The Exigent Duality
Fruit and Projects - 08:10 CDT, 9/24/22 (Sniper)
Haven't really had much to write about lately. I went through a ten day stretch where I was only getting three hours of sleep per night-- that certainly didn't help my energy levels. But, I've been experimenting with drug dosages, and may have reached a sort of balanced equilibrium between project passion and the need for sleep.

The five projects I have in mind, if I can ever muster the energy to work on them, are as follows:

  • Create a game in Godot Engine, complete with my own musical compositions.
  • Do piano lessons in GarageBand on my laptop.
  • Make a CRUD-oriented "dApp".
  • Create an ARKit demo app for iPhone.
  • Write a tech website in Blazor Server.

Speaking of Blazor, I'm having an issue on both my laptop and the "installed" version on my phone, where the service-worker.js file gets erroneously cached by the browser, resulting in a hash check failure when attempting an update-- meaning I can no longer push application updates to those impacted browsers. I put a condition into the index.html file, apparently telling the browser to never cache that file-- but I'm not convinced it's working. Unfortunately, if you are using Gassy Girl you might need to wipe its data, clear browser cache, and basically "start over" to get my most recent and future updates. Check the "About" menu item, see if the app is version 1.1.

Blazor is a very young framework, I think this is just one of those kinks you'd expect, especially coming from a Microsoft product.

In other news, my iPhone 14 Pro Max came in on launch day, and it is phenomenal. Now I'm totally in the Apple camp, with my M2 MacBook Air and the new phone. What I appreciate so much about both devices is that you don't need to think about them while you're using them: "Ok, I'd better open this in just a certain order, or I'd better do these actions in just a certain sequence so things don't get wonky."

There is none of that on Apple products. I just flip the lid up on the MacBook, everything is just the way I left it, nothing ever breaks or acts strange-- it's like the laptop is just a seamless part of my life, versus something I'm wrestling with. The phone is very much the same way-- everything "just works". I press the side button, it recognizes my face, and I'm productive instantly. Any time I write a file to either device, it's almost instantaneously mirrored on the other: again, I don't need to think about it, "gosh how am I going to get this data over there now".

Not to mention, the iPhone 14 Pro is the fastest mobile GPU on the planet. My daughter got me into "Genshin Impact"-- a game I'll be reviewing eventually-- and it looks like a PlayStation 5 release running on the device's display: it almost creates cognitive dissonance, "how can this be running on a cellphone?" I even flipped on the game's 60 fps mode, and it runs flawlessly. I hopped into the game and took a quick screenshot just now-- which then magically appeared on my laptop in "Photos", without me doing anything-- just to give some idea. Click for the raw file, as dumped by the game.

For my upcoming birthday, the wife and kids ordered me a pair of the brand new AirPods Pro. I've been using Apple Music-- another phenomenal Apple product, incidentally-- on both my phone and my laptop, and it's super annoying jury rigging the audio with my headset back and forth. I'm expecting these new headphones to be typically Apple: I want to listen to music, the headphones won't care which of the two devices-- a simple tap on my ear or something along those lines will flip devices. I'll write about them in roughly a month's time, post-birthday.
Swindling the CPU in Madden - 04:53 CDT, 9/16/22 (Sniper)
Since I'd been having so much fun in Pro Evo, I decided to pick up Madden NFL 23 on the PlayStation 5. The game itself is sort of a train wreck, as I detailed in my review-- but that't not stopping me from tweaking the heck out of its gameplay via "sliders", and from having fun with the front office management. Observe this screenshot for example:

Because my team-- Jacksonville-- had finished in last place the prior season, the game's AI treats that club's next two batch of drafts as also having the same position. This is obviously not going to be true, as with my sliders all tweaked I'm most likely going to make the playoffs, if not win the Super Bowl. Yet the game will still treat these two picks with "pick number one" trade value!

Returning to the above screenshot then, I'm trading up in the first round-- not down, up!-- plus getting the other team's 2024 first round pick, and one of the best receivers in the entire game, all in exchange for a third rounder! It's total daylight robbery, and I did a ton of clever trades like this, using even my lower-round picks to accumulate good players, and additional draft selections. Also, rather than cutting players to get down to the 53 man roster, I bundled up and traded those players for even more picks.

By the time I was done, my team's overall rating went from the high 70s to the low 80s, I'd freed up cap room, and accumulated something like 14 picks in each of the next two drafts. So now instead of starting with the stock crappy Jaguars team, I have a few genuine superstars to build around-- and I can do that building via tons of 1st-3rd round picks over the next two seasons.
Post-Cloud - 04:36 CDT, 9/07/22 (Sniper)
Here is a fellow who predicts that after "the cloud", the next phase of enterprise application hosting will be in blockchain. I experimented a bit with what are called "dapps", looks like that knowledge may come to good use over the next several years. I wonder if "web3" will be the next "cloud", in terms of word popular usage among IT people? Also from the article, a warning, bold emphasis is mine:

"Even if a company is born in the cloud, or moves to the cloud, we do see a lot of cases where they move stuff back. Oftentimes you find that for cost, compliance, security, locality, or sovereignty, you may want to keep things on-prem. Putting everything in the public cloud is not the right way to go, keeping everything on-prem is not the right way to go. Instead the way to be smart about it is to say, 'OK, what are the requirements of the app, and where best to run to meet all those requirements?'"

Blockchain would be nice, because you won't cede sovereignty to a tech giant, who will shut off your infrastructure if you have a political view they disagree with.

In other news, researchers are en masse finding pieces of graphene in the blood of people who got the clot shots. Those before-and-after pictures of peoples' blood reminds me of the ads I'd see as a kid in the 80s: "your lungs before smoking, and after smoking". Cross-reference this research, with the 84% increase in excess mortality among the 25-44 age group as soon as these shots hit.

Hearken back to all of the pressure, the Democrats an inch away from essentially mandating these shots nationally in order to have a job... someone needs to be held accountable.
Evil Dictator - 06:52 CDT, 9/02/22 (Sniper)
I've been working really hard to stay away from political news, but this is too much. I get that he's just trying to appease the radical Leftists in his voting base before a midterm election period in which his party will probably suffer historic losses-- but the danger of catering to these people is that the rhetoric can turn into action on a dime. To compound the speech and last week's interview, you have this first-rate whackjob doubling down.

The Saul Alinsky is so strong with this stuff that it almost hurts my brain: accuse the other side of exactly what you're doing, from election theft to radical Democracy-destroying agendas to shoving fringe minority opinions on everyone in the form of policy.

