The Exigent Duality
A Big Lesson - 18:52 CDT, 9/20/21 (Sniper)
I've been getting to know a lot of the neighbors by the lake very near my house, and a consistent pattern in this rural area versus the urban area where I grew up is just now unbelievably nice the people here are. And I'm not using a watered down version of "nice" either-- I mean, genuinely and authentically nice: pretentiousless.

I was just out for my usual walk down to the lake, and it started to rain. I was in front of a neighbor's house-- we'll just call him "Mark"-- and decided to turn around. I got about three quarters up the road, and heard a car approaching. It was Mark! "Do you need a ride?" "No", I responded, "I'm almost back now. Thanks for offering though, I appreciate it!" "Ok, see you around!" he answered in turn.

Stepping off the road to let his car pass-- I'd naturally assumed he was heading into town, and just happened to see me on the way-- I heard tire noises: a car making a "k-turn". It was then that it hit me: he saw me walking, got dressed, put on his shoes, went out into the rain, hopped in his car, and drove up the road just to give me a ride!

That is the kind of absolute selflessness which I don't know I've ever personally experienced in my whole life. I'm not even family to him: I'm essentially a total stranger! Next time I see him, I am going to thank him profusely. I really think God sent him my way: I was feeling very down about people in general earlier today, so He showed me that there is a lot of good in the world too.
America Today - 07:05 CDT, 9/20/21 (Sniper)
This entire Mark Steyn discourse is worth a read, but the below quote from the "Q and A" portion stuck out to me the most:

"Trump tapped into that in 2016. That is what provided Trump's margin of victory in Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and brought him close in a handful of other states too.

He articulated that if you are living in a ruined town that once had a mill and a factory and you could afford a nice three-bedroom house on a good size lot, which had no crime, and raised your children, that was fine.

Now, the mill and the factory are gone, and your daughter does the night shift at the KwikkiKrap, and your son is running a meth lab because that is marginally more interesting than doing the night shift at the KwikkiKrap."
Fake Organisms - 07:52 CDT, 9/18/21 (Sniper)
My understanding of Fascism is that it views "society" not as a mere shorthand word for the rolled up aggregate of individuals, but as its own organism with its own rights, separate from the human organisms of which it's composed. I thought of that as I read this piece. From the editorial, bold emphasis is mine:

"We saw just that in June 2020, when more than 1,200 'health care professionals' signed a petition demanding exemptions from lockdowns and quarantines for Black Lives Matter protesters marching en masse. And they concocted medical excuses such as 'vital to the national public health' to insist that violating quarantines was less unhealthy than not pouring into the streets."

In other words, the flagrant and infuriating double standard-- used purely as a wedge against the Left's political opponents-- was justified as a way to protect "the society organism's" health. In other words, Fascism! From so-called "anti-Fascists". They do this with the border too: "It's too bad your daughter got raped and murdered, but just remember that it's good for society to have millions of illegal immigrants coming in every year."

Interestingly, they also use a Paganistic take on this same formula: that the Earth-- which is just a ball of rock-- is also an organism in and of itself, and if you're opposed to "carbon credits" enriching billionaire Elon Musk, or the shutting down of the Keystone pipeline, or think that denying fossil fuel-powered ambulances to third-world people is not a nice thing to do, that you're "hurting the Earth". Of course, molecules of dirt can't be "healthy or unhealthy"-- they just are. But that's exactly how the Left tries to push their radical environmentalism.

Who can forget Nancy Pelosi's blaming wildfires on "Mother Gaia" being angry with humans?

The danger with this Fascistic line of thinking is that it can be used to rationalize anything; with an individual, it can be objectively proven that eating fifty gallons of ice cream or that having a tumor are bad for an individual's body. But with a "society", which does not have a body, who is to say what's "healthy" or "unhealthy" for it? Ditto for dirt molecules.

Whenever the question of "the greater good", "Mother Earth", or "society" comes into play regarding some proposed measure, the real question is: good for whom specifically within society? Radical environmentalism is good for Obozo's rich, grifting solar panel makers-- not so much for poor people; open borders is good for the billionaires at Amazon and Google who want cheap labor-- not so much for actual American citizens, who eat the inflation created by the welfare expansion; the BLM protestor double standard was good for Chuckie Schumer's power, not so much for flyover American's trust in the government.

And so on.
The Left's KKK Worldview - 16:40 CDT, 9/15/21 (Sniper)
Imagine that the Ku Klux Klan spent decades co-opting universities, and taught everyone that by nature of their genetics, black homosexual people are evil colonizers.

The students then became elementary teachers so they could brainwash young children with anti-black, anti-gay toddler books; they took over the HR departments, and enacted policies to deliberately hire as many straight white men as possible; they took over media companies, and made sure every film normalized the KKK worldview; they took over the government, and even the military, calling people who complained about the KKK "domestic terrorists".

When you in turn complain about a video game's heroic characters all being Aryan master race blue-eyed "Mary Sue" white males, who run around and slaughter all of the villains and enemies, who all just happen to be black lesbians, I reply to you on Twitter: "What, you don't like having white people in video games? What a snowflake!"

I think most Leftists today who make that kind of argument are feigning ignorance: they are merely trolling with the strawman. But for those among them who legitimately don't get it, well... try exhibiting some empathy using the above mental exercise for practice. And if you still don't get how ridiculous your position is, watch this video.
Culture - 07:23 CDT, 9/14/21 (Sniper)
I have two firearms which I've never even fired due to a lack of ammo-- until a friend sent my wife this URL. Now I've got two hundred and fifty rounds of 5.56 NATO coming for that Springfield Saint Victor I bought some time ago, and plenty of 9mm for the Ruger PPQ Q5 Match as well. Time to go shooting! Our family here have their own backstopped area for hand guns, and even a rifle range.

Onto another topic, regular readers will recall that I wrote extensively about how important it was to not comply with the WuFlu Burqa nonsense, because doing so would give the big "thumbs up" to the power brokers: unless people engaged in disobedience, "vaccine" mandates would be next. Before we put a penny into the addition, I raised the question: maybe we should relocate the family to someplace else, like Florida, Texas, South Dakota, or even Mississippi or Alabama? All I got in response was, "Sniper is such a weirdo! What a whack-job conspiracy theorist! I hate Trump because he said mean things on Twitter, and Kristi Noem is a nutcase!"

Now the "vaccine" mandates are here, and I'm getting "It's too bad we broke ground on the addition, maybe we should relocate to South Dakota? Joe is a despot, and Kristi Noem is the best!" I'm not bringing this up to shame or embarrass anyone, or even to say "I told you so"-- rather, the lesson is simple: people need to stand on principle because it's the right thing to do, not cede ground until it's something which personally causes them discomfort. And believe it or not, I do once in a while have valuable perspective: it might be worth listening to me in the future.

And on to yet another topic, I'm trying to decide whether to even keep my PlayStation 5. Sony billed this as the "Future of PlayStation", and I couldn't even make it twenty seconds in before I started rapidly paging through it to see if there was anything interesting. It was so over-the-top woke and culturally degenerate, and so filled with boring Hollywood walking simulators, that there wasn't a single game on offer I'd even consider buying.

The only actual video game they showed was Gran Turismo 7, and even that appeared to have undergone a significant downgrade when you compare it with that initial trailer-- the trailer which prompted me to pursue the system pre-order in the first place.

As I wrote in my week-one impression, I really like the PlayStation 5 unit, its dashboard (when it's not shoving Left-wing politics at me via its default "Explore" tab), and its controller-- but I'm struggling to see which niche it fills in my console line-up. With Game Pass and superior power, the Series X has the modern gaming thing wrapped up, while the Switch's portable form factor and real game-focused library owns the "old games collection" and indie areas. The only thing Sony's system has is its exclusives, which universally look terrible.

As a parting prank link, and on the "woke and morally degenerate front", check out Alex Battaglia's Instagram account. I always knew there was something a little "off" about him, but I didn't know he was this "out there". I still enjoy the guy's commentary, but let's just say his private life is a bit strange, to put it mildly.
Purpose - 06:18 CDT, 9/10/21 (Sniper)
A few weeks ago I decided to return to God: I found a parish in my new area, overcame incredible nerves to confess twenty-plus years' worth of sins to the priest, have been praying and reading the Bible daily, and have been attending Mass every Sunday since.

What a transformation-- I feel like a new man! It's given my life so much meaning and purpose. Even better, I've been taking my daughter with me to Mass, and she likes it so much that she wants to become Catholic!

Every time I say the Lord's Prayer, this line strikes me poignantly: "Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on Earth as it is in heaven." We are God's soldiers, His little worker bees down on Earth, and our goal is to construct and bring about His kingdom here. Could there be a more important mission?
Addition Update - 17:54 CDT, 9/03/21 (Sniper)
Addition project excavation took place a few days ago, it's fantastic that the project finally underway! The new septic tanks are in place, and the hole for the basement portion is fully dug. My property was filled with trucks and giant tractors all week, took up a lot of my time communicating with everyone, on top of my full-time career which was also very busy this past week.

I spent four and a half hours this afternoon slogging through the mud, carefully seeding and raking all three thousand-plus square feet of dirt you see here. I should hopefully get enough grass growth over the next week or two to prevent erosion, particularly around the mounds. I had about twenty pounds of clay caked onto my boots by the end!

Next step will be the concrete pouring, along with the electrician to hook the pump from the lift tank to the main tank, then fluids out to the drain field. From there, the main floor construction can begin! Tomorrow will be mowing, then hopefully after that I can take a couple of days to relax.
Flight Simulator Hurricane View - 18:35 CDT, 8/29/21 (Sniper)
I spent some time this afternoon in Flight Simulator flying directly into the major hurricane, from the North. Here is what it looked like as I approached, click for the full size version:

After flying directly through the wall of cloud pillars, this is what I was greeted with on the inside:

I climbed to as high as the Beechcraft Bonanza would let me go without stalling: 12,200 feet-- but it wasn't anywhere near high enough. To see how close I was to the top, I took the drone camera upwards, and several thousand feet yet higher I was greeted with this astonishing view.

