Best Television Ever.

I just finished watching the first episode of “The Newsroom,” which is an HBO original series about a somewhat asinine (yet likable) news anchor named Will McAvoy. Will, played by Jeff Daniels, had allowed himself to become one of those Anderson Cooper types who nobody really seems to dislike… Until he did this, within the first 9 minutes of the show:

College Girl: What makes America the greatest country in the world?

*Some talking-head crap responses from all involved, and then the moderator (professor) tells Will that he wants a “real human moment.”

Will McAvoy: “It’s not the greatest country in the world professor, that’s my answer.”

Professor: “You’re saying…”

Will: “Yes.”

Professor: “Let’s talk about…”

Will: “Fine.”

*Turns to female news-anchor to his right*

“Sharron, the NEA is a loser. Yeah, it accounts for a penny out of our paycheck, but he gets to hit you with it any time he wants. It doesn’t cost money, it costs votes; it costs air-time, column inches. You know why people don’t like Liberals? Because they lose. If Liberals are so fucking smart, how come they lose so God damn always.”

Sharron: “Hey…”

Will (turning to face Conservative Anchor): “And with a straight face, you’re going to tell students that America is so star-spangled awesome that we’re the only ones in the world that have freedom? Canada has freedom. Japan has freedom. The U.K., France, Italy, Germany, Spain, Australia, BELGIUM has freedom. Two hundred and seven sovereign states in the world, like a hundred and eighty of them have freedom.”

Professor: “Alright…”

Will (turns to student asking the question): “And yeah, you, sorority girl. Just in case you accidentally wander into a voting booth one day, there’s some things you should know; and one of them is there’s absolutely no evidence to support that we’re the greatest country in the world. We’re seventh in literacy, twenty seventh in math, twenty second in science, fourty ninth in life-expectancy, a hundred and seventy eighth in infant mortality, third in median household income, number four in labor force, and number four in exports.

We lead the world in only three categories: Number of incarcerated citizens per capita, number of adults who believe angels are real, and defense spending where we spend more than the next twenty six countries combined… Twenty five of whom are allies.

Now none of this is the fault of a twenty year old college student, but you, none the less, are without a doubt a member of the worst ‘period’. Generation ‘period’. Ever ‘period’. So when you ask what makes us the greatest country in the world, I don’t know what the fuck you’re talkin’ about… Yosemite?!

Sure used to be. We stood up for what was right. We fought for moral reasons. We passed laws, struck down laws for moral reasons. We waged wars on poverty, not poor people. We sacrificed, we cared about our neighbors, we put our money where our mouths were, and we never beat our chest. We built great big things, made ungodly technological advances, explored the universe, cured diseases, and we cultivated the world’s greatest artists AND the world’s greatest economy.

We reached for the stars. Acted like men. We aspired to intelligence, we didn’t belittle it, it didn’t make us feel inferior. We didn’t identify ourselves by who we voted for in the last election, and we didn’t scare so easily.

We were able to be all these things, and do all these things because we were informed. By great men, men who were revered.

The first step to solving any problem is recognizing there is one. America is not the greatest country in the world any more.”

Now, if you didn’t want to read all of that, that’s OK. We can move on to my commentary without you knowing anything at all about what I’m trying to say…

This is one of those subjects that gets people angry, and then they react brashly, as if someone has just come in and raped their mom, or killed the dog with a blazing hot fire-poker. Everyone has a lot of things to say, while they have no idea what the facts are.

English: Map of the geographic regions of Wisc...

We live in a country where more people would fail a basic geography test, of their own state, than would actually be able to accurately tell you what our rights happen to be. This is not the symptom of being the greatest country on Earth, it’s a symptom of having lost that spot, but not the attitude that goes with it. Do you think that the Chinese people are standing about wondering what some gold-digger in Beverly Hills is doing? No. They are working their asses off to continue building the world’s NEXT greatest country. I wish them all the best, honestly. I just hope they learn from our mistakes and don’t let it all drop out from under them after they’ve had it for a decade or two.

I’m not going to go on about the show’s writer, because you have other blogs for that. What I am going to do, is recommend you watch the first ten minutes of this show while it’s available here on YouTube. It’s not available in all parts of the world, but if you’re clever with Google, you can get a copy that works. It doesn’t matter that it’s a TV show, or that it’s written by a very clever (if not preachy) Hollywood type. What matters, is that it’s one hundred percent, completely, without argument…

The truth.

