmentation are the death throes of the old, unsustainable model fraying. The Fed has already admitted that they literally can not unwind the balance sheet without destroying the world, and are just going to keep it at 3.5-3.8 trillion, permanently. That means we're near the end of the road: no QE to bail out the next crisis!

When that happens, stupid people who can't even balance their check books or afford a $500 car repair, much less understand what "quantitative easing" is, will blame "freedom" ("capitalism", which is just people voluntarily exchanging goods and services for mutual benefit-- a farmer's market is capitalism, for example) and will vote for "socialism", which will cause hundreds of millions of people to die around the world by putting unilateral power into the brokers who created this mess in the first place with their fleecing.
Hopefully Empty Stadia - 16:33 CDT, 3/19/19 (Sniper)
I absolutely hate this on practically every conceivable level.

First, do Google really need more power? They already control the web browser market and essentially the entire financial apparatus which runs the web itself via its advertising empire, not to mention the mobile phone market, and their vast stores of personal user information. I don't think it's at all ridiculous to avoid this service just based on not wanting Google to grow larger.

Second, do you really trust Google to be good stewards of art? If you thought Nintendo's censorship of "Mortal Kombat" or the hoopla over "Night Trap" were ridiculous, then you haven't seen anything yet. There is absolutely zero doubt in my mind that Google will actively censor video game content that their West Coast elite, limousine liberal YouTube executives deem to be "hateful" (which is anything they disagree with). This will extend to banning video game studios who make any kind of content which Google does not like. What's more, there is similarly no doubt that their first party studio will be pushing nothing but racist Cultural Marxist themes and overt political propaganda, masquerading as games. Yuck, yuck, and yuck.

Third, this would put the final nail in the coffin of game preservation. Already games on contemporary consoles-- Switch largely excluded, pleasantly enough-- are utterly dependent on massive, tens-of-gigabytes day one patches to fix crippling bugs, or for the game to even launch at all. What happens when those update servers are retired? This streaming concept takes things to even the next level after that: games could disappear, reappear, and disappear at the drop of a hat with a "service" like this! I'm sure there will be tons of legalese in their EULA, "content subject to change at service provider's discretion".

Fourth, I've noticed that huge swathes of games are barely playable with the input latency of modern controllers and displays. I even wrote about this observation in a recent review. Now you're saying, on top of all of that, you want to stream the freaking game itself over the internet? Good luck playing half of the hobby's genres. Hilariously, numerous commenters said the unveiling live stream video for this service had a massive "hiccup" pause right in the middle of it!

I could go on, but you get the point by now.
Wat - 15:56 CDT, 3/19/19 (Sniper)
A couple of things in particular jumped out at me from the Crowder Tommy Robinson interview. This might be a little disjointed-- I finally decided to fire up an Yngwie Malmsteen album for the first time ever, and I'm absolutely mesmorized-- so bear with me.

First, how unbelievably sleazy can you get? I mean, this is so insanely crooked that I'd expect it in some kind of Hollywood film about the mafia or something. Or, as it turns out in real life, the BBC-- a difference without a distinction?

Second, Mark Dice has been warning that Amazon would start book burning by simply removing books which went counter to its political narrative. Well Mark, here ya' go! Nailed it.

In any event, Ellyn is with H at Girl Scouts, and D is at home with me playing Minecraft, while I sit here blaring virtuoso guitar riffs while pounding away in Emacs. Next up: write my "Sega Rally" review!
Prodigiously Ignorant - 11:53 CDT, 3/19/19 (Sniper)
First, calling Ben Shapiro an "idiot", while you're hysterically calling for authoritarian top-down levels of censorship-- because that approach has such a great historical track record-- simply because you've failed to establish a healthy trusting and open relationship with your own son... well let's just say "idiot" is perhaps an apt description-- just not for Mr. Shapiro.

That, and Ben was a prolific childhood pianist who skipped two full grades and became a fully-barred attorney by age 23. I'm not saying I'm a big fan of his or agree with him about everything, but the guy probably has an IQ of 150, and would completely obliterate you in a debate-- name the time and place so I can grab some popcorn.

Second, I simply can't process the way so many people today-- and let's just be honest, they're basically all on the political Left-- knee-jerk reach for censorship, intimidation, and even physical violence the instant they become uncomfortable. This is from where the pejorative "snowflake" emerged.

If one of my kids started watching pro-Communist videos online, I'd welcome it as an opportunity to have an open non-hostile conversation about history, economics, death counts, and so on: a productive battle of ideas. Versus, petitioning Google to make YouTube's content match my own opinions. The idea itself is plain silly.
Barr Remains - 08:04 CDT, 3/15/19 (Sniper)
Back when Brian Robison was with the club and was doing his YouTube "96 Questions" segments, one guy who routinely stood out to me as just being a nice, high character guy was Anthony Barr.

So it comes as absolutely no surprise to me that he would not only treat changing teams as a very solemn life event decision, but that he would ultimately recognize that his happiness was more contingent on camaraderie than getting the largest bottom-number paycheck.