I then initiated a slow descent, getting buffeted and ricocheted everywhere, all the way down to 1000 feet-- and even at that low level, visibility was zero. I had to abort my attempt to land near New Orleans, instead heading back to the Northeast for a bit, whereupon I performed a haphazard-yet-successful landing at some small airfield.

Here is my plane, safe and sound after its incredible journey.

Communists Rigging Elections - 10:24 CDT, 8/29/21 (Sniper)
This is a very interesting video, in that I see this stuff just about daily in my workplace-- but for some reason, the critical mass of my co-workers don't seem to understand that they are being manipulated towards the goal of instituting Communism.

Any time you hear terms like "ally", "the people's [insert word]", "social democrat", "people of color", "activate", "have a conversation", "equity", "tell a story", or any other myriad expressions, your tail should immediately go up: almost certainly the person saying those things is not only a straight-up Communist, but a radical activist.

Once you peel back the onion and see that individual X, who says they aren't a radical but rather that they just want to "have a conversation", you see that they are cross-board members with both educational institutions, and literal Marxist groups-- as listed on those very organization's web sites, for those who bother to look. They are lying to you in their denial. There is also a lot of overlap with so-called "organized labor".

Speaking of looking people up, I did some quick investigations into this Trevor Louden-- turns out he was very active in his native New Zealand, combating the Soviet influence there in the 1980s.
Parallel Games Industry - 06:57 CDT, 8/27/21 (Sniper)
The "triple-A" space is in a terrible position, something about which I remarked here-- but pleasantly, an entire parallel games industry has emerged, almost totally separate from the "primary" one, and it's cranking out incredible stuff, to the point where for the first time in twenty years I find myself not really playing older games much.

Just take a look at this: it's a brand new Game Boy Advance release, but will also-- provided enough funding becomes available-- see an enhanced, "Hi-Bit" Switch port. Incredible! The art style is mildly pretentious maybe, but not to enough of a degree to annoy me. We've had home brew games on older systems for a long time now, but what if we start seeing old systems used as new systems, with cross-platform releases with modern hardware become a normal thing? Talk about exciting!

The "OptiDoom" guy wants to make a brand new first-person shooter for 3DO, and he already has my name down as level designer and composer-- so I'm willing to do my part. If my baseline mental health improves, I also want to dive head first into making more "Sniperpon Productions" releases but this time for PCs proper, using "Godot Engine" as opposed to Fuze on Switch.

One other trend I'm starting to see, and this one is just as potentially exciting if it continues: indie game mentality trickling into the "triple-A" space. New engines are so capable that smaller development teams can make games with modern graphics on a smaller-ish budget, provided they keep their core scope contained. For instance, these (ignore the annoying music) are the best graphics I've ever seen in a video game-- maybe even better than the latest "Ratchet and Clank"-- yet look at how experimental the gameplay is!

In particular, pay attention to the: texture resolution, particle effects everywhere, volumetric dynamically-lit fog, incredible temporal reconstruction or upscaling, volumetric fluid dynamics and clouds, per-object motion blur, Bokeh depth of field, plus insanely rich and high contrast lighting. Wifey watched this and couldn't even believe it was a game: "it looks like a modern-day CGI movie." I get major "Wonderful 101" and "Splatoon" vibes; more games like this please!
Precedent Shmecedent - 11:58 CDT, 8/24/21 (Sniper)
I get that the precedent-based English Common Law system is one of the foundational tenets which led to the formation of contemporary Western society, but precedent isn't everything, as this piece illustrates well. If I proclaim "well, I murdered someone last month, so what the heck", obviously the act of murder is still immoral. I don't care if corporations already mandate other vaccines, nor do I care if somehow FDA approval has formerly meant that everyone views whatever food and drug as being magically safer after that point, along with innumerable other possible examples: wrong is wrong, and each instance of some act needs to be ethically evaluated in a vacuum.

I've already tried to drive this point home before, but I think it's worth restating-- the argument to be made against the WuFlu injections is that it's morally wrong to force someone to undergo a medical "treatment" against their will: full stop. And yes, excluding them from society is "forcing against their will." Even if the WuFlu didn't have a 99.9% survival rate-- let's presume 90% of people die from it, and let's also presume that the "vaccines" actually inoculate-- forcing vaccination is not an acceptable route. There are dozens of other solutions which could mitigate people becoming ill, which are perfectly ethical.
Another Option - 19:14 CDT, 8/19/21 (Sniper)
The more I ponder the new Z, the more doubts I start to have. For starters, people who follow the recent car industry more closely than I say that there is zero chance of getting this car for anywhere near forty thousand: dealers will install options, markups will be made, and in practice even the base model is essentially going to be a fifty thousand dollar car, if not even more.

But the bigger issue, and one which led me to extreme dismay regarding this impending model, is what I found at the bottom of the official product page: "automatic braking", "collision warnings", "blind spot warnings", "land departure warnings"-- this car has every nightmare in the books: it's as bad as my mother-in-law's Subaru Forester!

I'm not the only one who gets completely and utterly overwhelmed by all of this gadgetry, check out this article. While it focuses on pensioners, I suspect you would get the same types of responses from many forty year-olds like myself, not to mention a lot of it is personality-driven (bold emphasis is mine):

"'The technology we’re putting in cars today are unsafe for all of us to use, especially for older adults,' said Jake Nelson, AAA Director of Traffic Safety Advocacy and Research. 'Our advice to consumers is that just because technology is built into your car doesn’t mean that it’s safe to do those things.'"

"Paul Brown, a 71-year-old retired attorney who resides in Salt Lake City, is one of the drivers who took part in the study. 'It was a comedy of errors,' Brown said of the displays and lights that he was asked to respond to as he drove.

'I don't need something that is going to do everything for me and distract me while I'm driving,' Brown said. 'Quite frankly, when I was driving, I found myself feeling as if I was driving dangerously because of all of those distractions.'

Brown said he found the large display screen situated to the right of the steering wheel in the cars he drove for the study especially distracting. 'If I was driving that kind of car, I would probably put a napkin or blanket or something over that screen so that I could concentrate on driving the car,' Brown said, adding that he prefers older, simpler cars."

All of this leads me to: for that kind of money, why in the world wouldn't I just buy a used C7 Corvette, of which they are tons on used car sites? The new Z isn't even on the same planet in terms of performance, and best of all this Corvette generation started in 2014: it doesn't have any of the "safety" stuff at all! It still has a touch screen, which is somewhat annoying, but that's about it.

The base model has 460 bhp, a seven speed manual, can do 0-60 in 3.6 seconds, pulls 1.03g on the skidpad, and can brake from 60 to 0 in 100 feet. Those are supercar numbers. I can get one for fifty thousand bucks, with less than seven thousand miles on it: essentially a brand new car. It's also exotic looking. The only downside I can think of is that I see a lot of them in my rural area. But I shouldn't let that dissuade me.

Food for thought.
Impeccable - 07:35 CDT, 8/19/21 (Sniper)
This Ron DeSantis guy is absolutely the best. Of course, I can answer his question regarding why Xiden couldn't care less about American citizens trying to escape Afghanistan, but wants Federal stormtroopers to strap masks onto Kindergartners against those kids' parents' wills.

Present-day Democrats are only concerned with furthering ideological goals. Afghanistan provides them with another opportunity to flood America with Democrat-voting aliens-- so when you see that plane shot, with the hold filled with foreigners, that's what it's about. Beyond that, the Democrats don't care about Afghanistan, they hold their own citizens in contempt anyway, so yes, why would Xiden interrupt his vacation to provide safety for them? Raggedy Ann put foreign nationals in the same category as US citizens when saying whom would get priority at the airport during a press conference, and that tells you everything you need to know.

Regarding Kindergartners, The Ideology requires absolute conformity to its pantheon of beliefs, and that requires not just that children to be subjected to indoctrination by the "teachers", but that the children are taught to submit and obey: here are the right answers, here is the proper way to view the world, now shut up, memorize, and regurgitate. I have a family member who has been in different prisons, so I've seen those places from the inside while visiting-- and when I see shots of kids in schools today, masked, hands by their sides, forced to stand feet apart, I observe that my family member literally has more freedom in prison then these kids do in "school". And that is by design.

So in the contemporary Democrat worldview, the Kindergartners thing literally is a higher priority than Afghanistan, and it's easy to see how if you view it through the lens of their religion.
The New Z - 07:43 CDT, 8/18/21 (Sniper)
Here it is, finally and officially. Nissan's social media rep repeatedly responded to YouTube comments asking about price with "starting around forty thousand". I'll go test drive one of these in the spring, and if I like it, I'll buy it. Apparently they're offering two trims, but even though I could technically afford the higher-end one, it's tough to justify so much money for a car: so I'll get the cheaper one, replacing a blue Z with another blue Z.

This new Z is everything I have been dreaming about for a decade: four hundred horse power, a manual transmission, and a modernized design take-- the back end especially, as in my book the 300ZX has always had a top three rear of any car, ever.

If I don't like it, I'll go try out the new Toyobaru "GR 86": it's obviously not in the same power class as the new Z, but I've heard it's just as pleasant to drive as the current generation MX-5. The new WRX reveal got pushed back to September, and while one of those would be more practical given my wintry rural setting with sketchy plowing, I'm not impressed with the long-term build quality of my wife's, and I really want another sports car, having been obsessed with them since about age three.
Honesty, a Bridge Too Far - 07:55 CDT, 8/17/21 (Sniper)
I've been carefully watching everything my employer's HR department has been saying with regards to the WuFlu, and it doesn't look like they are going to mandate the injections. It's difficult to anticipate though, since from day one they have been making one unscientific and unsubstantiated statement after another:

Apparently some Karens are complaining, and the company is telling them to suck it up. In isolation this is a good thing, but fully recognize that it's because they are worried profits are about to take a huge hit due to Xiden's price inflation-- not because they are suddenly concerned with being rational regarding the WuFlu itself.