Can we face this? Can we admit it? Can we fix it?

I think we can, but we have to care less about Hollywood than we do about Washington. When I say Washington, I mean D.C., not the state where petulant teen-dramas about stupid sparkly vampires get filmed.

Too much? I think not.

WoW Hackers are strange…

I received an email that was completely random last night. The email was an offer for a bunch of free stuff, if I was willing to retry World of Warcraft. It was from Blizzard, but triggered by someone in the game who I never heard of.

Apparently, someone had managed to get my Battle.net password and was using my account to get some time in WoW. This is now the second time this has happened to me, which is a bit strange because the first time was due to gold farmers looking to sell gold in game for real world cash. After learning that my Blizzard account was banned, I had to go through a process to confirm that I was who I said I was, and they reversed the ban. Oddly, the ones who hacked my account didn’t take the 370 gold that was on my main character… Lazy farmers I guess.

This time they just created a new character on a server I have never played before, and joined a guild. Timing is everything in these, because ironically they were trying to play it at the exact same time that I was. I kept getting booted off the game, so I figure we were fighting each other to be online. Now, since they probably would have no use for actually adding game time to my account, I can only guess that it was an effort to steal all of the stuff Blizzard gives you after they “quick-level” the chosen character to level 80. They were mid-flight when I finally got permanent access to the account (by adding an authenticator, and a VERY strong randomized password.) So I may have caught them just before they were going to make the trade. Again, they left my main character alone.

I just don’t see the purpose in all of this, because if your goal is to make money, why limit yourself to one side of things and not take it all? One could argue that I probably wouldn’t notice if they left the base characters alone, but with an offer like this hitting my mailbox, how could I NOT try and claim it? It was called a Scroll of Resurrection. So if anyone was wondering if this is a legit offer… It is!

Here’s what I was told I would get:

  • Free permanent upgrade to the Cataclysm expansion (along with the 2 prior ones)
  • Choose one character to auto-level (or quick-level if you prefer) to 80, which apparently came with all the gear you would need to get started at that level
  • Free transfer service: You can move the selected character to the same server as the person who invited you.
  • Free faction change: You could change to the faction of the invitee if you needed to.
  • 7 days of free game time

When I saw that, I was like “Cool, I can make my character on Skywall level 80, and actually be able to play the game; and I get the 2 expansions I don’t already have for free. Let’s go!”

With the account secured now, I am hoping to get the hacker’s character deleted and have the quick-level put on my main character. At the very least I am hoping they will move the new character to Skywall so I can at least have it on my original world.

Sorry, not something I would usually write about, but this whole process baffles and annoys me. That’s why I don’t have all the pictures like I normally do, I had to say something and this is more of a rant than a real post… Speaking of which, I should probably change my WordPress password too.

Games and Gamers…

Everyone has an image in mind when they think of a gamer. You know the one; living in his mom’s basement, with no job or life to call their own. Perhaps even fat, lazy, and dirty. There are those who fit that description, but the reality is most of us are actually quite functional members of society.

I guess the thing to figure out is what makes a gamer. You can try and define us by the types of games we play, but if you know more than one gamer you’ll know that we can argue about the dumbest aspects of a game. The tiniest thing can mean loving it, or hating it. So we can’t be put in that kind of a box. Simply, a gamer is someone who enjoys playing video games. This means that the Grandmother who plays Wii Sports is a gamer. Anyone who plays solitaire at work, is a gamer. The lines are blurring, and society is finding it more and more difficult to keep up their shunning of this new age of human entertainment.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3

The world has changed, and video games have become the new books; that fact will frighten some and sadden others, but it remains true. If you go around and survey people between 20 and 30, asking if they’ve ever read Moby Dick, they might answer yes only because their parents read it to/with them as a child. Ask the same group if they’ve ever played Mario, and I would be willing to bet 90% or more would say yes, and then be able to go on describing their favorite part. The success of recent games like “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3” is not just because there’s more kids playing video games, but because their parents are playing them too. An entire industry has grown up, and almost nobody has noticed. The ones who have noticed have been trying to deny it, or capitalize on it; there really seems to be almost no middle ground.