Never forget the Steele Dossier, the Mueller investigation, the fish thing in Japan, the constant video and image editing by CNN and others, the Maricopa County audit and audits elsewhere, which party wants to eliminate the filibuster and pack the Supreme Court, Trump getting spied on while he was President, January 6th peaceful protesters getting thrown into prison and beaten with no charges pressed, the Fentanyl Floyd riots being encouraged, all of the lies regarding Russia and the Ukrainian war, and on and on and on.

On top of it they have single-handedly devastated the American economy by backdooring the "Green New Deal", which was so extreme and unpopular it could hardly garner a vote in Congress. And if that's not enough, they are all-consumed with sexually grooming small kids and chopping off their genitals.

We're dealing with black-hearted Atheistic Jewish Communist billionaires pulling the strings on the second-echelon-- like Creepy Joe-- followed by their nearly endless army of well-meaning but naive and unthinking brainwashed college grads, running HR departments in large corporations, putting "pronouns" in their email signatures, one hundred percent not even remotely understanding the big picture, or even understanding that there is one.

We just need to hang in there. I hope these establishment hacks-- and there are a lot of Republicans among their ranks-- can get the Liz Cheney treatment, and lose their positions in the State-proper. There is a massive rising tide of people, like this lady in Minnesota I really like named Michelle Fishbach, who appear to represent what we need: a pendulum shift back towards the family, decentralization, and Christian values.
Digitized Sprites Resuscitated - 19:53 CDT, 9/01/22 (Sniper)
I made a tech demo in Godot Engine showing off what could be done with digitized sprites in the modern era.

Download the Windows .exe here. Arrow keys move, Z and X rotate the camera. I only spent a few hours on it, so it doesn't have much collision detection, and everything is a "billboard", so you'll see some spinning trees. And the walking animation turned out hilarious, I only used a few frames and spent basically no time on it.

The point I'm trying to make with it is, why in the heck does "Links 386" for DOS from 1992 or whatever look more realistic than modern golf games? Imagine how absolutely crazy something like "Road Rash 3DO" could look with contemporary 2048x2048 sprites? And that's exactly how I made this demo: I walked around taking pictures of trees, grass, and so forth, quickly cleaned them up in The Gimp, and plugged them right in. The character is obviously me, my daughter took pictures of me against the "green screen" of a white garage door.

Incidentally, I created the song myself in Apple's "GarageBand" in about an hour using my MIDI keyboard. That was a lot of fun.

But back to the topic: I know this approach would chew up VRAM like crazy, but still: for certain genres or elements, imagine the kind of photorealistic, absolutely mind blowing looking games which could be created with digitized sprites by modern development teams, with their hundreds of members? Custom silicon could even be made to do interpolation. Instead, zero research whatsoever has been done in this area that I can find: it's a totally abandoned approach.
Going in Circles - 06:23 CDT, 8/28/22 (Sniper)
I've read through Unreal plus Unity tutorials, and I'm plugging away at the Godot Engine ones-- I just don't find working in these environments to be fun. They emphasize doing as much as possible without code, whereas I find code to be the most readable, consistent, and enjoyable part of game programming.

They remind me of Dreams on the PlayStation 4, where you're using configuration to set up all of these connectors and things.

The most fun environment I've ever used has been Fuze, but the problem with it is that you're locked to the Switch. It's a shame they don't have the staff to port that platform to personal computers. But back to the main topic: the only thing keeping me motivated on these game engine tutorials is the "eye on the prize" aspect of, anything I implement can run anywhere-- even on mobile or in the browser, in the most extreme.

On to another topic, part of what hurts my enjoyment of things in general is what I'll call "OCD thinking": I'll be playing PlayStation 5, and think I should be playing old games instead because they're better; I'll play old games and wonder why I'm stuck in the past; I'll be outside with the kids and think I should be teaching myself piano; I'll be teaching myself piano, and worry I don't spend enough time with the kids. And on and on and on, to the point where I can't just live in the moment and truly enjoy anything.

In this case, if I were working in Fuze I'd be thinking I should be operating in a "real" game engine, for portability; now that I'm working in a "real" game engine, I think I should be using Fuze so I can enjoy myself more. All of this makes it difficult to know half the time what I actually like and don't.

I've restarted therapy, this time with someone who is willing to help me unravel myself versus telling me to pat my legs and breath. This counterproductive circular thinking will be the first thing I take up in my next appointment.
M2 MacBook Air - 04:23 CDT, 8/26/22 (Sniper)
I'm a couple of days into my M2 MacBook Air experience, and it's been so positive that I think the IBM PC and its ilk are in big trouble.

Imagine the convenience of a slate smartphone, either Android or an iPhone: you can toggle its suspension state instantly; it's only a few millimeters thick; it's passively cooled; it has extraordinary battery life; it has a user interface with the world's best designers behind it; it has a large, beautiful AMOLED screen. You can use it without thinking about technological idiosyncrasies.

Then take an IBM PC clone from the 90s on the other extreme, right when they introduced advanced power management for the first time: remember "plug 'n pray" and such? I remember putting a 486 "to sleep" involved taking life into your own hands. Today's x86 devices are a little better in that regard, but even then compare putting a PlayStation 5 into "rest mode" versus pressing the power button on your smartphone: the PS5 beeps, it wheezes, fans whirl up then down, and the whole process takes several seconds. Same for starting it back up again.

But you deal with the trade-offs because you need the power that a "real" computer brings to the table. Well, what if I told you that it was possible to have the full power of a "real" computer, but with all of the advantages of a smartphone or tablet? Enter: modern-day Macintoshes.

The M2 processor in this laptop is quite literally faster than the Ryzen 3600x in my current PC, and it's passively cooled. By contrast, my PC weighs probably forty pounds, and the CPU has a massive tower-style heat sink with two fans hooked to it. It sucks hundreds of watts of power under load. It doesn't have a battery, but if it did the charge wouldn't last very long. In terms of usability, this laptop is just like a smartphone: you hit a key, it comes to life instantaneously, you can sit anywhere and casually use it, the battery lasts what feels like forever, and it generates basically no heat whatsoever.

But it also has a full keyboard. Plug a mouse into it and sit at a desk: it's simultaneously a full-on desktop system, with a complete desktop operating system. It's the best of both worlds, in one device. I even got 3DO emulation set up in RetroArch, and the screen is so beautiful that it has the same "sprites look almost 3D" optical illusion that the Switch OLED's display has.

And here is the real embarrassment: I was skimming over some benchmarks and impressions, and realized that Boot Camp runs old x86 software faster and more reliably most of the time than actual modern PCs. Meanwhile, I've tried Rosetta on a couple of Intel-oriented Mac applications such as The Gimp: they run so seamlessly you don't even realize any translation layer is operating. So here the PC is dragging forty years' worth of instruction set baggage… for what exactly? Contemporary Macs are better PCs than PCs are!