"Safe and effective", huh?

On the first point, the VAERS database says otherwise. In fact, people who have had the WuFlu and "recovered"-- you know, from the sniffles-- like me are almost four times more likely to have an "adverse effect": you know, like death. This is why the shots need to be on a person-by-person basis, as they are not blanket "safe" for everyone.

As for "effective", take a look at Israel: "the cases, the cases!" Except, 80% of their country has had two doses of the various injections. Or what about that recent cruise ship outbreak where everyone had the shots? Or how about in Massachusetts, where 74% of the infected had the shots?

And by the by, the people who have had the shots are still spreading pathogen, just like the people who haven't had the injections.

Oh oh, someone has been asking too many questions: "But I thought the CDC said...?" And here it comes: "Yup, better wear a mask even if you've had the shots." But in the paragraph above, they said the injections are "effective"? So why would I need to wear a mask if I've had the shots? Hello?

And about those masks: cloth and surgical masks do not prevent the spread of viruses. So what in the world does that have to do with making the office "safer"?

But here comes the real kicker: the company prohibited use of the office for months-on-end, because it was way too dangerous for anyone to work there. Now, they say that the risk of working there was "medium to low" all along. If that was true, then why was it ever closed? What does "medium" or "low" even mean, incidentally? By what metrics? Did they do studies? What kind of science is applied to come up with those terms?

In any event, now they are saying that the risk of working in the office is "almost zero." Almost zero! Because people are taping a Kleenex to their nose, and have had mysterious injections which don't stop them from transmitting or catching the virus. The office went from "so dangerous it had to be closed" to "almost zero risk", and nothing actually changed-- other than rising input cost inflation!

Then they drop the myth about it being the people who haven't had the shots being the ones spreading pathogen, which as I illustrated above-- and can with a dozen other sources and examples-- is simply not true. In fact, the data suggests to the guy who invented this "vaccine" technology that people who have had the shots are spreading the virus at an increased rate, versus those who haven't.

One last thing: notice how there are zero sources linked to any of the above. It's all unsubstantiated, pulled out of their rear ends, simply because they are afraid of profits dropping-- not because they care about their employee's health in any way, shape, or form.

This goes for all governments, corporations, and so on: you need to be your own champion, stand your own ground, and make the health choices which are right for your body, and your own situation.
Kabul in Flight Simulator - 16:12 CDT, 8/15/21 (Sniper)
Wondering where the heck Afghanistan even was, and what Kabul looked like, I hopped into "Flight Simulator" and flew from New Delhi to the aforementioned Afghan capital. Here is what I saw once I arrived, click for the raw version as captured straight from the Series X:

Off topic, but my son and I have been progressing in "No Man's Sky". Here is what my primary base looked like, as of yesterday, with my fighter and hauler space ships. Once again, click for the original file from the Series X:

Hi-Bit Taking Over - 16:46 CDT, 8/11/21 (Sniper)
I've said before that Hi-Bit is the most important development in the video game industry since the proliferation of polygons in the mid-90s, and the output just keeps coming. Here are just a handful of games which have me really excited, and it's just the tip of the iceberg. If you look at places like Inin or Limited Run, there is so much output that you could have a very fulfilling hobby and never leave Hi-Bit.

The graphical style is obvious, but also pay close attention to the audio, plus the gameplay-centric (virtually exclusive) design: Hi-Bit isn't just an art style-- it's a philosophy, a specific mentality and way to make video games. It's putting what the medium does distinctively on the highest pedestal, and maximizing that potential, without watering things down on counter-productive detours.

All four of these games are going to be on the Switch. Something as outdated as that is already at "hardware of forever" levels, as there is no realistic cap on 2d performance, or barely any theoretical cap at that, as even filling the 720p screen entirely with one pixel sprites wouldn't drop below 60 fps, with well-optimized code.
Non-Negotiable - 06:35 CDT, 8/09/21 (Sniper)
After Vladimir Putin, Orban is at least the second world leader I've heard say this, the sentiment being that it's so much easier to negotiate with a fellow world leader, when that leader is putting their own country first: "America First, Hungary First". Makes sense to me.

Speaking of putting America last, I haven't wanted a piece of legislation to die this bad since Obozocare-- in fact, this one is worse for me personally: if passed, it will completely, absolutely, and permanently ruin cars and driving, both things very dear to me. This would happen at the Federal level, meaning there would be no escaping it.

I've been trying really hard to improve my sleep. I haven't slept well most of the past decade due to an anxiety disorder and a continuous state of derealization, but over the past ten days I've only gotten zero-to-three hours of sleep per night. Last night I tried a new technique to calm my mind, and slept from 21:00 to 3:00: I'm still tired, but six hours with decent REM is at least approaching acceptable limits.

I'm so impressed with the Series X that I finally decided to just clobber Winbloze from my PC altogether, and have gone back to Manjaro full-time: feels good to be "back home", so-to-speak. While it's true that these RDNA2 APUs aren't quite at the level of Nvidia's Turing, and nowhere near approaching Ampere, they produce stable 60 fps gameplay at reconstructed 4K-- and the ray tracing is actually much better than I thought it'd be. The Series X is "good enough" for me to not need Winbloze anymore.
New Wireframe Issue - 09:44 CDT, 8/06/21 (Sniper)
I saw a few interesting nuggets in this month's Wireframe issue. First, the kids and I got our Evercade a few days ago-- it was the prize we won in the Fuze competition-- and while I recognized the white and red scheme as being obviously Famicom-inspired, the influence for the size and shape of the cartridges confused me, especially the distinctive flat labeled sides. Well, take a look at page 85 and the picture on the left-hand margin, then compare.

Second, working backwards for some reason, page 80 sees the two grand prize Fuze competition winners featured. It's not clear to me how they "imported" assets into Fuze, externally. Third, on page 34, Kim Justice has a thought-provoking editorial about contemporary sports games. I would make sports games not just simpler, but use sprite rotation interpolation for the art style, like what is mentioned in this video about the trees in "Flight Simulator", or like what I wrote about way back in 2012.
Kill the King - 06:58 CDT, 8/06/21 (Sniper)
It's stuff like this which makes me extremely reticent to get into the Apple "ecosystem". On the one hand I'm thankful they disclosed this before they implemented it-- as Snowden and others have revealed, usually this stuff just happens in the dead of night, without anyone knowing until the people in power are forced to reveal their schemes. And of course, there is an element of who doesn't want to make it more difficult to child predators to hold and distribute these images? Everyone supports this sentiment, in the abstract.

But I can't support the precedent of my own computer scanning my personal files, then reporting me to "the authorities". Today it's child porn, tomorrow it's someone who happened to take a picture of a Lego set of the capitol building; or an Italian who saved a picture of a template WuFlu "Green Pass"; or someone who took a picture of their favorite firearm, to share with a friend.

This also brings up a larger, more personal point: my employer is very visibly outsourcing their entire IT department, so I'm sure I'll get the axe in the next few years, right after I train my Indian or Chinese replacement of course. I simply can't stand web development-- it may be eleven years old now, but the first response to this chain is more relevant even now than it was then-- and my solution to this problem is to re-launch my entire career as "the AR guy": I think it's going to be the next "iPhone moment", and I want to hitch my wagon to it.

But damn do these technology companies make it difficult to support them: it's what happens in a world where ethics and principles have lost out to consequentialism. Remember, we have no source code to what runs an iPhone: just because they say that system A works like this, or that you can shut stuff off, doesn't mean the "off" button even does anything. A big part of me wants to just become a "hermit in the woods": I already have my own well and lots of gardening space.

On a totally unrelated note, I've had Rainbow's first three albums on repeat for the past few weeks-- specifically "Long Live Rock N Roll", which you can hear in full here. Also don't miss this, which is them live in 1977 performing "Kill the King"-- unbelievable!
OSHA Car - 07:07 CDT, 8/04/21 (Sniper)
I need to update this list with all of the new crazy stuff the Democrats want to do, such as let millions of illegal aliens in to vote, or turn every car into the Subaru Forester. Which by the way, I found a leaked, top secret prototype for what the new government cars will look like-- I hope I don't get in hot water for uploading it:

When I replace the Z this fall, it'll be tempting to just trade in wifey's WRX as well and get two new cars, then rust proof the hell out of their underbodies-- get in before the nanny state stuff goes full tilt.
Not Going Back? - 07:06 CDT, 8/01/21 (Sniper)
Imagine that your wife takes a baseball bat to the cat every time you say something she doesn't like-- then you overhear her the next day complaining to the neighbor: "my husband is so brutal to the cat, I don't know how he can be so violent and cruel!" That's the exact rhetorical tune the establishment-- State actors, CNN, et al.-- is singing right now regarding the WuFlu injections: "people who won't get the 'vaccine' are authoritarian: just look at how they're making us wear masks again!" It's like children on the playground: "he made me do it!"

Is anyone stupid enough to fall for this line? What I've seen in my personal life-- and yes, it's anecdotal, but it goes give me a modicum of hope-- is that the people around me who went full-retard regarding the WuFlu, went out and got their shots (and got sick from them, incidentally), and are now partying with friends like it's 1999. We'll see as the days and weeks progress from here, but so far I haven't seen even a hint from them that they are heading back towards their prior forty IQ levels: if anything, they seem to be completely tuning things out altogether.