The beauty of games is that they come in so many styles and types. No two are the same, even if they share some of the same elements. “Battlefield 3” and “Modern Warfare 3” are direct competitors in the shooting genre, but ask any gamer which one is better and they can go into great detail about why one is better than the other. Same type of game, two completely different styles of implementation. I prefer “Modern Warfare 3,” because of the better response from the control system.

Sephiroth - Aerith scenePeople ask me why I like games so much, and I have never really taken the time to consider it in great detail until now. If I had to sum it up, I like them because of the complex things that make it all work; and because they can be just as effective, as an escape, as a good book. In truth, many games now have more involved and developed story lines than modern books. The process of getting your attention has gone far beyond simply making it fun to play.

They have to engage you mentally as well. “Final Fantasy 7” still has thousands of players around the world (including your writer) even after 2 new console generations and countless graphics improvements in the industry. The story captured peoples’ imaginations and took us to a place no book can… A place where we actually get to make choices in the story. Sure, they have choose your own adventure books, but those just encourage you to spend more time organizing a system, to reach every possible ending, than actually enjoying the story.

Creating a game is a very time consuming and complex thing. It seems that most people think they just sit in a room for a month or two and crank one out like a movie, but it is vastly more stressful than that. You have to code everything so that when you press “A”, you jump. You have to have extremely talented artists to make it all look amazing while you play it (even a game as simple as “FEZ” took immense thought and creativity.) There are people whose’ only job is to make sure that a single level works the way it should.

The easy tileset for the Gnome games version o...

The process of fixing a bug in a game is very misunderstood by most gamers as well. If you browse the forums for any game, you will find people complaining about things that they don’t have in game, or that are broken. Often they just demand immediate solutions, but they don’t understand that it takes time and many people to get there. First someone has to identify where the problem is in the code, then they have to either fix it or write a new feature (which could break something else) and send it off to the artists. The artists make sure it appears to belong in the game, because if the menu shows Mahjong tiles in a solitaire (Klondike) game, it confuses the player. That’s an extreme example, but true enough.

After the code is implemented, and the art work is done, the testers take over. Their job is to find as many bugs in the new system as possible, and report any they find back to the coders. One new feature can run through this circle many many times before it’s ready to be given to the gaming masses, and even then it might not be perfect. It’s easy to say “fix the bugs before you release a game” but the number of different possible actions are magnified thousands of times once it reaches the public. If I have 10 full time game testers, they may be able to execute a few million actions in a month. Millions of gamers will execute billions upon billions of actions, and can uncover a lot more errors simply because of the number of them going through the game; and that’s not even mentioning the ones who deliberately try to break the game in the search for exploits.

As a person who’s interests lie in writing and graphic design, I love games of all kinds. I’ll take a simple game with interesting graphics and a great story over a super complex game with a bad story every time. Role Playing Games are among my favorite, and Resident Evil types are the ones I despise most, because they are great examples of what I am talking about. Resident Evil started off as an intricate hybrid of a shooter and a puzzle game, with elements of a “find the object” game. The story left a lot to be desired, and I found myself never going back to the series after the first one. Role Playing Games put almost all of their eggs into the story aspect of the game, so they draw you in and make you want to know what happens.

I’m often asked why I want to go to school for graphic design and photography; I usually end up being honest… “I want to work in movies finding shooting locations, or making video games. I know that even if I never get to do that people will always need someone to design their web pages, logos, fliers, and advertising materials.” Graphic design can help me get to a dream job, but it will also allow me to continue with a viable career even if that doesn’t happen, which is a win win. Photography can also help me get a dream job, but it can be done freelance, which will help boost my income no matter which direction I end up going in.

I went off in a few directions here, so thanks for putting up with my late-night ramblings. I guess that means everything above is useless, and the lesson here is that gamers have short attention spans. I have a short attention span, and I am a gamer. I just can’t figure out if I have a short attention span because I’m a gamer, or if I’m a gamer because of a short attention span.

Being an Adult is Overrated…

Sure, we have all the coolest toys, and we don’t have to get special permission to stay up late; but we have to be responsible in order to get this stuff. If we stay up too late and sleep through our alarms, we don’t get to make the work up tomorrow. We often get fired for such things.

Have you ever looked back and wondered why you wanted to get here so fast?

