The Exigent Duality
Catching Up - 09:49 CST, 4/01/23 (Sniper)
The Donald Trump indictment is shocking. I thought I couldn't be surprised by anything anymore, but this one caught me off guard. I'm not a PhD historian, but I've studied enough world history to know that these are the kinds of events which, in retrospect, tend to spark revolutions and civil wars.

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

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

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

Big Booty Latina

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

Cyclical Time

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

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

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

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

Rhetoric Escalation

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

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

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

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

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

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

Clot Shot Fallout

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

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

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


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

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

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

Myriad Lies

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


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

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

Ivy League

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

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

Pickup Truck Drivers

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

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

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

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

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

Gaming Gatekeepers

This image has been making the rounds:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

White People Are Fed Up

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

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

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

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

Didn't Get the Memo

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

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

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

White Men Shrugged

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Peter Schiff Was Right, Part Forty

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

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

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

Warp Speeds

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

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

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

Men on the Moon

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Scamdemic Recalled

In April of 2020 I wrote this:

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

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

In July of 2020, I followed up with this:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

State Swap

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

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

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

Artistry and Leftism

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

Tucker and the "Insurrection"

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A Funk

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

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

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

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

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

Lack of Spirit

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

1984 Instruction Manual

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

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

Dead Space Remake

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

Military Gone Soft Under Lack of Real Challenges

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

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

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

Monkeys and Dominance

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Witcher III

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

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

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

Daggerfall in Modern Times

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

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

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

My Custom Class: Axe Magician


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

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

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

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

  • Expertise In - Axe
  • Increased Magery 1.5x Int

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

My Experience

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

Other Musings

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jeremy Clarkson Slowly Catching On

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

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

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

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

Shogo is Good!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Minnesota Politics, Evil DFL

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Give Praise to God

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

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


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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Modern titles are too bloated, feature-heavy, and complex to play. Way too many mechanics, way too many buttons, way too many annoyances like crafting, a zillion side quests, mini-games, and so forth. If game companies would start making "simple" games like this again but with all of the modern graphical bells and whistles, I'd be happy as a lark.
Wokeness and the Great Reset - 12:40 CST, 1/14/23 (Sniper)
Here is an interesting Tom Woods episode where he interviews Michael Rectenwald about the latter's new book, which deals with the "Great Reset" question. Before I make an observation about the conversation, open up your browser's dev tools and add a "display: none" CSS rule to their ridiculous "clarification box" div. About that box, I remember a year or two ago where their "clarification" was that the "Great Reset" was an imaginary thing created by radical Right-wing nutjobs. Now, you'll notice, the box acknowledges that it's real but says that it's innocent.

It brings to mind the joke, "What's the difference between a 'conspiracy theory' and a fact?" Answer: "About three months".

Regarding their conversation, Rectenwald does a phenomenal job explaining the role of the "woke" ideology in their larger picture. If you try to confiscate property or otherwise abuse people, where they think that their property and accomplishments are earned due to hard work, endeavor, and discipline, they will fight you. But if you can convince them that everything they have is merely an accidental outcome of "privilege", that they don't deserve what they have and never did, and privileges can be both given and revoked, you can not only get them to succumb, but to take joy in having succumbed!

So why convince young men that they are worthless, and young women that they are perfect little princesses, sentiments I demolish in this post? It's because this cabal is Malthusian, from the top of their heads to their toes. If they can replace men with women in the career sphere, women will have fewer kids. It's that simple. It also serves an almost inadvertent secondary effect: of the two sexes it's men and not women who are more apt to fight back, so it's best to preemptively demoralize them as much as possible.
Gullible Written On Ceiling - 08:07 CST, 1/13/23 (Sniper)
Start watching at the 1:30 mark of this video, then gauge your frustration on a level of one to ten. Even setting aside the fact that the sociopaths running the "media" have ulterior motives and flip narratives to polar opposites at the press of a button to benefit the establishment, I also think there is a genuine sense of bewilderment from the foot soldiers further down the line.