After making people suffer so badly-- suicides, drug overdoses, depression, all at record highs-- from the establishment gunpoint-enforced lockdowns and mask mandates, then telling them that a magic shot will make everything ok, then letting them taste freedom, I don't think the genie can be stuffed back into that bottle: I just don't think the public appetite is there to go through it all over again, even among the most neurotic. Crossing my fingers.
A Kid's Life - 06:21 CDT, 7/31/21 (Sniper)
Yesterday, I penned a not-so-flattering take on "No Man's Sky", concluding that it was designed for a very select type of person. I then installed it on my son's PC, and I hadn't seen him having that much fun playing a game since the day he discovered his other favorites, like "Minecraft", "Cities: Skylines", and "Roblox". My son is one of those "select types of people" as it turns out, and I moved the Series X near where his PC is, as we're going to try out multiplayer today.

On another kid note, and unlike pretty much every other kid today, my daughter has been asking me to teach her how to drive since she was about six years old. "As soon as you can reach the pedals, and can see over the steering wheel", I always told her. She's now eleven years old and about the height of a short adult-- five feet tall. So I put her in wifey's WRX, and in about ten minutes had her able to get the car moving from a dead stop in first gear. And once you get first gear down, the rest is easy. Her only struggle was that the throttle felt very sensitive to her foot-- but that will come with time.
Scavengers and Vultures - 08:00 CDT, 7/30/21 (Sniper)
If anyone's employers are trying to force them to get a WuFlu-related injection, check out this page for resources. It's phenomenal stuff, but I do have a constructive criticism, which is that I don't really like the emphasis on "non-FDA approved" aspect, for two reasons.

First, it's not like FDA approval of anything including actual food products actually means those things are necessarily safe-- our entire society is essentially eating obesity and heart disease-fueling poison, and it's all FDA approved; hanging up on FDA approval is missing the point. Second, you just know these "vaccines" are going to get rammed through the approval process anyway-- if the argument is focused on a lack of FDA approval, what happens to that argument once the "vaccines" are "approved" two weeks from now?

The better argument is the moral one: it's obviously unethical to force someone to inject themselves with a substance, under threat of severe duress. That is an argument which resonates with everyone-- which is why when I've heard it posed, there is a mad scramble by the "vaccine" proponent to come up with some kind of ex post facto justification or analogy: after all, don't you know that requiring someone wear shoes in a store is the same thing as coercing them into undergoing a potentially lethal medical procedure?

Speaking of ethics, I've been thinking about the concepts of patriotism and loyalty a lot recently. Take this, where it's-- very accurately, if you ask me-- explained that the elites are selling off the remaining scraps of the country to the Chinese. Rather than trying to save the sinking ship, they'd rather scuttle it to make a quick buck off of the spare parts. Or read this piece, which is in the same line of thought.

Austrian economists routinely explain that the homo econimicus model is wrong: people make decisions all of the time in their lives, where they place non-monetary considerations-- often moral-- ahead of brute wealth accumulation. An example would be someone who volunteers for a charity: they are losing time and money, but do it anyway because they rate the moral value higher than the cash: it's the opposite of homo economicus.

CEOs, politicians, and other power mongers have always had strong sociopathic strains-- so I'm not expecting American C-Suite types to be saints. But at the same time, isn't there any part of their soul, which whispers to them as they wholesale sell out jobs on which their very American neighbors depend, to people in in a country thousands of miles away, just to save some pocket change on the bottom line?

I fully understand the financial argument: corporations need to control their expenses, and if they don't keep labor costs in line with their competitors, their stock price will fall and the company will lose investment-- perfectly valid, and I "get it" in the abstract. But details matter: is that argument actually true in many of these cases? We just saw the greatest wealth transfer from small businesses to giant corporations in the history of corporations-- and what do they turn around and do? Lay people off, and replace them with Indians or Chinese workers.

Let's say a Fortune 500 corporation made 3.3 billion USD profit in their last fiscal year. Let's also say that it would cost this corporation an additional 300 million USD per annum to keep the jobs at home, versus abroad. How much would EPS suffer? Would it really torpedo the company to make 3 billion in profit versus 3.3 billion? And why couldn't they gain new investors, by emphasizing that the corporation is focused on creating vibrant, thriving communities here at home, whereas their competitors are vultures?

I'm not expecting these CEOs to take extraordinary action, like throwing their bodies onto a pile of corpses to hold up the flag, as is described in the "Star-Spangled Banner"-- or to run up the beach at Normandy directly into a pillbox's machine gun fire. But surely their is some small part of them, towards which an appeal could be made?

I think a Left-Right populist coalition in America could be really interesting: every Bernie Bro I see has a "buy local" sign in his yard, and the Trump supporters are all about protectionism. It would be a bit like the "Yellow Vests" in France, where their creed was a bizarre mix of Commie stuff, like mandatory labor unions for corporations, with Libertarian ideas emphasizing individual rights and dignity.
Winners Don't Do Drugs - 09:02 CDT, 7/29/21 (Sniper)
Holy cow, if I had neighbors they'd probably be annoyed at my guffawing: this is an absolute listen. You should hear it straight from the horse's mouth, so-to-speak, but just to summarize, in part to cement my own understanding:

People who have gotten the shots are, as the efficacy of the "vaccine" wanes in their bodies, significantly more susceptible to re-infection than people who have not gotten the shots. Further, it's the people who have gotten the shots who appear to be spreading the mutants, not the people who haven't been jabbed. The Pfizer "vaccine" has the lowest durability, as such it's people who have gotten that one, who are the "first up" in terms of risk-- but the same fate probably will await those who got one of the other two shot sets, sooner or later.

Of course, it's the so-called "unvaccinated" who are being blamed for "spreading the 'delta variant'"-- not surprisingly, that supposition is materializing to be the exact opposite of reality, as does everything the establishment pushes in modern times.

But the real thing which got me was this: Dr. Robert Malone, the guy who quite literally invented mRNA "vaccines", and who one would think ought to know more than anyone how they work, is being censored online for spreading "disinformation". The guy who invented them! He's also being called an "anti-vaxxer"-- the dude who has spent his entire life inventing vaccines! There is lots of competition, but this might be the nuttiest thing the Left has yet done.

My mom always told me, "don't do drugs, no matter how much peer pressure there is." Turns out she was right!
Not What I'd Hoped - 09:26 CDT, 7/28/21 (Sniper)
I fired up Flight Simulator on the Series X yesterday and was pretty disappointed: the game runs great, but where I'd assumed they'd have completely re-designed the user interface to be controller-centric, instead I found that the UI is essentially untouched, and that they're expecting the player to move a semi-sticky mouse cursor around the screen with the left analog stick. Just getting through my pre-flight checklist, communicating with the tower, and getting the plane in the air took twice the time it does on PC. The Series port does fully support a mouse and keyboard, but if I'm going to drape peripheral cables onto my bed and fumble for some kind of mouse-friendly "comfy couch" surface, why not just run the PC version, which is hooked up to the same television?

On top of the frustrating controls, I'm also constantly taking and editing screenshots in the PC version, plus hacking the ".pln" files to put in custom GPS waypoints-- stuff with is either cumbersome or impossible on a closed console. Interestingly, the menus were totally broken when I first ran the game. After a bit of fiddling, I found that this was because the game imported my PC controller settings, something about which broke the menus. So if you're like me and played the PC version to death first, make sure to create a fresh controller profile from the defaults. Of course, don't overwrite your PC controller profile by accident!

I'm sure console-only players will have a lot of fun with the port, and it's nice that I have Flight Simulator installed on another device in my home in case anyone wants to come over and play co-op. But it sort of reminds me of playing "Warcraft II" on the Sega Saturn: it's possible, but if you have a DOS PC, better to just play it there.

On another game-related note, it's funny how things come full circle: I was a regular reader and occasional poster on NeoGAF, a long long time ago-- a forum which I came to call "NeoGAG", because it had been taken over by radical Leftists, SJWs, and pedophillic admins-- until the site imploded, at which point I jumped to "ResetEra". That forum wound up being the largest SJW nest I'd ever encountered, as they wound up banning over forty percent of the registered accounts for "wrong speak", almost always for politely disagreeing with someone over Woke religious precepts-- blasphemy! In my case, I posted a link to an innocuous YouTube video and was banned as a "white supremacist", even though the video had literally nothing to do with that concept.

Fast forward to 2021, and NeoGAF has not only banned all political discussion on the site, but the conversations half the time aren't that much different than what I read on 4chan or Gab! Bizarre.
Comedy of Errors - 10:13 CDT, 7/24/21 (Sniper)
Democrats, multiple of whom want to force WuFlu injections and face masks on everyone including on airlines, flee Texas to deliberately circumvent democracy-in-action, because they don't want to vote on a bill which would close common sense loopholes in the existing election laws-- because they require illegal alien votes to stay in power. On their way out, they fly on a plane without wearing masks. Several of them contract the WuFlu, despite already having been "vaccinated".

They travel to Washington D.C. to get effusive adoration from the White House, and in turn infect what looks like a large percentage of the people who work in that building. This forces Raggedy Ann on the defensive, and when pressed won't say how many people-- that's how you know it's a lot. All of this in turn forces the White House to change their tune on the "vaccines": "ok, they don't protect you, but they make the symptoms mild."

While that's technically a true statement, it's also a lie by omission: your symptoms are mild whether you've had the shots or not!
Larry Sanger - 07:09 CDT, 7/23/21 (Sniper)
As I've written many times before, the difference between Wikipedia and the Left's "Conservapedia"-- the hilariously named "Rational Wiki"-- has been rapidly diminishing for ages. As such, I really like Larry Sanger and the work he's been doing in calling Wikipedia out. But his solutions seem doomed to failure.

Back when the "selection" occurred, I pointed out that if you have a serial thief in your house, you can go around installing locks on every door within the home-- but the thief is going to circumvent every measure, because... they're a thief! The only solution is to eject them from the household.