I've basically lost all interest in building a new gaming PC. ARM is the future. What I'd like to see one, two, or three years down the road is for Apple to catch up to Nvidia and AMD in terms of GPU gaming performance, then release some kind of desktop— or laptop, heck— that can play triple-A games via some kind of compatibility layer. Or maybe even via a Boot Camp Windows installation. I think it will happen: Apple Silicon is only a few years old, and this M2 GPU is already capable of 3.6 teraflops— almost as fast as a PlayStation 4 Pro, in a device which weighs two pounds. Give them another couple of years, and I could see them hitting the thirty and forty teraflop level in a top-end product.

I should also compliment the security mechanisms in modern-day MacOS. Holy buckets does this thing err on the side of warning me about stuff: I'll open a file in the browser, and "hey, the browser wants access to your Documents folder, is this ok?" I'm continuously getting prompted for passwords. It's great. Social engineering aside, I bet this operating system is virtually impervious to malware. Of course, that doesn't protect you from Apple themselves: this is a proprietary operating system after all. But I find it unlikely that a company whose mantra is "privacy is a human right" is simultaneously asking its engineers to build in back doors. Anything is possible, but I doubt it.

Do I have any nitpicks with the laptop so far? Sure. I'm finding the window management paradigm in MacOS to be a little fussy early on. I discovered "Mission Control" yesterday, and it seems like that will be indispensable. I'll get used to things I'm sure. I also think they could have doubled down on the "character" aspect of things: this computer already has a lot more personality than an IBM PC, feeling like a spiritual successor to the 1980's Macs, with its Finder and Apple icons, and desktop sound effects. But they could have really doubled down on that aspect, without being tacky or annoying. But on the balance, this is the best computer I've ever used, by some margin.
WuFlu Fallout - 04:15 CDT, 8/23/22 (Sniper)
Some day in the far-off future, once the dust has settled and Leftists who weren't even alive yet and so have nothing about which to be defensive, they will make a Hollywood movie out of this: a small cabal of highly privileged scientists who destroyed the lives of hundreds of millions of people globally-- suicides, business obliterated, opioid epidemics, retarded childhood social development, you name it-- by funding and engineering a virus, which got loose from a lab in China, at which point they completely shit their pants and did everything they could do save their own hides. "Guys, if we don't control this narrative, we're going to jail."
Why Go to Church? - 07:41 CDT, 8/21/22 (Sniper)
One of my daughter's atheistic friends was testing her yesterday: "Why do you go to church?" "Why do you feel like you have to go?" "Why do you go to church?" "But why?" And so forth. This got me thinking: why do we go to church? Five responses immediately came to mind.

  1. God wants us to be pleasing to Him. There is perhaps no better way than showing our commitment to Him in such an actionable way-- metaphorically putting our money where our mouths are.

  2. We want to feel closer to God. No better way than to go to the church, which is His own house.

  3. We know that the only way to enter into communion with the other members of the church, both living and passed, along with the saints, is to partake of the Eucharist. Church is where we do so.

  4. Why do we stop at red lights? Because as part of society or any organization, there are certain rules we follow, because things work better that way. As members of the Catholic Church, we stop at right lights-- we observe the Sunday Obligation.

  5. Every time I've seen someon fall off of God's path, things go sideways for them. Conversely, studies and my own observations show that people on God's path are happier and more at peace. If you are on God's path, you will want to go to church. If you are not, you'll ask questions like "Why do you go to church?"

I discussed these things with my daughter, and she agreed yet replied, "But I get bored in church." I gave her a metaphor: "Which would you rather eat: a quadruple bacon cheeseburger, or a bowl of broccoli?" She immediately grasped the point.

Satan is often presented in the Bible and elsewhere as a beautiful figure. He often tempts us with shiny objects. But too many shiny objects and a hedonistic lifestyle do not pave the way to God's kingdom, nor do they confer sustainable happiness.
Commonalities - 09:02 CDT, 8/20/22 (Sniper)
I'm teaching myself Godot Engine via their tutorials, and it's weird how similar it is to Megazeux. Just like in MZX, you create boards (scenes) and define robots (nodes) which can then send messages to each other (signals). In both pieces of software you define the component bits, and they all interact with each other using what's essentially an observer pattern. This versus game creation systems like STOS or Fuze, where you're writing loops all over the place, checking for collisions and coding interactions by hand.
Gassy Girl Mileage Tracker - 16:10 CDT, 8/15/22 (Sniper)
Twelve years ago I published the Android gas mileage tracker "Gassy Girl", and how here I am all of these years later with a successor. Behold: the Gassy Girl Progressive Web App! Click the "Gassy Girl" menu icon above to try it out.

No, "progressive" doesn't mean the application has a nose ring, purple hair, and a Pete Buttigieg bumper sticker on the back of her rusty Prius: rather, it means that the web site can be installed as an icon on the user's-- your!-- phone or tablet, and can then be enjoyed in the same way as a native app-- even offline! If you don't believe me, install it in mobile Chrome, Safari, or Firefox on iOS or Android, then flip to airplane mode.

I wrote it in the Blazor PWA framework, and it is licensed under the GPL v3. If anyone wants to enhance it, ask for permissions to the repo and send me a pull request. I am currently trying to get it published on the Google Play Store, but the amount of hurdles they are making me jump through is so comical, I suspect this guy is right: Apple and Google don't want useless plebeian apps which don't sell devices in their stores.

"Make great experiences on the web!" Ok, fine, here I am!

Phone Screenshots

Tablet Screenshots

HDMI GBA Kit - 18:33 CDT, 8/13/22 (Sniper)
I backed this on Kickstarter many moons ago, and I finally got around to putting it together. Viola!

The Super NES controller port is functional, and the device also successfully syncs with the Switch Pro Controller, which is how I've primarily been testing it. I've tried three games so far: Doom has artifacts, but Doom II works, while Super Mario Bros. 3 is also perfect.

I'm not sure what I'll ever use this device for, especially since my CRT TV overscans contemporary stuff like this, and the RetroArch output from my PC is so perfect and configurable: but it's still nice to have a modern way to play actual GBA carts on a CRT or HDTV, even if I don't have a concrete use case for that right now.
Apple Bite - 07:50 CDT, 8/11/22 (Sniper)
After weeks of deliberation, I ordered my first-ever Apple product today: a 2022 MacBook Air in the "midnight" color, with the nicer chip, and 24 gig of RAM. It should arrive in the first or second week of September. After I sat down and made a concrete list of use cases, the decision to place the order became more clear.