Every human being has varying degrees of "bullshit detection" capabilities. This idiotic press secretary has never authentically answered a single question the entire time she's been on the job, and I picked up on it less than a minute into her first press conference. She's like the lady reading off the "news" on North Korean TV. For anyone with half a brain, it's obvious in seconds.

But for "normies" like these CBS press people, they are so conditioned to blindly trust "authority" that they can't detect a lie unless it smacks them in the face. Finally, finally, finally there is something so idiotic, so brazen, that even they are like, "You know, she's... she's not really answering the question, is she!" The way they proclaim it like it's some kind of profound realization is both hilarious and frustrating. And I can just visualize their audience nodding along: "I used to like this press secretary, but now I just don't know!"
The Sexes - 19:22 CST, 1/12/23 (Sniper)
The part at the 3:45 mark in this video put me into a mood of somber contemplation-- in part because of how tragic it is that young people are getting brainwashed into this kind of worldview, and in equal measure because of how untrue it is.

Like everything the Left promotes, this model has it exactly backwards. "What are men good for?" Almost anything. "What are women good for?" Specific subsets of things which cater to their strengths. Disclaimer: All of these things are based on averages-- Bell Curve distributions. There are individual exceptions and outliers as in any statistical model, obviously.

Men are superior to women at anything physical. They have a spectacular advantage in terms of capacity to build muscle mass; they have superior reflexes; they have superior hand-eye coordination; they have better visual-spatial judgement; they have better muscle twitch tissue; their skeletal structures and ratios are more oriented towards running and jumping versus women's.

This is why women's sports are hilariously slow compared to men's teams. For example, in soccer women's teams routinely lose to high school boys outfits. In tennis, professional female players regularly admit to losing to their high school brothers in singles. The gap is that large between the sexes. Even in something less physical like "e-sports", women's teams are always terrible: bottom of the standings in everything.

What's interesting is that men are also much better at mental competitions. For example, in chess women aren't even remotely competitive with men. In "Jeopardy", the top players are essentially all men. In terms of scientific inventions and human progress even in the arts, men rule the roost. This is because there are substantially more male geniuses than female (and also way more low-IQ men than women: women have a straight Bell Curve, whereas men have stronger distributions at either pole).

In the business world, men typically make better leaders because they are more assertive, versus women who are more focused on being agreeable and having group harmony.

In terms of civics, men are net tax payers. Women are net tax receivers. Without men and the work they do, the system would collapse immediately. In the military, women are undesirable because their comparatively fragile bodies lack strength and are more likely to succumb to all manner of illnesses, such as urinary tract infections. Countries would be invaded instantly if not for the men protecting them.

Where women have an advantage over men is in terms of empathy. Men tend to be better systematizers, whereas women are usually superior empathisers. That's why men tend to flock to the sciences-- which they are both interested in and good at-- while women tend to migrate to people-centric fields such as marketing, HR, or nursing.

I even see this with my own two children: they are only a few years apart, and were raised identically, with equal access to and promotion of the same toys and materials. My daughter is interested in consuming stories with lots of interpersonal relationship stuff; by contrast my son is obsessed with numbers and outer space. There is no "right or wrong": just intrinsic differences typical of the sexes on display. And again, they are averages: my daughter was a faster swimmer than the same-age boys in her class, for instance (she also hits a phenomenal volley with the football).

If you're betting, the man will make the better engineer. The woman will make the better social worker. It's usually true, and it shows up in the data across the board, in every possible way. Incidentally, this is also why I think it's better for women typically to stay home with the children: her increased empathy is an advantage there. In turn, the father can assert some "tough love" to keep things in balance.