Same goes for elections: you can't reform them if half the country is hell-bent determined to cheat in any and every way possible. And same thing with Wikipedia: introduce some kind of search system, and the Left will simply co-opt it-- just look at what a laughingstock Google has been for a long time; ditto for a rating system.

The only solution is to forcibly jettison these people from not just being able to edit Wikipedia articles, but from the country itself! And even that has risks, because they would probably just assemble an army in their new country, then come back to attack you from outside.

To play devil's advocate however, I do notice that Cultural Marxism is wobbling around on its last legs, getting banned in increasing numbers of school districts, plus getting exposed in corporations-- so perhaps the light of truth will cause reform? I'd like to think I played my small part with this blog in exposing the Frankfurt School nonsense, as I was writing about it years before the idea was exposed on the current wider spectrum.
Pro Evo is Dead, For Now - 06:24 CDT, 7/21/21 (Sniper)
Pro Evo is having its "Gran Turismo Sport" moment: no single player, focus on so-called "e-sports". Looks like I'm going to be installing (thanks, Game Pass) last year's edition as a sort of "Pro Evo of forever"-- an iteration which I'd skipped due to the promise of a true "next-gen" release this year.

I don't disagree with their decision to make a platform-based game: I've been saying forever that sports franchises should go that way. But I quite literally have zero interest in playing multiplayer: I'm an offline "Master League" kind of guy.

My second disappointment is how primitive the graphics look: we all know what's possible with Unreal Engine 4-- what exactly has the development team been doing all of this time? This game should look like "Rift Apart", but on a football pitch. It makes me wonder if all of Konami's talented developers jumped ship when the company started distancing itself from internal game development in general.

Of course, due to backlash they are going to renege on this "multiplayer only" thing and eventually add single player content-- just like what happened with the aforementioned "GT Sport": I just need to be patient.
Woke Toys - 18:21 CDT, 7/18/21 (Sniper)
I'm going to send this guy some cash: I have children of my own, so it's of particular value to me to know which toy or board game companies to avoid. Bravo on him, and the video is so shocking, that it doesn't surprise me why he felt the need to come forward.

The point he makes about kids observing things, because that's what kids do, and it doesn't make them "racist", is spot-on.

One time a little girl pointed at me, and asked her mom very loudly, "Mom, is that a boy or a girl?", because I had and have long hair and a beard. I busted out laughing! The little girl wasn't being "sexist"-- she was just trying to make sense of what she was seeing, in the same way she'd have asked about a tree or the moon or anything else.

When I was about two, my mom said I pointed to a black guy in a wheelchair, and said "Mom, look at the brown boy in the stroller!" Again, I wasn't a "racist two year old"-- it really was a boy (male) with brown skin, in a chair with wheels (a "stroller", which was the only descriptive word I had at that age, for that kind of conveyance).

I also really like the Black Supremacy built into their framework: what they're saying is that a black kid in, let's say, Nigeria will not be a "racist" kid towards white people-- but a white kid in, say, Wayzata Minnesota will be a "racist" towards blacks, just because the kid is "white". That sounds like "Black Master Race" kind of talk-- they're apparently genetically superior!

I love that clip at the end, of a Hasbro C-Suite getting confronted about this: I can guarantee there was a meeting between him and the HR lady the very next day, "what the hell are we going to do about this?" Either he'll choose to be brave too, or he'll be like my own employer's CEO: go along with the religion because Millennials are the biggest group of consumers right now.
Steam Deck Versus Series X - 09:43 CDT, 7/18/21 (Sniper)
I saw this and laughed: there is no way the Steam Deck is comparable in per-pixel power to a Series X, because games on the latter by-and-large don't run at native 4K-- they are upscaled, usually from 1440p.

But then I saw that the observation was made by Durante, who really knows his stuff-- this prompted me to give the notion a second thought, at which point it occurred to me that comparing the Series X at 1440p to the Steam Deck at 800p isn't apples-to-apples: why can't the Steam Deck do some upscaling too?

That thought in mind, I pulled out the proverbial napkin and did some crunching.

Series X at 1440p (55% pixel reduction from 4K)

  • 1440p = 3,686,400 pixels
  • 12500 gigaflops
  • Each gigaflop responsible for 294 pixels
  • Each CU responsible for 70,898 pixels

Steam Deck at 16:10 800p

  • 800p = 1,024,000 pixels
  • 1600 gigaflops
  • Each gigaflop responsible for 640 pixels
  • Each CU responsible for 128,000 pixels

Steam Deck at 16:10 504p (55% pixel reduction from 16:10 800p)

  • 504p = 451,584 pixels
  • 1600 gigaflops
  • Each gigaflop responsible for 282 pixels
  • Each CU responsible for 56,448 pixels


If you take the Steam Deck at native resolution, Durante is way off-- he's not even in the ballpark. But if you apply the same level of resolution scaling, turns out that the numbers are reasonably close, with the Steam Deck even having a slight advantage!

Put another way, Durante's observation isn't as crazy as it initially seems. Of course, there are lots of other variables-- I'm not sure these things scale linearly for one, given other potential architecture bottlenecks. It's still a fun thing to consider though.

Ultimately however, the value I personally see in the Steam Deck is as a RetroArch machine, and as a Steam Remote Play device for the bloodiest of the bleeding edge games, where people's mighty Turing and Ampere cards can do the grunt work, sort of like a Wii U part deux where a fixed box did the processing, and sent the feed over the LAN to the mobile component.

On a side note, I went back to "Monster Hunter Rise" on the Switch-- which was the next title in my review backlog-- and it's a blurry mess which is literally dropping down to the teens in terms of framerate in busy moments, when the system is docked. I'll play a bit in handheld mode today to see if things fare better.

Overall, I'm tempted to shelve the game and just buy the inevitable PC port on Steam when it comes out: provided it works via Proton, the Steam Deck "version" will easily run at 800p, and probably at a locked sixty frames per second too. If I go that route and double-dip-- it is a really fun game, even in spite of the low performance-- I'll post video recordings of both devices running the game, side-by-side.
Childlike Doctors - 07:42 CDT, 7/18/21 (Sniper)
Re-read this post of mine, then take a look at what's happening: I'm hardly a rocket scientist, but even I called it. So tell me again, what's the point of getting one of the so-called "vaccines"? It plainly looks to me like the "vaccines" just caused the virus to mutate. The people who took this shot must feel like total morons at this point: I tried to warn them repeatedly on this blog.

Now they've done God-knows-what to their bodies, and they're just going to get the virus anyway. Good going!

And if just one round of these shots can cause paralysis, sterility, and fatal heart problems-- not to mention countless side effects which will become apparent over the next five, ten, and fifteen years-- imagine people getting a series every year for "COVID-20", "COVID-21", the "Omega Variant", the "Gamma Variant", and on and on?

On this subject, a friend of mine read this from a doctor recently, and sent it to me:

"QUESTION: I’m hearing about new side effects to COVID-19 vaccines. What do I need to know?

ANSWER: COVID-19 vaccines are designed to prevent a disease that has so far killed near 4 million people worldwide. The benefits of the vaccines outweigh the risks. While the vaccines have been connected to a small number of side effects, notifications from the CDC about these potential side effects are primarily to alert those that may be most at risk to watch for certain symptoms. COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective."

This kind of rhetoric really burns me up-- I don't know if it's political ideological control freakery, frantic terror at the prospect of getting sick, or the fact that subconsciously they're leery that they've made the right choice and want everyone in their camp, which is short-circuiting their ability to think clearly, but no matter the reason they don't seem to realize that they are toying with people's lives.

Four million people have died... with the WuFlu, or from the WuFlu? Big Difference! We know that in the US, influenza deaths were materially zero this past season, because all of them got blamed on the WuFlu. What were the ages of the people who died? What were their BMIs? What comorbidities did they have? How many of them were perfectly healthy, active, and fit thirty nine year olds, like me? How do we know the post-humous PCR "positive" results were even valid, on the number of cycles being used? How many people die from disease in general every year?

"Four million people had bad eyesight last year." Ok, but mine is fine-- why would I risk LASIK eye surgery if I have 20/20 vision? "But you can't spread bad eyesight." Great, then just have the eighty year olds take the "vaccine", if they want it-- they haven't as much to lose, so-to-speak, as they are approaching or exceeding median lifespan age anyway.

And you've taken the "vaccine" already-- so why do you care if I have? Aren't you "protected"?

"Yes, but we need to protect the people who aren't 'vaccinated'." No you don't: we've already decided that we don't care if we get the virus-- we don't want or need your "protection"! In my case, I've already had the WuFlu and "recovered" (from two weeks of the sniffles and a back rash)! I have the antibodies already.

All of this analysis goes doubly-- triply!-- for children incidentally: I've read too-many-to-count reports of perfectly healthy eight year-olds or teenagers found dead in bed: autopsy? Heart failure due to inflammation, just three days after "the vaccine". Children are at-- just about literally!-- zero risk of even being symptomatic, much less killed, by the virus itself. They also don't spread it, even if they've got it.

And by the way, let's not also forget that there are very effective non-"vaccine" treatments for the virus, such as Ivermectin, Hydroxychloroquine, Remdesivir, and so on-- what's the data on those? For very nearly everyone, unless you're eighty years old and obese, the benefits of the "vaccine" do not outweigh the risks-- and if a younger person does get very sick, maybe one of these other drugs is a good option?