First, as a development machine it gives me full-fledged Visual Studio, Visual Studio Code, IntelliJ IDEA with the Android plugin, Godot Engine, and xCode all in one spot. Heretofore, I've had to very annoyingly jump between my GNU/Linux machine and my Windows 10 work laptop, exchanging files via GitHub pushes and Google Drive. That gets old, quick. And even with that hassle, I still didn't have access to the Apple ecosystem! Now I have absolutely everything, all in one spot. There is a reason why I see ninety percent MacBooks at developer conferences.

Second, I've been wanting a superlight-class laptop with long battery life, to have with me on the sofa or bed while playing games. I look things up frequently, and take lots of notes. Walking to my GNU/Linux box every time was really starting to grate on my nerves. This new machine will satisfy that long-standing itch. Also from a gaming standpoint, this will make a wonderful portable RetroArch setup with its bright, rich-colored screen. And I will also subscribe to Apple Arcade: I went through lots of games yesterday, and there are a good dozen or so which look really enticing, with their ads and gacha balancing removed.

Third, the bundled software looks so phenomenal that it will lead me to self-improvement and fun side-projects. I've been wanting to learn piano for probably twenty five years, but could never find the right software: this machine will have access to Apple's "GarageBand", which will support the MIDI keyboard I bought some years ago. Additionally, their "Movie Maker" software will be an enormous upgrade from the flaky and janky "OpenShot" I have been using.

Fourth, I adore Augmented Reality as a concept, and it's a worst-kept-secret that Apple is going to release prescription AR glasses. I wouldn't wear them full-time for privacy reasons, but for career and personal interest purposes, I want to be first in the door on the development side when those hit. I also want to teach myself native iPhone development. Now both of those doors are open to me. I can even start with their AR framework on the iPhone 14 Pro I will buy once they are available. I will keep my 2017 Samsung Galaxy S8+ as a Wifi computer to continue my development exposure to Android.
Meeting a Role Model - 04:48 CDT, 8/09/22 (Sniper)
There is a Minnesotan gal named Emily Roberts, who started a YouTube channel some years ago called "Snake Discovery". Like former "Justice and Drew" producer and fellow successful entrepreneurial young woman, Sam Sansevere, Roberts grew her channel into a 2.75 million subscriber phenomenon. It's been so successful in fact that Roberts has opened her own zoo, where she hosts birthday parties and the like.

My daughter has been on the journey with the YouTube channel as it has grown, and Emily Roberts has been a bit of a role model for her. Fast forward to a few days ago when my daughter went to a friend's birthday party and got to meet Emily in person! Anyone who knows my daughter understands that this was a pretty big deal for her. My daughter even knows all of Roberts's snakes-- "The one in the picture is 'Doug'", she explained to me:

My daughter already cares for twelve chickens, two guinea pigs, and five cats. She is going to do some pretty heavy work on her bedroom over the coming months, re-painting and re-arranging so that a pair of garter snakes, with the entire setup that they require, can join the "piggers" and our elderly cat in her room. I'll have pictures in the future once she's done with the project.

I was talking about God calling people to vocations with my kids the other day, and my daughter sees this and a hundred other little events as clear signs of God opening doors for her, showing her the path on which to walk.
God is Great - 12:51 CDT, 8/02/22 (Sniper)
It's interesting how quickly things can fall into place when you put your faith in God. I've been praying to Him ardently every night, saying the rosary, haven't missed a single holy day of obligation in the entire time I've gone back to the faith-- and look at how my life has gone since then; every prayer answered:

  • I was able to successfully relocate my family to the bug out house, full time.

  • I was able to successfully deliver on the enormous addition project, on behalf of the whole family. On top of it, after some early hiccups, the family is getting along great.

  • The heart scare He brought on me led me onto a hardcore mission to improve my health-- and it wasn't even a heart attack! I'm fitter than a fiddle.

  • I've been worried about my prostate: not cancer. Not even remotely. Just a case of benign prostatic hyperplasia.

  • The heart scare brought me to start real therapy, breaking down why I'm thinking the way I am, dating back to a tragedy I went through in my late teenage years.

  • I was put on a drug called Abilify. Projects I couldn't get motivated to do for an entire decade? Three days on Abilify, and I'm knocking them out like gangbusters. I've never been so passionate about technology, and that's really saying something!

  • That feeling that I lost twenty IQ points, which I'd blamed on "just getting old"? Three days on Abilify and I have greater mental acuity than I did at twenty five. And at forty I have four times the fitness levels I did back then.

  • I don't even get upset about politics or the Cultural Marxist crusaders anymore: I pray for them instead, for God to have mercy on them, and for them to turn from evil and follow Jesus.

  • My career is going gangbusters: I'm making quite a lot of money, my skills are in hot demand within my employer, my employer is very healthy, I really like my coworkers, and I'm feeling very engaged overall.

The only fly in the ointment is that Abilify has dropped my sleep down to quite literally four or five hours per night! Even more odd is that I don't care: no headaches, tons of energy.

I remember Donald Trump saying that during his whole life he's only slept five hours per night, and that's why he's been so productive. I'll see if I can get it corrected via therapy-- but I wouldn't go back to my old state for a million bucks.
Blazor Lazors - 19:17 CDT, 7/29/22 (Sniper)
This is going to be one of the best times to build a PC ever: these new RTX cards are going to be so outrageously fast, that game budgets will never reach the point where this batch of GPUs would become obsolete! The CPU side is looking almost as crazy. I suspect my new PC will be a Ryzen 7700k with an RTX 4080. My plan is to have it run Windows 11 only, and to have it exclusively hooked up to my TV, like a quasi-games console. It'll be my last gaming PC ever, unless some paradigm shift like holograms comes along. Then I'll keep my current GNU/Linux PC setup for development, finances, RetroArch-to-the-CRT-TV, and all the rest.

I also wouldn't mind getting a MacBook and an iPhone at some point, just so that I can have some experience in their ecosystem. Eventually they will release AR glasses, and it'd be fun to tinker with those. I've been awake since 2:30 this morning getting a basically empty, Blazor progressive web app stubbed out. You can see what I've done so far here, including the steps I used to get debugging working in Visual Studio Code under Arch Linux. Once I finish the work, I'll wrap it up and publish it on the Google Play store. Then next year if I dip into the iOS ecosystem, I can cross-publish it over there too.
The F4U Corsair - 14:51 CDT, 7/27/22 (Sniper)
The whole clan, including me and the kids, went to an air show at Flying Cloud Airport this past weekend. There was tons of cool stuff there, but my favorite-- and my primary reason for wanting to go-- was to see my favorite airplane of all time, the Chance-Vought F4U Corsair. I recorded some short clips of it taxiing, taking off, and flying over-- check them out here.

