Message Drift

June 9, 2014 - 4:49 pm
Irradiated by Stingray

Discovered floating in the tubes:
The Naked Bike Ride In Portland Showed Everyone’s Vulnerabilities

More or less safe for work. I don’t really know where to start. Well, no. That’s not true. Let’s start with this: Pick a fucking message you goddamn hippies! By the time your point is this muddled, you’re not protesting, you’re just a bunch of streakers egging each other on.

Let me be clear. There is nothing wrong with being a bunch of streakers egging each other on, but please don’t try to tart it up as some noble crusade. Ok, oil dependence? The bikes make sense. Body image? The naked makes sense. Naked for oil dependence? You lost me. Bikes for body image? Are you saying people should stop being fatties and exercise more? Nice, hypocrites. (Yes, that’s in sarcasm font.) Being naked to show vulnerability on a bike, to the cold mechanical predations of cars? Well, ok, but you all put yourself in that position voluntarily. And what does being squishier than a chevy have to do with oil dependency?

Seriously people, if you’ve got a thorn in your ass over something, be specific! Look at anti-abortion protests. Sure, they suck, but they’re specific and focused and you don’t have to guess what they’re on about. If you have to explain what you’re protesting, you’re not only doing it wrong, but nobody will remember or give a shit five minutes later.

After you get enough groups in the tent, you’re just having a good time with vaguely like-minded people. Again, nothing wrong with that, just don’t expect to be taken seriously.

Who Needs Clean Clothes?

May 22, 2014 - 4:34 pm
Irradiated by LabRat

CEO of Levi’s: Don’t Wash Your Jeans.

The CEO of Levis Strauss, Chip Bergh, has some advice for you: Don’t wash your jeans.
As in don’t wash them … ever. Speaking at Fortune’s Brainstorm Green conference, Chip said he was sporting a pair that had “yet to see a washing machine” in over a year.

Worried about germs, you germaphobes? No problem, he says. Just stick your jeans in the freezer once a month next to the frozen waffles to kill off the bacteria. Apparently getting them icy will neutralize the sweat, coffee spills and other bodily fluids that might collect in the zipper or “seating” area. He also suggests spot cleaning with a sponge or a toothbrush.

While that could work for the stuff on the outside of your jeans, what about all the stuff your body cooked up that’s on the flip side? Once you get ’em back up to body temperature, won’t you be warming up those germs again? Yuck.

The CNN reporter seems about as nonplussed as I am, noting that freezing and spot cleaning don’t actually kill bacteria. At best it might stave off the inevitable stench; over the long term, no, and that Chip must not be actually addressing the audience that actually buys the bulk of his jeans, but those who wear them as a fashion accessory and don’t actually wear them more than a handful of times.

Bless her for her incredulous deconstruction of the silly notion, but the part where she seems exclusively worried about the inevitable body odor miasma strikes me as rather telling of her own lifestyle.

If I stopped washing my jeans altogether- and yes they are Levi’s- here is what would happen:

They would smell, yes. But they’d also rapidly become caked with successive layers of mud, spit, dog fur that had bonded in the mud and spit and eventually into the cloth itself, and home to an increasingly treacherous collection of foxtails, goatheads, and the occasional splinter. They would not look “like new”. They’d look like something you’d find on a homeless person who’d been squatting in a barn by pretending to be one of the cows. And I’m not THAT rural, I just have pets and sometimes work outside. There’d be spilled coffee in there too, it’d just be the least of my worries.

Given the origin of Levi’s, I find it more than a little sad that the CEO seems to no longer have the faintest clue what his product was designed for. And is still used for by the majority of its customers.

Draft Thoughts

May 17, 2014 - 2:28 pm
Irradiated by LabRat

Yeah, I know, it’s a week late and it’s more foosball. But it’s content, right?

– Hey Johnny! The good news is, you went in the first round like everyone thought you would! The bad news is you were drafted by the Cleveland Browns. Guess you’re regretting that monkey’s paw NOW, huh?

I’m actually of two minds on Johnny Manziel. On the one hand, he actually IS a good quarterback, and it seems like his teammates liked him a lot, which suggests the grumbling about his attitude might be somewhat overblown. This story also irritated me a lot: Browns owner tells Johnny Manziel to “act like a backup”, “this isn’t Hollywood”.