Cover of "M*A*S*H (Widescreen Edition)"

When I was a kid, I wanted nothing more than to watch cartoons on Saturday morning, and I could even recite most of the commercials off the top of my head. When my bike broke, I just asked mom to buy me the part I needed to fix it; and then fixed it in my driveway. Staying up late meant watching Letterman, then turning the volume down to watch MASH without my mom hearing it. Everything was… Simple.

Now, the cartoons are horrible, and you don’t even have to wait all week to watch them, so they aren’t special anymore. When my car breaks, I have to spend hundreds of dollars that aren’t in my budget, and usually have a shop fix it because some of the tools needed to do any work won’t fit in the garage. Staying up late means going out and trying to mingle with people I really don’t care for, trying to find a person I could maybe imagine spending more than three days with. Everything is… Complicated.

BMX bicycle rider is doing the Foofa-Noo. Used...

I remember dreaming about doing something exotic with my life, like saving lives as a doctor, or winning cases in grand fashion as a lawyer. Going grocery shopping meant going and picking out my favorite cereal from the store and begging for all the crap that my mom never wanted to buy, it was an event. Bill was the name of one of the neighbors, and I never had to talk to him. We could spend the entire summer riding our bikes, and pretending we were storming some wild land filled with monsters; conquering all with our trusty super-beam auto-targeting rifle of doom.

These days I only hope going back to school can help me get a job that I don’t absolutely hate. Going grocery shopping is a massive chore, which I hate, and it means going to the supermarket and standing in an excessively long line because some teenager can’t operate the register properly. Bill is no longer someone’s name, and I certainly can’t avoid it, or else I lose all my toys. If I spend the whole summer riding my bike now I would be living on it, and not have a home to keep me warm in the winter; and forget pretend rifles, because now I can’t stop thinking “that’s not real.”

Red roses

Someone, who I can’t remember, once said “stop and smell the roses.” I wish I would have listened when I was a kid, because one of the things I also did was constantly try to grow up faster. You just don’t understand what that means when you’re 5, or 10, or even 15. No matter how much anyone tried to tell me that I was rushing it, I kept on pushing. Maybe we all have that problem, except a blessed few who manage to keep their imaginations.

I think the reason why I look forward to college is because it is actually a step backwards. I will get to pretend to be 19 again, and experience something I should have done 10 years ago. Sometimes I wish I could turn back the clock and take all my knowledge with it, so I could once again think in a simple way. It’s not so much that I want to be little again, because I hated asking for help to get something off the top shelf, it’s that when you don’t know any better the world seems so much brighter. We see hunger as a world problem, but if you ask a kid how to solve it they will say something like “give everyone a pizza.” We can laugh at that now, because it’s humorously impossible, but a five year old would think that could work. A typical ten year old would say to build a McDonald’s in every town, because they aren’t worried about where McDonald’s gets their food, they only know they have food. A fifteen year old might give a more workable answer, but even then we would be able to poke thousands of holes in it, because they still don’t understand the cost of things.

Saturday on Sunday

Somehow, as we grow up, we become boring. We no longer think rain is fun, and snow annoys us. We have debates about stuffed-up politicians and finances, or what the best way to grill a steak is. They argue about who the best football player is, and constantly claim the be the best at any video game they play. We drive safe cars, at safe speeds, in safe zones, and put padding on everything. They just want some wheels, a hill, and some way to steer.

We used to have fun… once.

Now we don’t have the time.

Such a shame really, because if we did, our inner child would have so many ideas for what to do without mom telling us no all the time… If only we could hear them.

The Cost of Living…

When you first look at the graphic above, you will focus on your own state, we all do. Upon taking a closer look, you will see that no part of the United States allows a person, who is single, to live on their own with just a minimum wage job. This data is based on rent consuming 30% of your income, which is rather fair considering taxes and health insurance now take around 25% for someone on minimum wage.

20 Dollars art5

This means that in order to pay rent, in Wisconsin, you will need to work 79 hours a WEEK. Otherwise, you will be using one full paycheck (at 40 hours a week) just to pay rent, and the other to pay the remaining bills associated with having an apartment (heat, electricity, water, sewer.) This leaves nothing at the end for things like food, gas (automotive,) phone, or internet. Now, internet may be a luxury, but I firmly believe that a phone is a necessity as one can’t keep a job if they cannot be contacted by phone.