So young men should take heart, and not listen to this Left-wing drivel: it's not grounded in reality. And women such as those in this video should work to curtail their vanity: it's getting out of control.
PC Complete - 07:20 CST, 1/11/23 (Sniper)
The video card came in, and my son and I spent last night running 3DMark's various benchmarks! Here are the PC's final specs:

  • CPU: AMD Ryzen 7700X
  • Motherboard: Gigabyte B650 Aorus Elite AX AM5
  • Memory: 2x 16 gig. G.SKILL Trident DDR5 6000 (F5-6000J3636F16GX2-TZ5RK)
  • Video Card: Gigabyte GeForce RTX 4070 Ti Eagle OC 12 gig.
  • Storage: Samsung 980 Pro 1 TB
  • Power Supply: Corsair RM850x
  • Cooler: DeepCool AK620
  • Case: Corsair 4000D Airflow White

Before I get to test results, I want to demonstrate how we're living in clown world-- we're so far past the levels of diminishing returns that it takes a video card the size of Montana to push the envelope. Here is the new card next to my card from 1998, which was a RIVA TNT-based Diamond Viper V550, and which I've preserved in a box all of this time. Cutting-edge 1998 versus cutting-edge 2023. Whoever said computers always got smaller?

Here is everything jammed into the case. The video card is so big that it comes with an "anti-sag bar"! I couldn't use it in any event due to the design of my case, which has an upward-sloped portion via which one runs cables to the motherboard. You can barely even see the motherboard beneath all of the junk sitting on top of it!

At least the thing is fiendishly fast, albeit it sucks the power of a small city doing it, and generates enough heat to make comfortable the entire Northern half of the continental United States:

  • Sandra CPU Overall: 16.93 kPT
  • Sandra Storage: 6753 MB/s, 8.92 kPT
  • Sandra Memory: 61.431 GB/s, 53.9 ns
  • 3DMark Port Royal: 14263
  • 3DMark Time Spy Extreme Overall: 10090
  • 3DMark Time Spy Extreme GPU: 11041
  • 3DMark Time Spy Extreme CPU: 6781
  • 3DMark DLSS Test, DLSS Disabled: 29.96 fps
  • 3DMark DLSS Test, DLSS 2: 81.39 fps
  • 3DMark DLSS Test, DLSS 3 with Frame Generation: 105.99 fps

If I have time tonight I will fire up Cyberpunk 2077 and crank up all of the ray tracing to max, to see how the game looks.
Political Anachronisms - 08:19 CST, 1/07/23 (Sniper)
Remember when I wrote about the "Video Game Critic" forum being cringey regarding politics? I have a family member who is similarly out-of-date: he hasn't the foggiest idea how to even turn on a computer, so he gets one hundred percent of his "news"-- and has for decades-- from the primary Murderapolis newspaper, the "Star and Tribune". It's even the paper edition: he must be one of about four people for whom they still run the actual presses.

It's almost anachronistic talking to someone like him about politics, because his only source of information has kept him so bubble wrapped in this weird reality, where every single headline and article is carefully crafted to drip-feed a certain world view into him. Roughly, they keep him stuck in the 1980s-era battle lines, because they completely ignore today's Democratic party. Every so often I drop some little detail in a gentle, casual way: "Did you hear about that city in England where liberals are banning you from driving to different neighborhoods to counteract cow farts?", or "Did you see the new books Democrats are promoting about kids describing mommy's wet pussy?", followed by his head exploding out of total shock. It's entertaining to pierce the bubble once in awhile.

In any event, I stripped wallpaper and re-painted the kitchen a couple of weeks ago. I covered the floors using papers from stacks of old "Red Star and Tribune" issues, most of them from 2016 and 2017. It was slow going laying down those papers, because I couldn't stop laughing at the articles! Here is just a tiny sampling-- and not cherry-picked either, this is representative of one hundred percent of what people like my family member are being fed as "reality":

  • Some sob story about "Refugees from Myanmar" (?). Aren't refugees only allowed to enter the nearest country-- why and how did they go over the ocean?? Who paid for that?
  • "Don't kick us out!", sad looking foreign woman in picture. Marxists love rent controls as a tool to destroy "capitalism", that's the vein for stories like this one. It's all about audience conditioning.
  • "Trump proposes tax on Mexican imports". Oh boy, I thought, let's read down... sure enough: "Why that will hit consumers!!!"
  • "We are part of nature, even when we try to stand apart". Weird hippie crap, conditioning people to accept external combustion cars and eating bugs. This newspaper has a lot of this junk, even a whole section sometimes it seems.
  • "3M refuses to pay for clean water!!" Greedy corporation narrative, more Marxist agitprop.
  • 270 lbs woman decides to stop trying to lose weight, weight "not the only measure of health". I wonder if she's even still alive.