In any event and to wrap this up, this scenario we find ourselves in can't just be about the WuFlu itself, because it has a 99.9% survival rate, and the pushy people have already been "vaccinated"-- it's something else, and I'm not certain what that "else" is. I don't like mysteries. This whole situation just reinforces my views of how adolescent the "adult" population is in the world today-- it's a world run by intellectual toddlers, who never satisfied their basic developmental stages, and are pulled around via their noses by subconscious needs.
Steam Deck Pre-Order - 14:38 CDT, 7/16/21 (Sniper)
Web sites really need to come up with some way to stop "scalpers" and bots, because this reminded me the day I eventually landed a PlayStation 5:

But in the end, victory! The more I thought about this thing from early this morning to the moment I could place the pre-order, the more sense it made for the way I play games.

The Switch whetted my appetite for and got me addicted to the "play on TV or in handheld" formula, but I've been desperate for a blend of that equation which wasn't rooted in 2005 Xbox 360-caliber graphics, in the year 2021: it's totally absurd. Then came the "Switch OLED" announcement, and...

But completely out of the blue, here comes good old Gabe to do what Nintendon't! There are several ways in which I plan to use this thing-- you'll quickly see why it's a good option for me:

  • PC Mode: Now that my actual PC is one hundred percent Windows, this will be my dedicated GNU/Linux, Arch ("SteamOS") box for non-gaming usage.

  • Super-Charged Wii U Mode: For games which need more grunt, I can stream my Windows PC straight to the unit via Steam "Remote Play".

  • Nintendo Switch Mode: Play games in handheld mode, or set it in the dock which will be plugged into my TV.

  • Open Source Handheld Mode: I've dabbled in those neat little Open Source handhelds, but this new baby will run RetroArch and every platform under the sun, with shaders and everything else.

  • Game Pass Mode?: I wouldn't be surprised if Microsoft made a SteamOS "Game Pass" application, then licensed and linked in Valve's DirectX-to-Vulkan "Proton" translation library to make it tick.

People are skeptical of this because of Valve's failures with the Steam boxes and controller-- but unlike back then, every single gaming outlet seems to be really excited this time around, as the value equation is truly there.
Steam Deck - 06:44 CDT, 7/16/21 (Sniper)
Somehow I'd completely missed this: it's the Switch Pro, just not made by Nintendo! For reference, this has eight "compute units" versus the Xbox Series S's twenty-- at 1.6 teraflops, it truly is at the exact level of power and feature set I'd hoped the new Switch model would be.
Theocracy - 06:18 CDT, 7/16/21 (Sniper)
Out of nowhere, the "IRS" dumped five hundred Fed bucks into my checking account yesterday: a quick search revealed to me that the State is sending monopoly money to people every month, for every kid they have. Obviously, they are conditioning people for eventual and so-called "UBI".

Heads-up to Yellen, incidentally: this will not "alleviate poverty"; the State has thrown trillions of their funny money at inner cities since the 1960s-- take a drive through there sometime and describe that utopia to me.

But back to the topic, I would rather reconcile with the State once per year during tax season like I have always done-- so wifey went about the request process to get rid of the monthly payments. Turns out, their web site not only wants your photo and your voice, but you need to agree that those can be stored in a State-owned biometric database! Needless to say, wifey abandoned the process-- so we're stuck with "UBI-lite" apparently.

I wonder what it'd be like to have a State apparatus which isn't actively oppositional to your best wishes, and which doesn't consider you to be a "you'll own nothing and like it" ant in an ant farm at best, and a domestic terrorist at worst? I'll probably never know in my lifetime.

On an unrelated note, I noticed the other day that my daughter has The Sacred Pronouns in her Discord bio. Knowing her political beliefs, I asked her about it-- turns out, so many kids her age are "One with the Faith, Amen" that out of their bizarre "sense of respect" they kept referring to my daughter as "they", since my daughter had not yet declared The Sacred Pronouns! For fun, she plugged them in, and suddenly it was "she" and "her" during conversation.

So do remember, when you see The Sacred Pronouns listeth, in the name of The Inclusion, The Diversity, and The Holy LGBT, Amen, that it may in fact have been put there by a heretical nonbeliever in pure exasperation! I however am doing my part to participate in The Sacred Rites: I have "Potted Plant" and "Cheeseburger" in my Gab profile, lest there arise any confusion.
Theoretical Agent Knock - 08:15 CDT, 7/15/21 (Sniper)
I'm not really in the writing sort of mood, but this article seems too important for me not to pass on to my readers. The whole thing should be read, but the crux of it is this, bold emphasis is mine:

"These agents are coming to your home with one purpose in mind: to collect information on you.

It's a form of intimidation, of course. You shouldn't answer any questions you're uncomfortable answering about your vaccine history or anything else. The more information you give them, the more it can be used against you. Just ask them politely but firmly to leave.

In this case, as in so many interactions with government agents, the First, Fourth and Fifth Amendments (and your cell phone recording the encounter) are your best protection.

Under the First Amendment, you don't have to speak (to government officials or anyone else). The Fourth Amendment protects you against unreasonable searches and seizures by the government. And under the Fifth Amendment, you have a right to remain silent and not say anything which might be used against you.

You can also post a 'No Trespassing' sign on your property to firmly announce that you are exercising your right to be left alone. If you see government officials wandering around your property and peering through windows, in my opinion, you have a violation of the Fourth Amendment. Government officials can ring the doorbell, but once you put them on notice that it's time for them to leave, they can't stay on your property.

It's important to be as clear as possible and inform them that you will call the police if they don't leave. You may also wish to record your encounter with the government agent. If they still don't leave, immediately call the local police and report a trespasser on your property."

Just to emphasize as I have quite a bit of experience "crossing the law", so-to-speak, these agents will probably be dressed in bright green shirts, wearing sunglasses, and will potentially be armed: they will take an authoritative and formal tone of voice and body stance, gussied up in pseudo-polite "do you have a few minutes to chat?" garb.

It's meant to scare you and disarm you, all at once. As most Americans are both friendly and sheepish to "authority" at the same time, this kind of "good cop, bad cop" all-in-one verbalization and demeanor package is very effective, which is why they use it.

Don't fall for it. They don't give a shit about you, and any attempts to ingratiate you by asking about your dog is total manipulation on their part. Do as the author suggests above: don't oblige them with a smile or chit-chat, don't say a word to them-- tell them that you're not interested in talking, and that they need to leave now.
Rift Apart - 19:36 CDT, 7/12/21 (Sniper)
I wrapped up-- and even "platinum'd"-- the latest "Ratchet & Clank" game, on the PlayStation 5. You can read my review here, and also check out the BitChute and Rumble links in the site menu above to see one of my trademark montages. "Rift Apart" is also probably the most technically sophisticated game yet made, click on any of the below for larger versions.

Fantasy, Meet Reality: Forza Italia Edition - 07:03 CDT, 7/12/21 (Sniper)
This trend made Italy's win yesterday all the more sweet for me-- after California, I don't know if there is a landmass I want to see sink beneath the seas more than modern-day England: their general population has a critical mass of authoritarian weasels, while their team are a bunch of "hands up don't shoot"-kneeling soyboys; Sunday's match was karma. I bet the average Englishman would support this too: "you have a choice, but it has consequences such as you can't get a job."

Naturally, after the game the English were more upset about meanie-head comments on YouTube than actually having lost the match: maybe crying some more will somehow make them stronger? If this microcosm doesn't sum up the pathetic state of that country, I don't know what does.

On a totally different note, this "Volocopter" is pretty cool looking: I count six motors across the two pylons, plus an additional two presumably to support horizontal flight-- it's essentially a giant version of a consumer-level drone one would order online. The gull wing design is also very attractive. Overall, the sentiment behind it reminds me of the "ICON A5", in the sense that it's an aircraft perhaps ultimately designed to be piloted by a greater percentage of people.
Lucky Box - 19:37 CDT, 7/09/21 (Sniper)
In the act of organizing post-move, wifey handed me a small cardboard box: "This is one of yours I think." I popped it open, and of all random things discovered that it contained a Nintendo 64! "Where the heck was this?", I enquired; "Either in our basement, or my parents'."

I unpacked the remaining articles in the box, gave them all a good scrubbing, plugged the unit in, and... works! The system itself is in pristine condition-- it looks like it's brand new, ditto for the controllers. There was also a 256k third-party memory card from some company called "Pelican", along with two games: "Pokemon Snap", and "Diddy Kong Racing." I quite literally have no idea where this thing even came from, but I'll take it.

As for the games, the former I'd already played through, with wifey just a hair over twenty years ago. The latter I'd only ever heard of, and the less said about it the better: H and I played several races in split screen, and between the slippery physics, relentless AI, grating music, and abysmal framerate-- we're talking probably 12 fps much of the time-- it gave us headaches!

The game does have some kind of "adventure" mode with save support and a hub area, so maybe I'll give it another try: "git gud". We laughed out loud at the elephant guru racial stereotype which would cause modern-day Leftist heads to explode. It's also funny how he enters the scene with, "I will help you..... good luck." Boy, he's really bending over backwards there!

Many people probably don't know that I actually owned an N64 very briefly, squeezed between the 3DO and the PSX. I got it at launch, 100%'d "Mario 64" multiple times, rented some other games, very quickly realized that the system was rubbish, sold it to Funcoland for the PSX in spring of '97, and never looked back: best move I've ever made in the hobby.

It's kind of a neat system today, in the sense that it wound up being the most powerful cartridge-based platform ever made. But it seems to me that most of its best games-- "Mario 64", the two "Turok" titles, "Goldeneye", "Doom 64", and many others-- wound up on more modern Nintendo platforms, in "Rare Replay", or elsewhere in enhanced form; as such, I'm not sure what's really worth even collecting for this thing in 2021.
Normandy Flight Plan - 13:24 CDT, 7/05/21 (Sniper)
My mother-in-law and I have been talking about doing a Normandy run in Flight Simulator, and we finally got around to it today. This isn't the exact path I had in the flight plan, but we did a lot of-- excuse the pun-- "winging it" depending on what cool stuff we saw.