Ignore the weird propeller speed-- that was due to the default shutter speed on my phone's camera, which I didn't know how to change. I could have also lived without the corny music and the dude on the PA system-- but what can you do. The average American's attention span is about two seconds, so they need all of the added B.S. or their minds stray.

As I explained to my kids, at the beginning of World War II, the US really struggled in the aerial department. The Japanese planes may have been made out of paper mache and cardboard, but boy were they maneuverable compared to the heavy, can't-climb-or-turn early US fighters such as the Grumman F4F Wildcat. The early-war US pilots could only compete through elaborate tactics, like luring Japanese Zero aircraft head-on into their wingmen.

This era was the most exciting in the history of aviation, because the world went from biplanes in 1939 to jet aircraft in 1944. Already by 1942 then, a second generation of US aircraft entered the war. These planes were not only heavily armored, but had fifty caliber machine guns, self-sealing fuel tanks, and they were faster than hell, could turn, and climb like crazy. The first of this wave of aircraft was the Corsair.

It had a 2000 hp engine and a massive thirteen foot propeller! They had lots of issues with the propeller literally scraping the ground. The final solution wound up being a funky wing shape, so they could position the landing gear just so. The Corsair could go over 400 mph, and had a whopping 11-to-1 kill ratio over its Japanese counterparts. During the slow fly-by in my video, I bet the pilot was at thirty percent throttle. The plane's only downside is that at low speeds it tended to stall to the left, unfortunately killing some young pilots-in-training, and earning the nickname "The Ensign Eliminator."

Just like many of my other favorite planes, such as the A-10 Warthog and the SR-71 Blackbird, the F4U Corsair had tons of custom engineering and improvised thinking, lending it tons of personality and character. It was also "best in class" at what it did.
Living Under Ice - 07:11 CDT, 7/15/22 (Sniper)
I couldn't stop laughing when I first read that Gavin Nuisance was going to run for President. Gavin Nuisance! You need to go back to the late Roman Empire to find a leader worse than him! He's been an almost incomprehensible disaster for California! He's so bad, that even Commiefornians were inches away from throwing him out of office in a nearly unprecedented recall vote. Victor Davis Hanson has a great summary of the Nuisance Debacle right here.

In other political news, beyond undoing part of the Sodom and Gomorrah of modern-day America, the "Roe v. Wade" overturning has created other knock-on good news: it has accelerated the on-going, voluntary segregation between the Left and the Right. I used to be a huge advocate of secession-- but these days, I think the country might be better with a "soft" version, where enough pressure is alleviated by people just moving apart from one another.

I've been listening to Hibria's "Defying the Rules" a lot lately, what a phenomenal album! It shows up at number thirteen on my favorite albums list. It's amazing how they created their own fictitious universe from scratch, with these crazy dudes riding around on Harley Davidson-style motorcycles in battle. Like any great concept album, the story has a superb arc, and the compositions are top drawer, truly first order, and utterly authentic.

I've also been hooked on GamesMaster, positively marathoning it. It's so profound that it reminds me of when I discovered "The Computer Chronicles" many years ago. I had heard it mentioned many times before, but it wasn't until "Retro Man Cave Neil" did his Dominik Diamond interview recently that I decided to actually go check out the show. I figured I'd watch just ten minutes of the first episode, and wound up mid-way through series two so far. Incredible!

Finally, I think someone abducted Claudio Lotito and replaced him with a cyborg. While I've always been a huge admirer of his fiscal prudence, I've long thought he needed to do a better job of investing forward: spend money now, even if it involves a modicum of debt, to reap returns later. Now he's off spending upwards of forty million Euro, buying a bunch of sub-twenty four year olds. With Sarri running this refreshed ship, I wouldn't be surprised of Lazio challenged for a Scudetto this season, and that's no joke.
Unfolding Primarily As Expected - 15:59 CDT, 7/10/22 (Sniper)
The joke: "What's the difference between a 'conspiracy theory' and fact? About three months." Here is example number one thousand. Absolutely everyone with a brain knew Beijing Biden was totally senile ages ago. Check out what I wrote here, in May of 2020:

" aware that if you vote for Joe Biden, you're actually putting his unelected cabinet in charge of the entire country: I'm not trying to be mean-spirited, but he quite literally can't remember what time zone he's in or what his wife looks like half the time-- he's almost completely senile. Him as President would be like that 'Star Trek' episode with the drugged puppet leader."

But now, the Left are throwing the hair sniffer under the bus, so it's suddenly "ok" to talk about what's been obvious for years.

I also wrote this in October of 2020, seems pretty prescient, yes?

"...if Trump wins, expect immediate problems, such as marauding domestic terrorists burning down cities-- whereas if Biden wins, anticipate a medium term transformation of the entire nation into Commiefornia, with legal sex and race discrimination, rolling blackouts, and third world-esque cityscapes.

Presently, I'm expecting a Biden win-- but I have a complete contingency plan to keep my family safe, ready for motion at a moment's notice in the event of a Trump victory, or some other world-disrupting event."

Naturally, my "contingency plan" was put into place immediately after The Selection, which of course all of you now know was the permanent relocation of my family to our country house. That plan was supposed to be employed if Trump won-- but I didn't anticipate just how rapidly the Democrats would destroy the country! So I put the plan in motion anyway.

Finally, take a look at this article, then cross-reference it with what I wrote here, bold emphasis is mine:

"Whether instinctively or by design, the Democrats seem to understand where we are in this cycle. Their choice of values is totally nonsensical, which is why they aren't catching on. But at least they are presenting a holistic world view, attempting to fulfill the need the young have for making some kind of sacrifice, or being 'heroes' in some way. They are also non-stop talking about forgiving student loan debt, and about building infrastructure (again, around a nonsensical "climate change" value however).

If the overall cycle theory is correct, it poses a problem for Conservatives: according to the authors, now is not the time for individualistic-centered Libertarianism. Rather, Conservatives should be proposing a competing civic model, with its own set of values for which young people can throw themselves on the sacrificial altar."

The article's author "gets it".
Dead End Direction - 06:51 CDT, 7/06/22 (Sniper)
To say the people running this country are sick in the head is an understatement. How in the world does the average person in the United States benefit from this? The US has two hundred trillion dollars in unfunded liabilities, and its currency is going into the trash: now there'll be an obligation to protect yet two more countries! Not to mention, Putin is being totally up-front like he always is: "Go ahead and do this, but I will need to start militarizing that border as well, increasing tensions."