In other news, I was able to land one of these 4070 Ti cards from Newegg right when they went live. For a while I actually had a 4080 in my cart-- but in the end of I went with the lesser card: even though I can afford the price difference, out of principle I object to paying $1300 for a video card, for Pete's sake. I know costs have gone up, but I'm sure Nvidia has massive margins on these new cards, simply because their primary competitor in AMD is down to freaking 10% market share.

Speaking of them, I wish I had a crystal ball and could see how FSR 3 will perform, and how widespread will be its adoption: for just ~$150 more I could have bought a 7900 XTX, which is a significantly faster card than what I got in raw rasterization, plus it has a whopping 24 gig. of VRAM, versus the measly 12 gig. in the 4070 Ti (a limitation I'm somewhat worried about in fact). But Nvidia's ray tracing support when combined with DLSS 2 and even 3's new "frame generation" is so far ahead of AMD that it's a bit embarrassing. FSR 3 could change that, but I didn't feel comfortable going in the AMD direction based on nothing but "hope".

And besides all of that, Richard Leadbetter showed some benchmarks which sold me on the 4070 Ti: in Cyberpunk 2077-- which supports ray traced everything, including shadows, ambient occlusion, global illumination, and reflections-- this card does reconstructed 4K at an average of 67 fps using DLSS 2. And that game is almost a worst-case scenario in terms of how it pushes hardware generally, with ray tracing settings maxed out. He also amazingly showed this card up against a PlayStation 5! In "A Plague Tale: Requiem" with identical settings, the PS5 gets 36 fps-- this new card gets 80 without DLSS, and 105 with. And that's in a brand new game with cutting edge visuals, the likes of which I don't think we'll progress much further.
New PC Benchmarks - 10:52 CST, 12/31/22 (Sniper)
Turns out this has been pretty fun: got the PC all built, with the temporary stand-in GTX 1050 Ti.

The cooler is so large it has to be seen in person to be believed-- it's maybe six Rubik's Cubes hooked together: straight out of clown world. And these current-gen chips run notoriously hot even with such a monster device, with two giant heat sinks and two fans bolted on to it! As soon as I saw how large it was, I immediately knew I would need to put as many components in place as possible, before installing the CPU.

I put the RAM in first. The cooler wound up being so enormous installed, that it barely clears the top of the DIMMs! The cooler also blocks access to the fastest NVMe slot-- so it was a good thing I installed the NVMe drive beforehand. I could have put the drive into one of the PCI-Express 4.0 slots, but my general philosophy is to use the fastest slots available: I even plug my keyboard into a USB 3 port, because why not.

As a brief aside, this makes me appreciate the engineering in the PlayStation 5: look at how small it is compared to the PC, and think about how few fans it has, and how quiet it is, while still offering really nice looking games with solid performance (albeit locked to 30 fps in a lot of cases).

But back to the PC: the system POST'ed immediately. I plugged in my 32 meg. USB thumb drive with the latest BIOS update, used the UEFI interface's "Q-Flash" option... flash went without a hitch. After flash I flipped to the one-and-only XMP profile for my RAM-- 6000 MHz-- and rebooted. All seemed fine. I then swapped to the Windows 11 bootable install USB drive I'd made earlier, and away I went. Once I had Windows 11 installed and all patched, I installed Sandra to confirm that everything was working.