We started in the top-left of the map, taking off from Valognes, and zig-zagged our way Eastward, roughly following the orange line, which I placed purely based on my memory:

The first place we visited was the "Mont-Saint-Michel" island, which was off the South of the above map. I took the drone camera down to get a closer look:

Europe is a beautiful place, a fact on which I also commented in my "Superga Air Disaster" post. Here was the view as we looped our way back towards the Northeast:

Here is what the beach front looked like where one of the landings took place. For some reason it's not what my mother-in-law and I were expecting-- we were thinking more sand, and more cliffs. That's why these kinds of Flight Simulator escapades are useful.

More interesting than the beaches was the "Port en Bessin", which really caught our eyes:

Another shot of the beachfronts, this time further Eastward:

Our journey complete, we landed at the "Deauville - Saint-Gatien" airport, near Le Havre:

Wicked Bet - 17:31 CDT, 7/04/21 (Sniper)
Boy if this Stockman article doesn't hit home, then I don't know what will. If you don't have time for the full piece, just scroll down to the "Change From 1972 Through 2020" section, and take a look at the chart plus commentary. Anyone who has done the math on what it takes to raise a family in modern-day America, to be able to afford an emergency five hundred dollar bill, and to not be on welfare can fully attest to the reality.

By contrast, my grandfather moved furniture for a living, and in the late sixties or early seventies was able to build a thirty five hundred square foot house on a giant lot, across the street from a parkway: move furniture today for a living, and you're lucky to get a five hundred square foot, insect-infested studio apartment in the ghetto, while barely affording groceries, and not having access to a doctor.

As I've said many times before, when you institute "fractional reserve banking" and try to levitate wages through fiat, you're making a deal with the devil that overall price inflation won't wind up outpacing the artificially-goosed wages-- and like all such deals, it's not a bet you're going to win very often, and it's not a bet which "middle class" (which veritably no longer exists) America has won.

And we haven't even hit the actual collapse yet: this country is going to look like Greece, with people roving the fields looking for insects to eat.
Wireframe Prize - 06:47 CDT, 7/02/21 (Sniper)
After months of bated breath, I saw late last night that new Wireframe issue had been released. Heart racing, I opened it up, found the relevant section on page eighty, and... the kids and I won a prize! We were one of the so-labeled "bronze" winners, check it out! I can't wait to show the kiddos this morning once they wake up.

I've been eyeing up one of those "Evercade" handhelds for what feels like forever, so I'm sure the kids and I will get lots of use out of it. It'll be all the more satisfying to play knowing we won it!
Higher Standards - 06:52 CDT, 6/29/21 (Sniper)
I can't get over the standard of play at this year's Euros: just to name two examples, check out the match between France and Switzerland, or the one between Croatia and Spain. The fascinating thing is that, in spite of all the goals scored, the defending is generally and by historical standards quite good: players are closed down, and the teams are organized-- rather, there has been one wonder goal after another.

On a different topic, I've been trying to simplify my life to reduce stress-- and it's working. On the first part, being out in the country and away from the hedonism, violence, and cultural absurdity of the city has done wonders. On the second part, I now have only one old video game system set up-- my PC Engine-- while I nuked both of my hard drives completely, and installed only Windows 10: this means only one operating system to continuously patch, plus all of my files are always at my finger tips.

Between the move, selling my old property, my car breaking down, multiple enormous vet bills in quick succession, layoffs at my employer, managing an intern, and too many other things to count, the pressure has certainly been there-- and yet I've kept trucking, while my sleep has been fairly steady. I would not have been able to juggle this many balls in my old routine.
The Crazy Train - 17:22 CDT, 6/28/21 (Sniper)
The lengthy discussion here regarding the "controversy" surrounding Alex's take on AMD's "FSR" technology was somewhat grating, in the sense that they can't talk about the elephant in the room, and instead need to feign bemusement at why people on The Twatter were upset.

DLSS is not possible on the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X, because the AMD GPUs don't have dedicated silicon towards facilitating AI-based image reconstruction in the same way that Nvidia's hardware does. Regular readers can attest that I've said all along that these new consoles were and are not competitive with contemporary gaming PCs, right from day one and onwards forever, due to this "hole" in their fundamental capabilities.

The aforementioned elephant in the room is that the console fanboys, who just sunk a bunch of money into one of these two new systems and are thus tribal and defensive about their choice, are desperate for some magical fairy unicorn to come along and bring these new systems on par with gaming PCs-- so when AMD gave them the "FSR" straw, they grasped onto it for dear life, insisting-- as I saw in many "professional" headlines-- that it was AMD's "DLSS competitor."

So then here comes poor Alex, stating the obvious in his review that "FSR" is just a marginally-better-than-bilinear spatial upscaler-- which is exactly what it is-- the fanboys blew their lids. Even I could have told them up front that the two technologies don't work in even remotely the same way. I think they should just be happy with what they have versus harboring a PC inferiority complex: I've been playing Series X and PlayStation 5 since launch, and I think the games look great as they are.

Partially off topic, but I also wish people wouldn't just dump on the "Amico" before it's even come out: I looked at it with an open mind, and it looks really cool once you understand what they're trying to do; modern systems are so complex and over-engineered, that having a physical media-based system you just turn on and play arcade-style games, in seconds, is going to be great.
Attempted Car Repair - 20:47 CDT, 6/24/21 (Sniper)
All of the stuff needed for this project finally came in today, so I took a shot at the repair. I'm going to document a few things, just in case they are helpful to someone else in the future.

Getting the car off the ground wound up being an adventure: the clearance is so low that even my low profile jack wouldn't fit beneath it-- specifically, it wouldn't clear the front bumper assembly, or the giant plastic cover just behind.

The solution was to push the car up onto some boards, so I could fit the jack beneath. At that point, it was a simple matter of lifting the car, and putting the jack stands beneath. I put a washcloth over each one for some cushion, then very slowly lowered the car onto them. I then raised the jack flush, so that all three points-- the two stands, and the jack-- were redundant systems.

Of course, don't forget to chock the rear wheels before you do all of this. And I followed this diagram when positioning the jack stands: worked great, was very stable.

Once that was accomplished, I started exploring beneath. This particular example was built in 2002 and sold that fall as a 2003 model year. It's been through at least eleven winters, more if the previous owner drove it in the snow as well. Immediately, I started noticing some major issues.

The plastic tray-- meant to reduce drag coefficient I think? Total gimmick I wager-- was only held on by five bolts, out of a total of maybe twelve holes: the rest were all stripped, to the point where the holes were crumbled to many times their original diameters.

There is a ton of rust build-up around the wheel wells, and up by the struts. The actual frame looked ok, but this car is going to need some major suspension renovations soon.

As I kept working my way back, I very quickly came upon the spot where all of the brake fluid had flooded out of the clutch reservoir-- and sure enough, reaching my hand up past another plastic panel, I found that the clutch line had totally and completely severed off of the slave cylinder: it was quite literally a dangling hose, shredded and demolished.

I couldn't position my phone to catch the hose itself, but here is where the fluid was:

"No problem", I thought: "I'll just pull this panel off." Twenty years of rust responded: "No way, senor." Even gently hammering the wrench wouldn't budge them, and in fact I could see debris falling from the bolts themselves: they were so rusted and fused into place, that the threads were literally dissolving instead of turning in place.

And it was at that point that wifey, who had been handing me tools, stated out loud the same three things that had just become apparent in my mind as well:

  1. There is no way those bolts are coming out without professional help. In fact, they'll probably need to be drilled and replaced completely, which might even need some machining work.

  2. What else in this car is about to break into pieces? Are the brake lines in this kind of shape too? What about the clutch master cylinder? What about the brake master? What about the suspension components? I noticed that both catalytic converters have enormous rust holes in them. It's a mess under this car.

  3. It's time to buy a new car. On her phone, she looked up the nearest Nissan dealership: "We're going to go test drive the new Z when it comes out, whether you want to spend the money or not."

Even though I couldn't do this repair myself, it was really valuable to first of all have this experience-- I feel totally confident changing oil now, or replacing brakes-- but second to have my eyes opened as to the kind of shape this car is actually in: I've been having someone else do all of the work for eleven years-- I had no idea things were this dire.

As a partial aside, I'm a little frustrated by my (now old, since I've moved) mechanic: his guy replaced my clutch four months ago-- how in the world did he not notice this clutch line situation? He was right in there bleeding it! Well, I have a theory about that.

When I'd picked up the car, my mechanic told me "Yeah, [name redacted] said this system was really tough to bleed." Well, guess what-- it's not: you can find video after video on YouTube of people bleeding these lines, and they have no issues. Which leads me to my hypothesis:

This clown replaced the clutch, but couldn't get these bolts out to bleed the line properly. Rather than report the difficulties to his boss, he twisted and contorted his hands in there, and bled the line in as ghetto of a fashion as he could manage, which is why he was having such a difficult time getting all of the air out! Then four months later, the clutch line sheared: I was lucky the clutch died when it did, and not on the highway where it could have resulted in an accident.

My lesson in all of this is that I need to take more ownership of my cars: even if I get a brand new 400z or whatever it's called, I am going to put that car on jack stands and inspect every last bit of work going into it-- even warranty service. It's long overdue that I got more "handy" like this.

In any event, I'm going to get this thing towed into town in the next couple of weeks, and see if they can get it back on the road for me. Then I'll make some kind of decision about what to do next.
Tech Stack Plans - 07:30 CDT, 6/20/21 (Sniper)
I got a very good offer on my city house, so the rural home addition project is feeling very real now. In my excitement, I started planning out my technology stack:

  • My primary desktop computer will be an iMac 24-inch. I haven't been this excited about a discrete computer since perhaps forever: it will be the perfect little productivity box for video, photo, writing, and development work. It's also luggable, so I can take it places. Interestingly, many of Apple's services interest me too, particularly "Apple Arcade", which feels like the good aspects of mobile gaming-- sit down and just play, no-nonsense experiences-- minus the negative stuff, like ads and gated progression.