And Vladimir Putin is the bad guy?

In car-related news, Eric Peters once again brings up this excellent point: the article is well worth the read. How in the world are car brands going to differentiate themselves, if all they sell are the auto-equivalent of cordless drills? They are already having this problem: to pick one of my traditionally favorite car models, the WRX from 2015-on doesn't even look like a Subaru-- and now the model is essentially dead (or literally in the case of the STI). The newest one doesn't even have the glove-friendly gear-shaped knobs: instead, it has a giant touch screen!

I suspect that in ten years, maybe as many as half of the car brands currently on the market are going to be gone.
Virtus Entella in Pro Evo 2021 - 09:26 CDT, 7/05/22 (Sniper)
As an overdue follow-up to this post, I did indeed go on to buy an Xbox One disc version of "eFootball Pro Evo 2021 Season Update", or whatever in blazes it's called, for ten bucks on eBay. I even reviewed it.

As someone who has been playing the series since 2004, I can attest that although it hasn't changed much over the past several years, this current rendition's gameplay is probably the best sports engine ever created. It doesn't hurt that the graphics, outdated as they may be from a tech standpoint, look marvelous at a native 4K, with HDR, running on the Series X, at sixty frames per second.

As is my usual pattern, I picked a terrible, low-budget Serie B team-- Virtus Entella, in this case-- then painstakingly rebuilt them in Master League over multiple "mercatos" so that they not only have gone from players in the low sixties to the mid-upper seventies, and not only gone from an aging declining squad to an average age of twenty one years old, but to the point where they have thirty million Euro in the transfer coffers, and six million to spare in the wage budget.

Currently, I'm leading Serie A having won promotion, and am also in the knock-out stages of the Europa League, having won the Coppa Italia. I'm playing on "Regular" difficulty, as I always do. I have several players with a market value of over twenty million Euro at this point.

Maximiliano Romero is my star player; I'm tied for the league lead in scoring with him, and he also has ten assists. Alexis Claude-Maurice, Mohammed Dauda, Rhys Williams, Kai Fotheringham, Bosko Sutalo, Ethan Ampadu, and Nehuén Pérez are all real-world players various people might recognize. I'm not sure who "Lobato" is, but he is my second most spectacular attacking player. "Suarez" is also great, also not sure who he is in real life.

Additionally, I have re-incarnated versions of Viviano in goal, and Rodrigo Palacio-- a player I've been watching in real life since he was in his early twenties, playing in Argentina-- whom I employ as an attacking midfielder. Here is the entire squad list:

Long Weekend - 07:51 CDT, 7/04/22 (Sniper)
This is my favorite weekend of the whole year, because everyone and their brother comes up to the lake: there are ten cars on every piece of property; dogs everywhere; the sounds of children playing; the pop of pellet guns being fired recreationally in the woods; tents pitched, campers chocked; fire pits blazing, the smell of hot dogs and hamburgers in the air. Yesterday, there was even a vintage World War II airplane doing faux strafing runs on the lake-- swooping way up to great heights, wing-over, then down again, skimming mere feet off the water, big plumes of smoke released to the cheers of the swimmers and fishermen nearby.

When I see data like this, it's no surprise to me. I'd be interested to see urban-to-rural charts. When I bought this property in 2016, the lake was an abandoned place during the week, only to liven up during weekends. Now? It's practically a small suburb, with cars parked on gravel driveways year 'round. Everyone has done what I've done: "Why not just move there permanently?" With the kind of growth the nearby city and surrounding area has been having, I wouldn't be surprised if in twenty years this area looked like an outer-ring Twin Cities suburb, for good and for bad.

In other news, I'm leaning towards building a new PC this fall. For architecture, it will be a toss-up between Intel's "Meteor Lake" and AMD's "Ryzen 7000"; for GPU, it will probably be an "RTX 4080", in spite of the disappointing TDP numbers. Of course, I could scrap this plan: similar to my plans for a "GR Supra", there is no practical purpose to it-- my daughter is getting braces soon, and I need to soon pay for a new deck as well. So we'll see... one interesting thing is, given my age and Lefty regulation the "Supra" would be the "car of forever", while due to economics a new computer would be the "PC of forever".

Finally, my son is really interested in the concept of "liminal spaces". A couple of days ago, he made a custom Minecraft texture back, so he could re-create "the backrooms":

Roles Models and Motivations - 09:12 CDT, 7/02/22 (Sniper)
Psychology is a wonderful thing. To start, read this article and ask yourself, "If I found out that a medical treatment not only didn't work and was in fact actively harmful, what would need to be going through my head for me to not only continue to push people to undergo it, but in a violent way, with intense rhetoric and measures to destroy the lives of the reticent?"

My best guess: people are frightened, and lashing out.

It's like buyer's remorse times one thousand, because it involves their health: the shots have turned out to be scarier than anyone could have imagined, causing hundreds of thousands of deaths, and even more instances of paralysis, chronic illness, AIDS, miscarriages, birth deformities, and you-name-it. I once heard that "misery enjoys company": one hysterically pushing others to get the shots is a way of simultaneously living in a delusion that the shots were beneficial for that person, while also putting everyone else in the same boat.

Another psychological intrigue: the Left worships mediocrity. Why?

Gymnasts train their entire lives to reach the Olympics. It's the culmination of everything of which they've ever dreamed. There was a woman-- their star athlete, apparently-- who made an early mistake, couldn't handle the pressure, and literally abandoned her teammates during the competition. This is akin to a cowardly solider going AWOL in combat when he's supposed to be providing cover fire, and letting his squad mates get slaughtered.

Instead of acknowledging the obvious, this woman-- "Simone Biles"-- is being given a medal by Beijing Biden, and being put on the front of Wheaties boxes! It's very similar to how they erected murals and statues honoring "George Floyd", the violent multi-times felon who died of a Fentanyl overdose while resisting arrest after having passed counterfeit money at a store. Or "Megan Rapinoe", the purple-haired Lesbian who quite literally hates America, and doesn't hesitate to say so at every opportunity. Guess what? She gets a medal too! And who can forget the Left drooling over "Michael Avenatti", declaring the always-obvious fraud as Presidential material, and who is now sitting in prison?

These are some bizarre role models, to put it mildly. What's going on?

From the people on top, they are going for a Neo-Liberal "revolution"-- but first they need to weaken the existing societal edifice. Promoting hedonism and violence is a good way of destroying a culture's foundations. It's like Hitler's "strong individuals, strong families, strong society", in reverse. As for the every day Leftist, I have personal experience with this one: many Lefties who I have personally known, sometimes on a pretty intimate level-- close friends, family members, and so on-- have made poor life decisions, and can't deal with the guilt. Idolizing the lowest-of-the-low serves a dual-purpose: it lifts them up by comparison, while also providing an "escape hatch" for future poor decisions.