Back to the cooler now-- in the end it does its job: I ran the Sanda CPU benchmark gauntlet, which does prolonged periods of full-bore stress testing, with all threads maxed out. The peak temperature I saw was 95.6 C. This worst-case scenario is super hot by conventional standards, but within the design spec of the chip as a zillion threads on Reddit and elsewhere explain. The system remained completely stable throughout.

In terms of performance, the chip scored a 16.93 kPT overall, which is right inline with what the tool expected. I once busted a lying Asus and forced them into a motherboard RMA back in 2001 thanks to Sandra-- ever since then I've used it to verify that each component in my systems are working up to spec.

The Samsung 980 Pro NVMe drive scored spectacularly: 6753 MB/s and an overall score of 8.92 kPT, which was higher than the 7.02 that the tool was expecting.

The RAM scored a 55.286 GB/s in the bandwidth test, 59.3 ns in terms of latency, with an overall score of 2.09 kPT. The bandwidth number seemed a little low, so I poked around the UEFI interface some more, and ran across these options: "Low Latency Support" and "XMP/EXPO High Bandwidth Support". Enabled, I re-ran the benchmark: 61.431 GB/s, and 53.9 ns. So you definitely want those settings turned on!

Overall I'm very pleased with the system's performance. I'll have full benchmark results from the RTX 4070 Ti once I'm able to procure one, hopefully in January. In the meantime I'll install a few games such as Cyberpunk 2077, then shut the PC down until I'm able to get the video card.
Clueless - 10:51 CST, 12/30/22 (Sniper)
One thing worth noting: exciting progression in video games does not exclusively need to come in the form of better visuals. For example, check out this video. Remember way back when I wrote about Flight Simulator right when it came out? Notice how most of the post has nothing to do with the game's graphics: rather, what stunned me about it was its use of web service calls, AI models, and other crazy non-visual things. In the case of the aforelinked video, I would play a game which looked like that if it did super novel, experimental things with physics and AI. I'd spend hours just walking around talking to NPCs, probing how the system works, and be amazed the whole time.

In other gaming news, I stealth read the "Video Game Critic" forum. They are a bunch of Gen X'ers with similar backgrounds in the medium as myself. But any time politics comes up even tangentially, the place becomes super cringey: you see, the people on that forum are so out of touch with contemporary politics and social movements that they are stuck in a 1980's view of what Democrats and Republicans are. When "The Critic" panned "God of War: Ragnarok" in part because of what he called "forced diversity" (at least he sort of gets it), the clueless idiots on his own forum started attacking him! "What's wrong with black people in games? I didn't even notice until you brought it up, hurr durr."

Those kinds of people will be the first ones in the gulags-- and they will have zero comprehension right up to the moment the men with rifles arrive on their door steps.
Graphical Triple-Demic - 08:43 CST, 12/30/22 (Sniper)
These days I tend to prefer things coming out of Asia or Eastern Europe, because the people in those places-- Nintendo aside-- haven't been infected with the woke mind virus. With that in mind, plus how much I enjoyed "Metro: Exodus", I've been really looking forward to "Stalker 2". Here is the latest trailer. Notice the absence of butch androgynous pink-hair lesbians with mohawks and body builder arms, and setting-inappropriate random African people.

One interesting thing to note: this game is not "cross-gen", yet it doesn't look any better than the aforementioned "Metro: Exodus", as my screenshots from July of 2019 prove. I know there are caveats with this particular title-- they had to relocate during development due to missiles flying overhead-- but this still seems to confirm my hypothesis that the more-or-less flatlining of game graphics has to do with something other than "cross-gen", such as project budget ceilings. By the time this game comes out, it'll have been at least four years since that time, with zero improvement in visuals.

Kind of explains why I've become largely bored with the medium. When I saw "Metro: Exodus" in 2019 with ray tracing and HDR, I was thinking "up and up!". Instead, things went and remained horizontal.

An update in shipping means that I'll be able to assemble my new "PC of forever" this weekend, versus needing to wait until next week. Of course, I won't have a video card until who-knows-when-- but at least I'll be able to get Windows 11 and all of my software installed, and set up the way I want, by dropping in an ancient spare GTX 1050 Ti I've had in a box for years. This is the least excited I've ever been for a new PC, but I have the cash right now, and my Series X still had good resale value on the used market-- why not pounce now and be done with it.