  • I'll trade in my now-multiple years old Samsung Galaxy S8+, and get whatever this year's iPhone winds up being. The phone will seamlessly integrate with the computer-- you can even receive calls from the iMac, which boggles my mind. Then right away, I'll start learning Swift, Xcode, and their AR toolkit.

  • I've been reading that Windows 11 is ten-to-fifteen percent faster than Windows 10 in games: I don't know how or why, but I will buy it when it comes out, then use my current PC as a dedicated gaming box, hooked exclusively up to my TV. Being honest with myself, I know I'll want to keep on the PC train down the road for the extra power it provides over the consoles.

  • The Series X will move into the family room, and be a Microsoft ecosystem box for the whole family to enjoy, if they want to drop in and play some Flight Simulator or Minecraft Dungeons with me or each other. The PlayStation 5 will stay hooked up in my room, for the exclusives: I'm specifically looking forward to "Horizon Forbidden West" and "Gran Turismo 7".

  • The Switch will continue to... be the Switch. Between Nintendo's membership and the almost unbelievable amount of great collections from Limited Run Games and elsewhere, the Switch is a really nice way to play old games, new games in the "Hi-Bit" style, and of course Nintendo's exclusives. I will probably flip to the "Switch Pro" whenever that comes out, and hand my current unit to my son. The "Pro" will be in my bedroom, the current unit will go in the family room.

  • The old systems, and maybe even the Atari ST if I can make room for it, will be in a "museum" corner with my Toshiba CRT television for when I entertain, or if me or my kids want to play some "Daytona" or something. I've read that RetroArch runs great on the new iMac, so I will also run HDMI-to-svideo to the Toshiba, like I'm presently doing from my PC.

  • As for this site, I think I will keep it, but re-write it as a single page application in .Net 6, when that comes out. That way I can have fun learning "Visual Studio for Mac", as Microsoft calls it. I will integrate the 'Wharf directly into the main site, and give the whole thing a facelift. I will still write about politics occasionally, but only within the context of games, like that analysis I did for the original "Horizon Zero Dawn."

Both Apple and Microsoft are apparently giving presentations this upcoming week on the new higher-end Macs and Windows 11 respectively-- should make for an interesting week.
Boomer Car Talk - 07:12 CDT, 6/17/21 (Sniper)
I'm sounding more like a Boomer every day: yesterday my car's clutch dropped to the floor and wouldn't return on its own-- and even depressed, any attempt to go into gear was met with wafting clutch odor. I went into the house and did five minutes of reading: clutch slave cylinder.

As it turns out, in the first few model years, the master and slave cylinders were housed outside of the clutch body housing-- what's apparently referred to as the "bell house casing". What this means is that you can lift the car and easily replace these pieces, as they're out in the open.

By the car's third model year, those components had been moved inside the "bell house casing", making the job take orders of magnitude longer to perform. On top of that, in just the second model year, the physical throttle body mechanism was replaced with "drive by wire", along with probably countless other "DYI"-unfriendly alterations.

Sure enough, I walked back out to the car, located the clutch fluid reservoir, and... empty. Which means air then got sucked into the line, causing a total loss of pressure. Only because this looks so relatively trivial to do, I got the confidence to order about four hundred dollars' worth of tools and parts.

The tools took up almost all of that cost-- but they were one-time and up-front: a hydraulic jack, jack stands, jack stand pads, an LED floor work light, and a few other things. The parts were cheap: sixty bucks for the OEM slave cylinder-- cheaper third-party ones were as low as thirteen dollars, but I wouldn't trust those; a nice steel braided clutch line since I've apparently sprung a leak; and a little tool to help me with the bleeding.

Here is the fun part-- the piece Boomers are always on about: when you push the car's clutch pedal, you literally look beneath the car and can see the rod moving through the slave cylinder. So if I replace it and bleed the line, and it still won't move, then I've got a master cylinder issue. The point here being, it's all mechanical. Similarly, if I push my car's gas pedal, I would physically see the body opening beneath the car.

Everything about cars apparently used to be this way-- and so every job was trivial: something breaks? Well, is it moving? If not, trace it back until you find the problem. Bolt in a new part, and you're done. No computers, no ECUs, nothing hidden away totally beyond vision or reach.

I really like the new Z and other cars like it, but based on what I've discovered about how the venerable 350z was "gimped" over its production life many, many years ago, I'd bet bottom dollar that these new sports cars are going to be almost impossible to self-service-- and that's even after setting aside the privacy concerns and computer complexity (good luck replacing that touch screen when it fails in twelve years).

If this job goes well and I don't wind up needing to get it towed to a mechanic in town, then I'll move on to other things, like replacing brakes. The cool part about it is that if I can become more handy like this, I'll own the subsystems in our various cars-- which means I'll know how they work, and if I start hearing sounds or smelling things, I'll know exactly what's going on, what to replace, and from where to get parts, just like how it's always been with my PC building.

This, versus when someone does the work for you: it's a black box, you write them a check, and you haven't gained any capital-- you're permanently at square zero every single time the car goes funny. It's like renting something versus eventually owning it.
Reinvention Concept - 08:36 CDT, 6/16/21 (Sniper)
I've been thinking a lot about my career, and how I can re-animate it. I haven't made any decisions yet, but I may need to make some substantial alterations to what I'm doing now:

  • Retire this web site, and make an apolitical blog focused purely on video games and technology.

  • Get invested in the iOS ecosystem so that I can be "first-in" when their Augmented Reality glasses hit. This means moving to a MacBook Pro, and an iPhone.

  • Write the new site in .Net Core, doing the development on a MacBook Pro, using some modern JavaScript framework, and host it on Azure.

  • Become an expert-- and I don't use that term lightly-- on iPhone and Augmented Reality development.

  • Dabble in robotics and AI development as well, keeping my skills up-to-date.

I had a good run talking about politics, particularly during my twenties and very early thirties. But when I look back at my writing over the past few years, I've really contributed nothing to the subject, as I think I've said my piece already.

As for technology, along with real-time POV-RAY another one of my childhood dreams has been Geordi La Forge's visor. Obviously, at consumer price levels Apple's incoming glasses aren't going to be able to see in infrared or something insane like that-- but the overall concept is basically the same. I think within five years, Augmented Reality glasses are going to be like the iPhone: everyone will be wearing them. And I think it would be a lot of fun to ride that wave on the development side.

So far as Android is concerned, that operating system was really cool in its early days when Google was in fact a noble company. But these days, I don't trust it anymore than I do iOS: I think it's a lateral move. As for GNU/Linux, MacOS is functionally close enough for me. As for Windows 10, the sooner I can say "sayonara" to that, the better; after all, I have the Series X for Microsoft's game ecosystem.

Another option would be a middle ground-- the Vee approach: have one set of professional, visible social media accounts for work, where you say all of the "right" things, and then have a hidden, secondary set of private accounts under pseudonyms. In my case, that would mean keeping the Gab account and this site, while having a parallel web site under my real name, along with real-name accounts on The Twatter, LinkedIn, and elsewhere.

The timing for all of this is nice as well, because once the bug out house addition is complete, I will be moving into a generous nearly twelve-by-twelve foot bedroom in the basement: this will make a nice laboratory of sorts, where I can run desks around much of the perimeter, with different sections devoted to different areas of study.
Christian Eriksen - 07:22 CDT, 6/15/21 (Sniper)
If you're squeamish, don't watch this, or read on any further.

I wasn't watching this match and I'm just catching up on highlights plus replays and such now, so I can only imagine the suspense: his face is towards the camera, and it's obvious that he's quite literally dead-- completely lifeless, haunting eyes. At that moment, it's like watching a ghost: he's gone. The ironic thing for him is that what saved his life was that the inevitable happened on a football pitch, with trained equipped medics seconds away, versus later on in bed that night like with Davide Astori.

He's a player who has struggled to replicate the form of his earlier years, and maybe now we know why: he probably developed a heart condition a few years ago and wasn't aware of it. Of course, he'll never play football again ala Fabrice Muamba-- but the important thing is that he's alive, plus he's such a talented guy he has a million other things towards which he can excel. And now that he knows about his heart and can get the proper treatment or surgery, he could live to be ninety years old.

Besides that, the twenty-nine year old started senior football as a teenager: that's an over decade-long professional career, playing at the highest levels. In other sports, that would be considered a super long time from where one could build an entire "hall of fame" resume-- so he shouldn't have any regrets: it's as if he had a catastrophic knee injury or something, and the doctors say he shouldn't run on it anymore. I'm sure he'll be amazing at whatever he decides to do in life next: apparently he's very upbeat in the hospital, and doing very well.
Ready for Sarrismo - 06:58 CDT, 6/14/21 (Sniper)
Tough to believe that Maurizio Sarri is the Lazio coach: in my mind, it's still totally uncertain and unofficial-- I must have post-traumatic stress problems from the Inzaghi backstabbing!

Every reform I've been wanting for years, Sarri is pushing for, such as a small squad over a large one, then using that money to focus on closing the quality gap between starters and reserves. It's like Lotito needed to hear these things from an outside name whom he respects.

As for the Mercato, the names to which we're being linked took an instant elevation given the coach's profile: I'm hearing Stevan Jovetic, Nikola Maksimovic, Matija Nastasic, Josip Ilicic, Mattia De Sciglio, Davide Zappacosta, Elseid Hysaj, and many others as being real possibilities.

Exciting times!

On a totally unrelated note, it's incredible living full-time in a rural area. When I skim the news now, it feels like I'm reading about a different planet, so far removed am I from the destitution of the urban setting. I should have packed up the family and shifted them here a long time ago.