Part of the problem is that landlords are increasing rental prices every year, regardless of their costs rising or falling. I can’t fault them completely, because if they have prices that are far below the average, then they will attract a certain type of tenant that is not exactly desirable. Another major factor is the number of retired people who are now taking up a lot of the living spaces in more rural areas. Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin, is home to the highest population of people over the age of 65 (per-capita) in the state. This means younger people, who do not have the savings or jobs to afford to compete with life-savings accounts, are being pushed out and forced to move.

Adapted from Wikipedia's WI county maps by Bumm13.

The young people then have to have multiple roommates to survive, or are forced to move back in with their parents. It’s not at all uncommon to see many homes becoming multi-generational family dwellings these days. This is where an entire young family moves in with their parents, often placing three (sometimes 4) generations under one roof.

The demand on housing is costing young adults the ability to even get started with their own savings to send kids to college, let alone retirement. You may have noticed that I have taken a bit of an ageist tone with this post, but I am just calling it as I see it. The aging population of this country is suffocating the younger generations out of housing, and is the single largest reason why such high salaries are demanded here.

We need to find a way to bring the prices back in line with starting wages so that people have a fighting chance. Perhaps if some of the retired folks moved to traditional retirement locations, instead of small communities which are already struggling, the prices could relax.

retirement

I don’t blame the retired people, I blame the civil servants who enacted policies that favor one group over the other. We would not have such a huge influx of older people if there were not incentives put in place to encourage it. The city council here has been so focused on providing for the needs of the elderly, that they forgot the needs of the people who still work, and the needs of the people who are just starting out. When all you have is elderly people and their support staff, you guarantee that your community has an expiration date. Once the older population passes away, the support staff will leave, and you’ll end up with another Flint, Michigan, only you won’t have a mega-corporation like General Motors to blame for it.

Politicians need to stop worrying so much about elections, and instead they need to actually do the job they volunteered to do.

Trust Us This Day…

I had considered pulling a sick prank today, in honor of April 1st. One option was to leave a suicide note, but it might be taken seriously, which could get me committed for a 24 hour “watch.” There were also thoughts of announcing the permanent closure of the blog, but one would actually need some readers to get a real reaction.

I could make something up about a celebrity and sheep, in Scotland, but that could get me sued. Maybe an article on the guy who cut down the last tree in the UK would be interesting, but then some bloke from London would miss the humor and point out the trees in Hyde Park.

So, my April Fool’s joke is to not prank anyone, but share a humorous site instead…

The site someecards.com has many interesting April Fool’s cards like this one, which you can share with friends on Facebook, or Twitter if ya like, for free. Some are quite funny actually, and they have some for just about any occasion.

Funny Confession Ecard: I wish I had a job I could dream about quitting if I won the Mega Millions.  

I thought this one was rather good. The ultimate irony is that it’s actually true in my case.

You can create custom cards as well, in the off chance that they don’t have anything sufficiently insulting.

What are you doing to honor the wondrous day that is today? I plan on annoying my friends until they are ready to kill me… Not really, but, isn’t that the point?

P.S. I saw Hunger Games last night, and they all died at the end. How can they make a sequel like that?

Social Expectations…

Are they stupid and out-dated? I think in some cases they are. Now, before I go any further, I want to put a disclaimer in here… Um… I’m in America, so social expectations here are far different than say, Malaysia. I can’t think of anything else, so I’ll just move on.

Politics:

We are expected to side with one or the other, and catch hell if we don’t. This is incredibly annoying, because it basically means that society frowns on thinking for yourself. I don’t like Republicans (too much religious crap mixed in) or Democrats (they think we have unlimited money, and that the government can solve unemployment by providing more government jobs, which costs more money.)

Try having a political discussion with people when they can’t grasp the concept of not blindly following one single ideology. I want social freedoms AND fiscal responsibility, so gay marriage shouldn’t even be a political debate (it’s a religious thing) and there SHOULD be limitations on taxation and hand-outs. I understand why tax breaks for businesses help create jobs, but why do taxpayers help Walmart build new stores? They have plenty of money to do it on their own.

Entertainment:

Johnny Depp at a ceremony for Penélope Cruz to...