I read that video card shipments took their biggest drop in 2022 since 2009! This doesn't surprise me at all: the average video card according to the Steam hardware survey is the measly GTX 1650-- for low-range people like that who can already run their MOBAs or whatever, they are set already; mid-range people who want a $500 card have quite literally nothing viable in the market today; and for high-end people, the RTX 4080 is not very good value-for-money, while AMD (down to 10% market share now) is laughably behind the AI and ray tracing fronts.

For the low-range, mid-range, and high-end, there just isn't anything worth buying, especially since the ridiculous internet outrage vocal minority got the 12 gig. RTX 4080 product killed, causing that price window niche to go dark-- in turn causing people like me to have to wait months to get the same product just re-branded (4070 Ti) to appease Digital Foundry and The Twatter mobs. Aggregate it all up, and video cards just ain't selling.

Shifting gears, apparently the mainstream media has coined the term "triple-demic", because the clot-shotted people are so continuously ill with the flu and other diseases that many of them are needing to go to the hospital! Meanwhile my totally non-clot shotted family hasn't had so much as the sniffles. I did everything I could via this blog to warn people to not get the shots, but it seems to have done little good.
Vacation Recap - 09:12 CST, 12/29/22 (Sniper)
I've been thinking for some time now that the wholesale, forced move to external combustion cars will never happen-- because reality will assert itself. What about people who live in apartments and are parked in the street? How about people who live outside of city limits and have long drives to get where they're going? How will a couple of hundred million cars added to the electric grid possibly work, when the grid already is hanging on by a thread? And so forth and so on.

Here is just such a case-in-point. External combustion vehicles were such a disaster for New York City that the city "Sanitation Commissioner" said this, bold emphasis is mine: "Given the current state of the technology, I don't see today a path forward to fully electrifying the rear loader portion of the fleet by 2040." Remember when it was 2030, then 2035? Now it's not even 2040. In fact, it will be never: external combustion cars are only useful for a tiny subset of use cases, and fail at absolutely anything else.

They've been tried numerous times over the past century, and the concept was abandoned for good cause every time. The only reason they've hung on so far this time is because billionaire ideologues are funneling billions if not trillions of dollars globally into trying to make these paperweights float. But no amount of money can make water not wet, or gravity not pull.

And by the way, these trucks cost New York City over five hundred thousand dollars each! It's a perfect microcosm for what consumers face as well: external combustion cars are expensive, and simply can't do the things internal combustion engine cars can-- not even close in fact. In the case of these trucks, they "conked out" after plowing snow for only four hours. And want to guess what happened when they "conked out"? I bet they were towed back to base by an internal combustion engined tow truck.

Changing subjects and in the "bad news" category, I only have five more days off on my vacation. On the "good news" side of the ledger though, I got through everything I wanted to get done this December:

  • Caught up on my fairly large backlog of reviews, including "Siralim Ultimate", "Sonic Origins", "Pokemon Scarlet", and others.
  • Finished video card musical chairs: my RTX 2080 went to my son, his RTX 2060 went to my daughter, and her GTX 1070 went into the server. This was all in preparation of my incoming new PC.
  • Got Windows 10 reinstalled for my daughter, this time on her fast NVMe drive.
  • Got through the gauntlet of doctor's appointments, trying to figure out my low copper, low white blood cell, and high bilirubin count issues. We're rounding the corner on the problems now.
  • Made so much progress in therapy that I was able to create a customized "cheat sheet" for myself, with thought-correcting mitigation steps for all of my most common thinking errors: for example, instead of dreading how future events will impact me, look instead at how I can impact the events.
  • Took every single material possession I own out of boxes; organized them into piles; threw away and recycled a bunch; then put remainder into transparent plastic tubs, uniformly labeled, and organized onto a single shelving unit.
  • Got my Xbox Series X sold: I won't need both it and my new PC; they perform the exact same function, except that the PC will be many times more powerful.
  • Successfully steamed all of the wallpaper off of the kitchen walls; taped, "primered", and re-painted the whole room with two coats.