Changing gears again, my final psychological topic for the day: there is a fellow with whom I've been working on a project outside of work. He's phenomenal to collaborate with, and does top-drawer work-- but oftentimes it seems like we are communicating "past each other". After a full year of cooperation, I finally figured out what's going on: He's a Myers-Briggs "P", not a "J". All along I had misunderstood his personality, which was causing the often off-kilter interactions!

When I am studying some concept, imagine the body of knowledge as a cubed chunk of clay. New to the subject, I deal with the full width at one end first, as I haven't yet identified what's true or not, what's relevant and what isn't. As I progress in my learning, I whittle away the chunks along the sides-- driving in triangular fashion towards a fine point at the end, which is my ultimate conclusion regarding the subject. Imagine the "final state" looking like a triangle, versus the square with which I'd begun.

My inclination is to drive towards conclusions. As I hew chunks away, I don't need to continually re-evaluate them: I already did it. If things go on for too long and I sense I'm not making rapid-enough progress, or that I'm "spinning my wheels", I get antsy. My goal is to strive for finality.

I once had a friend and co-worker who was my first up-close exposure to a pretty serious "P". He could never make up his mind about anything! Infamously, he spent eighteen months trying to pick out an Android phone, and in the end wound up not even getting one. He was that way with everything. He was the complete opposite of me: his inclination was to drive away from conclusions! Every time he would sense that he was hewing away and approaching the fine decision point, he would throw all of his work overboard, and re-evaluate everything from the wide end of the cube again.

A "J" will get anxious if a conclusion is not being reached, and will want to accelerate the hewing process. A "P" will get anxious when a conclusion is being reached, and will want to blow everything wide open again.

I'd assumed the fellow with whom I've been working was a "J", in part due to his profession, and also in part because he's found the supply chain disruptions to be very stressful: "He's schedule-oriented, and when it gets messed up, he becomes upset." Instead, I had it all wrong: he gets stressed because he doesn't like planning much at all, and the supply chain stuff is forcing him to do so! And when he needs a decision from me but is constantly bringing options we'd already discarded back into the conversation right as things are close to being decided, it's simply another example of my former co-worker and the Android phone.

None of this is a criticism, it's simply me now understanding things better, so that I can manage the relationship in a smoother way. Psychology!
Never Sick of Winning - 13:10 CDT, 6/30/22 (Sniper)
A Zero Hedge writer described this as "must watch" material, and I'm inclined to agree. This segment is one in a long line of recent examples of Tucker Carlson being at his very best.

On a mostly related note, I've been observing that Cultural Marxism-- strike that, radical Leftism at large-- seems to be tottering on its last legs. Here is Paul Joseph Watson digging into this topic as it pertains to Hollywood. Let's hope video games come next.

After recent cultural events such as the "transgender" bans regarding sports, the superb and long overdue "Roe vs. Wade" shellacking, and the New York "gun laws" getting shot down (har har), among other things, it makes me think there is hope yet!
JRPG Renaissance - 07:19 CDT, 6/30/22 (Sniper)
Video gaming is a shadow of itself, and has been for years. Most genres are essentially dead: they may have modern entries, but those titles have completely lost the charm and atmosphere of their forebears. Play "Tekken 3" and "Tekken 7" back-to-back, for instance.

But there are a couple of genres which buck the trend, and are healthier than ever. Any genre which, by definition, is trying to mimic reality, is better in the modern era. The FIFA games on the Mega Drive may have their charms, but play "Pro Evolution Soccer 2021" and compare them. Similarly, compare "Test Drive" on the Amiga to "Gran Turismo 7".

Through sheer happenstance, the other genre which is better today than it's ever been, is the JRPG. They still have "real" music, mostly; they still have elaborate story telling; they still get decent budgets, and use modern game tech; and they still aim to create a strong sense of ambience; they all let you play with Japanese voice acting; they still emphasize exploration plus dungeon crawling. And best of all? Zero Cultural Marxism! They are untouched, and untainted.

If you take the window from a few years ago to a year into the future, these are your choices:

  • Dragon Quest XI (Intro).
  • Final Fantasy VII Remake Intergrade (Preview).
  • Yakuza: Like a Dragon (Preview).
  • Xenoblade Chronicles 3 (Preview).
  • Star Ocean: The Divine Force (Preview).
  • Final Fantasy VII Rebirth (Preview).
  • Final Fantasy XVI (Preview).

And this is just a partial list. If there is a nitpick, it's that the genre is leaning too heavily into orchestra music: nothing here even remotely approaches the legendary JRPG soundtracks from the 90s, such as from "Phantasy Star II" or "Final Fantasy VII"-- or even Japanese action RPGs, such as "Ys Book I & II" on PC Engine. But it's still decent music, especially compared to most of the rest of the contemporary industry.
Forty Percent Drop in Forty Years - 10:01 CDT, 6/24/22 (Sniper)
Almost every day I am astonished at how effeminate modern men look. Hardly anyone talks about how plummeting Testosterone levels have caused grave imbalances in world politics and societies, so I am compelled to remind everyone once in awhile.

This doesn't make any of these men "bad people"-- not even remotely! There's nothing intrinsically wrong with having low Testosterone. But Estrogen equals harmonization; Testosterone equals assertiveness. When you have too much of one or the other, the world goes out of whack. Right now, we're swimming in Estrogen, so there is not enough pushback against typically effeminate values, like huge governments obsessed with "safety" and busy-bodiness.

This morning I was on the "" home page, and saw a banner image for a Formula 1 game. Take a look at those guys! In the 1980s, they would have been in the bottom five percent of T levels across all men. Today? They are average.

For comparison's sake, take a look at Ayrton Senna when he was alive. Pay close attention to the shape his nose, his brow ridge, and the texture of his skin in particular. And he was hardly a He-Man of his day either, I could find far more extreme examples-- but I wanted to stick within Formula 1.

Incidentally, I'm a good point of contrast. I took thirty seconds moments ago and snapped a picture of myself via the bathroom mirror. This is what the typical "Gen X'er" looks like. Like Senna, I'm hardly Arnold Schwarzenegger. Lots of the contractors I worked with over this past year were significantly more masculine looking than me.

But even in my "geeky nerd, professional programmer" case, the difference in hair texture, skin texture, brow ridge, size plus shape of nose, and in my case jawline as well, is astonishing.