We are expected to know what is going on in the world of prime-time TV. WHY!?!!? I don’t even pay for cable TV anymore, because Hulu and Netflix take care of 99% of my needs; for everything else I just go down to the bar and watch the Packers. American Idol, X-Factor, Top-Chef, The Office…

Why do people take this stuff so seriously? Don’t they have better things to worry about? This goes for celebrity gossip as well. I recently had to write an essay on celebrities… “Pick one celebrity who you identify with as a family member, then explain why.” All I could do is explain that I don’t care enough about celebrities to answer the question in a way they expected (still passed, but got lower marks because I’m not a slave to Hollywood. ARGH!)

I can tell you that I like just about every movie Johnny Depp has been in, but I don’t know (nor do I want to) anything about him as a person! How can I “identify with X as family” if I don’t know X? I have friends who I consider family, maybe they should have asked that. It certainly would have promoted a more social society, rather than encouraging the mass-ignorance of anything outside CaliSchwarznia that pervades this country. Sometimes the gossip gets so big that it becomes national news (like when I posted about the guy who got booted from American Idol.)

Social society… Can we even be called a society anymore? That’s actually a good question, and I don’t know that we can. We lock ourselves away in front of digital screens, and going on dates is almost unheard of now-days. How can you be a society if you never do anything social?

Anyway, back on topic….

Sports:

GB on offense, Carolina on defense

It is expected that you either like them, or you don’t. Nobody seems to understand how I can like football (American football) but could care less about basketball, baseball, and hockey. I can discuss football at length, but couldn’t even tell you who has won the NBA championship since the Bulls.

Some people take this stuff so seriously that they even have multiple TVs to watch separate games on, at the SAME TIME. It is also generally expected that women hate sports, and this is simply not true. I know a lot of women who like sports… They just don’t go insane about it like some guys I know do.

College:

Academic procession at the University of Cante...

Everyone is expected to attend some kind of college. Apparently you are an idiot who can barely read if you’ve never gone to a “higher learning” establishment. Intelligence isn’t just knowledge, it’s the ability to USE the knowledge you have. Bush Jr. went to Yale AND Harvard, but he only ever really saw success in politics… Many still consider him stupid.

We are quickly producing more college-educated people than we have jobs to support, and when you live in a country that CONSTANTLY tells you that you can be anything you want to be, it just causes a lot of depression when people finally discover that’s not exactly true. If everyone goes to college, then who is going to flip the burgers? You may laugh at that, but seriously, what are we going to do when you need an Associate’s Degree in “Fry-Tech” to work at McDonald’s?? Spend $40,000+ on a two-year degree and come out with a $9.00 an hour job… How does that make sense?

Global Issues:

United States

If you don’t speak English, get out. That’s what they say anyway. Apparently, we are supposed to play “globo-cop” around the world, but we don’t have to accept other cultures…

First: we don’t speak English here anymore, we speak American. Second: it’s great to have a standardized language in any country, but it’s ridiculous to expect that nobody will speak anything else.

This is the single largest problem I see in America. We tend to ignore social differences around the world, and expect that they should conform to ours. This is as selfish and arrogant as a society can be. How can we properly solve disputes in other parts of the world if we refuse to even see their perspective? We also can’t claim to know enough about other cultures when we don’t even know our own… Most Americans wouldn’t be able to name all of the states in the map above if it weren’t labeled, let alone the cultural boundaries that are very present!

Americans seem to be completely ignorant to the fact that this is why so much of the world hates us. We go around with a giant cattle-prod, sticking it in places where it should never go, and then expect that everyone should love us for it. We don’t have an obligation to make sure Africa is doing things one way or another, nor do we have the right to intervene in middle-eastern affairs. There are Americans who actually get upset when they visit other countries (like Spain, France, Russia, etc…) and can’t find anyone who wants to speak English.

If you visit another country, you have to understand that they have a different set of expectations for you, and that you offend them when you don’t even try understanding. Just like when you get upset because Asians speak whatever language is native to them here, they have the right to NOT speak English there! We are not perfect, and should accept that. Don’t get mad when you are asked to remove your shoes in Japan, it’s a part of their culture… and promotes cleaner floors.

Expansionism.

Right! So I am going to begin a new blog. I am going to play a video game and tell you if it’s brilliant, or crap. It’s all very not-technical with lots of personal opinions and absolutely no scientific studies about seizures, statistics, psychology, and all the rest of the stuff you don’t care about.