I'm actually looking forward to going back to work in January-- it's about time to get back to creating versus consuming. Aside from work, January will just see a smattering of doctor's appointments to finalize conclusions. I will also need to land one of the inbound "RTX 4070 Ti" cards; for the time being I will put an old 1050 Ti in it, which I had laying around-- that will at least let me get the system all built, and get Windows 11 installed and set up the way I want it.
Theories and New PC - 09:04 CST, 12/24/22 (Sniper)
This article proposes that what drove the past forty years-- my lifespan, interestingly-- was this:

  • Central banks created massive amounts of money out of thin air.
  • Enterprises maximized profits by using cheap labor in the new "global market".
  • As debt grew, central banks kept the servicing manageable by repeatedly dropping interest rates.

All three of these trends are now reversing:

  • The mind boggling inflation of the money supply has finally caused prices to skyrocket.
  • Geopolitical risk is forcing companies to "homeshore" labor into more expensive labor markets.
  • Central banks are having to raise interest rates to combat price inflation.

His conclusion is that governments will subsume what has been the role of central banks: they will guide a re-industrialization of Western economies. Meanwhile, Charles Hugh Smith explains why his conclusions are wrong. The whole article is well worth a read.

In totally unrelated news, my wife convinced me to just bite the bullet and build a new PC now: our cash flow situation is good, and if my theory about game budgets being what's holding back game graphics-- not "cross-gen"-- then this will be the last PC I ever build, since games will never fully stress what it's capable of. Here are what the specs will be; everything is ordered other than the video card, which launches in January:

Component TypeComponent Name
CPUAMD Ryzen 7700X
CPU CoolerDeepCool AK620
GPUNvidia RTX 4070 Ti
MotherboardGigabyte B650 Aorus Elite AX AM5
RAM2x 16 gig. G.SKILL Trident DDR5 6000 (F5-6000J3636F16GX2-TZ5RK)
StorageSamsung 980 Pro 1 TB
Power SupplyCorsair RM850x
CaseCorsair 4000D Airflow White

Here is how this new PC stacks up to the current-gen consoles; overall it's multiples faster than either of them, and that's no exaggeration. Then you factor in DLSS 3 and "frame generation", and the consoles are not even from the same planet-- "Witcher 3" with partial ray tracing on the consoles at ~25 fps in town, versus this PC with full ray tracing at ~100 fps in the same town with "frame generation" enabled:

SpecSniper's PCPlayStation 5Xbox Series X
CPU8-Core AMD Zen 48-Core AMD Zen 28-Core AMD Zen 2
CPU Max Clock5400 MHz3500 MHz3800 MHz
GPUNvidia RTX 4070 Ti (~40 Teraflops)AMD RDNA 2 (~10.3 Teraflops)AMD RDNA 2 (~12 Teraflops)
GPU Chip Details7680 "CUDA" Cores @ 2310 MHz36 "Compute Units" @ 2230 MHz52 "Compute Units" @ 1825 MHz
Memory12 GB @ 50,400 MB/s, 32 GB @ 48,000 MB/s16 GB @ 44,800 MB/s10 GB @ 56,000 GB/s, 6 GB @ 33,600 MB/s
Storage1 TB @ 6554 MB/s825 GB @ 5500 MB/s raw1 TB @ 2400 MB/s raw

I could wait a bit for the Zen 4 "X3D" chips to launch-- but the 7700X is so much faster than the consoles already, I think anything faster will be overkill. I could always upgrade later as well; inevitably one or both of my kids will wind up on AM5, so I'd have a hand-me-down CPU all ready. Meanwhile, I went AMD over Intel because if my game budget-limited theory is wrong, I will have an upgrade path for years to come on AM5: I'm hedged for either outcome.