Once again, this isn't to say that I'm somehow "better" than young men today, or any of that nonsense. All I'm pointing is the difference-- and when you roll up the net behaviors of men today versus in decades past, you can see the world increasingly skidding out of control in one direction.
Pushback - 06:48 CDT, 6/21/22 (Sniper)
I wrote here about how Cultural Marxism is not long for this world, and about how it's silly to boycott a company based on the actions of just a few employees. I was right on the first count, but wrong on the second. This article relays how CEOs have finally had enough: "If you want to take politics into work, then here is your severance package, and goodbye." I'm correct: Cultural Marxism is on the way out. Even Netflix is reforming! However, the article also explains that the reason for this sudden pushback is largely due to the bottom line: i.e., boycotts. CEOs saw that happened to Disney trying to groom kids, and said "Holy smokes."

This quote from a whiney "The Athletic" writer is emblematic of why these radical Left-wing employees need to just be let go: "What about Black Lives Matter? Is that a social cause? Who will write about athlete protests? What about trans athletes in sports?" Pure sophistry, and this person knows it: cover those issues as objective news events, equally interviewing people on both ideas, to present a holistic, well-rounded summary, so that reader can make up their own minds.

In other news, it'd be funny if Lazio also acquired Lucas Torreira: they would have two short dudes running around the center of the park! And finally, I didn't follow up on my Steam Deck pre-order back when, because I'm waiting for a more powerful version, where I can get PlayStation 5-level graphics via image reconstruction, just at the lower resolution of the handheld screen. Sounds like such a thing may already be in the works. My thought is that I can replace my entire PC with a device like that, docking it to do my finances and for other productivity purposes, then undocking it when I want to play games.
VR Headset Game Concept - 14:15 CDT, 6/19/22 (Sniper)
I mentioned in this post that I bought a PlayStation VR unit, and I've been exploring various games for it. Last night I started "Skyrim VR", and I have a lot to say about it.

To get the negative out of the way, I don't think lengthy RPGs as a genre work well with virtual reality headsets. Motion sickness isn't even the primary issue: it's just not comfortable to have a box strapped to your face, with rubber around your eyes, a cord draped around your neck, being totally unaware of the real-life room around you, being basically unable to interact with family members in any kind of meaningful way, fumbling to figure out where you'd set your drink, needing to consume that drink via a straw-- which takes further pre-planning-- and so forth.

But now, to the positive: in VR, the cart sequence at the beginning of the game was absolutely mind blowing. For the millions who have played some iteration of "Skyrim" or another, you will recall that your character is sitting on a wooden bench, alongside some also-sitting NPCs, all being driven to your executions. During this ride, the characters are chatting: one is a brave heroic type resigned to his fate; another is a cowardly thief; yet another is a mute-yet-referred-to hero, with a gag in his mouth.

Now picture this familiar opening, but with stereoscopic 3D: you are in the freaking cart, looking around with your actual head, just like you'd do in real life, taking in the interactions of those around you. A father shepherds his child into the house as the cart passes, the curious child begging him to be allowed to watch. I felt embarrassed to look at those curious onlookers, just like I'd be in real life.

VR takes a scene like this from ho-hum and mostly forgettable to unbelievable levels of immersion.

Unfortunately, as soon as the actual gameplay starts, the title essentially falls apart, for the reasons I state above. When you are forced to suddenly dive into the "meat and potatoes" of a deep, complex, largely menu-driven RPG, where you're staring at reams of text, mentally processing character stats and making equipment decisions, the whole VR headset thing becomes a real drag: you'd rather just play on the TV at that point.

This leads me to a game idea: why not distill the essence of what makes the opening cart ride so memorable, and make an entire title out of just that? Perhaps it could take place in a small city, at night, with a super atmospheric chip music soundtrack, and you'd spend your time sitting in bars, listening to banter for hints, or on subways people watching for clues? Then you'd take what you've learned, and use the incoming PSVR2's 3D controllers to go down decrepit rat-filled alleys, lifting trash can lids based on some clue, or shifting paintings to the side in bug-filled motels, looking for a hinted-at hidden safe?

It could be like that old "Sherlock Holmes" game on 3DO, but all in real-time versus pre-recorded FMV.

The only area where the "Skyrim" cart ride falls down is in the circa-2009 character models and textures. But that won't be an issue with a PlayStation 5 driving the proceedings: the world could use cutting-edge graphics technology, but its scope could be kept to a small, water-tight game world primarily for budget purposes, but also for performance reasons.

As "Astro Bot Rescue Mission" and, conversely, "Minecraft" and "Skyrim" have all clearly taught me, bolting VR onto an existing game concept has limited appeal: it's novel for a few minutes, but gets old quick. Where VR headsets really shine is in experiences designed just for them. The kind of game I describe above would be boring on a TV-- but in VR, all of the emotion of being in the game world could make it a life-long, unforgettable experience, if it was done right.
Cardiologist Clears Me - 14:08 CDT, 6/17/22 (Sniper)
I had a follow-up appointment with a cardiologist today related to this-- he was baffled as to why they even sent me to him: "I have a next step for: go home and play some soccer." His rationale: "You're a young guy, who has never experienced any chest pain. Your heart motion was completely normal during the stress test. You're out playing soccer every day. You broke the treadmill during the test. You have normal blood pressure. You do not have a family history of heart issues. When I put all of the pieces together, I struggle to see how your stress test could be called 'abnormal'."
PlayStation VR - 07:46 CDT, 6/14/22 (Sniper)
Bought a cheap, like-new "PlayStation VR" bundle off of eBay. Post-strabismus surgery, my son can actually see stereoscopic 3D now, and 130 USD for a PSVR set, with a couple of games included, seemed like an awesome entry-level way into the world of headsets.

Wanting it connected in a communal area, I pulled the old PlayStation 4 Pro out of my closet, got it all patched up, and hooked the PSVR up to that. It's a super well-made product, from its cool sliding processing box, to the way the heavy-duty cabling works.

The only thing we had time to play on it yesterday was "Minecraft VR"-- and it was well worth the money, just for that one experience. The PSVR resolution isn't fantastic, but it's past the "good enough" bar for sure-- and the stereoscopic effect in a game like "Minecraft" is extraordinarily immersive.

I also have a demo disc along with copies of "Skyrim VR" and "Astro Bot Rescue Mission". I will probably try those out tonight. I do get pretty woozy from free-roaming games with rotatable cameras, so I'll probably settle more on fixed-perspective titles. My son, by contrast, gets no motion sickness at all.

PSVR2 will be very interesting, on two fronts: first, the resolution is going to essentially look crystal clear due to the headset's resolution; second, the game engines themselves will be much more impressive, with the PS5's added horsepower driving them.