You can get all of that stuff from people who actually get paid to do it. I simply don’t have the paycheck to make me care about that stuff, and I have a feeling that you don’t either. I may or may not actually finish the game before I write a review, because if I’m honest, most games aren’t worth beating.

One other thing; because I’m not paid to do this, don’t expect every game to be a brand new game. I can’t afford to keep up with it. Over the course of the year, I may get to all of the biggest releases, but do not count on it happening the week the game is released. Some exceptions may be, titles and huge franchises that I personally can’t wait to play.

This blog will not end, but I think the crowd for game reviews will be quite a bit different than the crowd interested in the stuff I feature here. It’ll be like a sister-blog.

I’ll post a link once I get all the important bits finalized, and a first review down.

Sunday Stupidity…

I think these pictures speak for themselves! I really don’t understand what kind of parenting brings you to do this to something you spent your hard-earned (or ill-earned) money on… Maybe it’s the exhaust fumes.

I wonder if they think that actually makes the car any quieter.

Image

I really, I mean REALLY, hope this is a Photoshop job.

I actually laughed! Would it even be possible to get any more pointless?

This Week Was Interesting…

Weird!:

Massachusetts men can get a free pizza with a vasectomy operation. This has got to be one of the most ridiculous things I have heard of in a long time. Apparently if you like sports, you also want to sleep around and avoid having babies with 300 different women.

Sci-Tech stuff:

NASA released map of nearly the entire night sky. This is really cool just to look at, even if you don’t have much interest in the scientific knowledge that can be gained from all of this. They also managed to map 90% of the near-earth asteroids, and Earth’s very own “Trojan Asteroid.”

Apple releases new iPad today. Thousands of people have lined up outside Apple Stores around the globe, all hoping they got there early enough to spend $499 or more on one of the new devices. With a better display, faster processor, and improved camera this will likely be the first iPad that you will be happy to keep for more than a year.

Image via ny.racked.com. Will be removed if requested.

I cannot say anything bad about the people who wait in line for Apple products, because that would make me a hypocrite. I stood outside the West Towne Mall Apple Store in Madison, WI, for 7 hours to get my iPhone 4 the day it was released.

I do have to admit that I was only doing it because my iPhone 3G had decided to stop functioning properly after updating to iOS 4.0. Choosing to wake at 2 am, drive 2 hours to stand in a line and have a chance, was far better than the guarantee of having to endure a barely functional phone for as long as two months.

Why did I stay with Apple after that? It’s simple really… I have hundreds of dollars invested in my iTunes music, and more invested on the apps. I really didn’t want to have to go through the trouble of making the music work on an Android device, or repurchasing the apps I used most.

iPod, Cell-Phone, PDA, Hand-Held Game System, GPS… All in one device. It’s really worth the investment in a smartphone of some kind if you don’t already have one.

Entertainment:

‘Luck’ horse trainer says ‘Sometimes S**t Happens.’ “Luck” is an HBO series starring a lot of big names, which is focused on Horse Racing. The thing about horses is that they are quite panicky. Naturally they have to have a stable of horses to have a show, and those horses sometimes panic. There has been a lot of contraversy over the care of the show horses due to the three that have died during filming. PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) and AHA (American Humane Association) are both supporting HBO’s decision to cancel the series.

I don’t really understand what the fuss is all about. The show had 50 horses, and almost all of them appear in running sequences or staged races. Accidents happen in that world, and they really can’t be helped. I do not support euthanizing animals just for not being able to race any longer, but I also would hate to see a horse not be able to even walk. So, while the deaths are saddening, I don’t think it calls for the cancellation of the series. I am sure they received top care.

The trainer could have chose better words than “Sometimes shit happens” regardless of how true it may actually be. With groups like this gunning for the show, he has only added fuel to their fire. A shame really, because it is a pretty good show.

Jermaine Jones was given the boot on American Idol. Apparently he “didn’t know [he] broke the rules” by having outstanding warrants for his arrest in New Jersey…

Fine, claim ignorance on American Idol rules, I’ll let that incredibly insulting statement slide (because it implies that Americans are stupid enough to believe that.) What I want to know is, how did you forget that traveling across the country would be breaking LAWS? Idiot.