I mean CHRIST JOHNNY, IT’S NOT LIKE THEY SELECTED YOU IN THE FIRST ROUND OR ANYTHING. Or that the guy you’re backing up ended last season on a severe knee injury. Or that the Browns have been shuffling quarterbacks like cards trying to find one that isn’t a total bust. REIN IT IN, KID, WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE?

On the other hand, he’s pretty much earned a lot of his haters, and he really is kind of a media whore, mostly because the media has had their tongue so far up his ass they’re giving him a prostate massage. So maybe the owner is right to be concerned that that kind of attention is distracting from football, which the whole team needs to concentrate on. I can’t help but think the Browns would be biting themselves in the butt by relegating him to indefinite backup after the preseason, though. They’re good at that.

– Michael Sam MICHAEL SAM MICHAEL SAM OMFG MICHAEL SAM. I do think it was long overdue that the NFL have an openly gay player, and I’ve mostly been optimistic about league reaction- though I do think it’s hilariously ironic that the only person to really say something nasty about it plays for San Francisco and most of the guys that said supportive things are from places like Detroit.

The media circus around him is MORE THAN A LITTLE MUCH, though. I mean seriously, an Oprah documentary? It’s pretty well counter to the message those supportive players and coaches and owners were backing- that as long as someone plays well it shouldn’t matter who they’re with off the field. That said, he mostly strikes me as a genuinely nice, hard-working kid who is very naive in handling this kind of attention, which more than a few rookie players are. I do think he needs a lot of development before he’s going to be anything all that special, but I do get the impression he can and will put his all into it. I still think NFL offensive lines will probably smush him as a DE, though. I think he could do better as an outside linebacker if he can adapt. He’s smart enough to.

I’m actually kind of interested to watch the Rams this season, though I’m not remotely a fan. I love rising underdogs, and they played the draft very intelligently. If they can keep Sam Bradford healthy, which is a big if and I’m not sure essentially marrying the dude was at all a good idea, I think they can better themselves a lot this season.

– Jadevon Clowney is either going to be an incredibly exciting player to watch or the biggest bust since Ryan Leaf. There’s absolutely no denying the dude is a freakishly gifted athlete who’s played awesomely well all his life, but I’m not so sure about his work ethic. It’s not uncommon for guys with this much sunshine stuffed up their ass to figure they’re already awesome and the coaches don’t know shit. Plus the Texans haven’t had the most serendipitous luck with draft picks.

– Speaking of work ethic, I’m looking a lot more forward to watching Teddy Bridgewater than Manziel. I don’t much like the Vikings, but I will be given they’re NFC North. He had a not so awesome pro day, but I tend to think it was just that: a bad DAY. His college career was fairly impressive, and he seems to learn from his mistakes rather than melting down from them. Given he’s a rookie and he’s GOING to fuck up, that’s a valuable trait. I’d rather have seen him go to Jacksonville, since I DO like them (remember what I said about underdogs), but Blake Bortles was hardly a bad choice there either. Hoping he doesn’t spook like a skittish horse the way Gabbert tends to.

– I have mixed feelings about the Lions draft. On the one hand Eric Ebron is a pretty amazing athlete and god knows Stafford needs more weapons than just Johnson, as great as Johnson is, on the other hand tight end was a position they were already pretty deep in whereas they had a LOT of others they really needed to shore up, like their defensive backfield and wideouts. (Although Brandon Pettigrew thinks he’s a lot better than he actually is, so maybe it’s a wiser choice than it initially looks to me.)

I love the Kyle van Noy pick, though. I think he was a bit underrated, and the Lions NEED more good linebackers than just Tulloch. They’ve got an awesome defensive line, but beyond that… not as awesome.

Travis Swanson was an interesting choice. Their offensive line definitely needs help, but a lot more in terms of tackles and another good guard than center. On the one hand, Dominic Raiola is 35, and will need a successor. On the other, he’s also remarkably durable, solid, and looks to have plenty of gas left in the tank. Maybe more a long-term investment than a short-term shoring up.

Nevin Lawson… maybe, maybe not? He’s kinda short, but god knows he can pour on the speed, and he seems to be decent at intercepting anyway. Maybe not as much in the pros, though. I still hope Darius Slay will work out better with more development and think he can, but this is more a third question mark at corner than anything else. Chris Houston is pretty awesome but not Nightcrawler.

Caraun Reid… if there’s one thing the Lions do not lack for, it’s impressive defensive tackles. On the other hand, I cannot help but be ridiculously charmed by this guy. He seems smart as hell, actually finished his college degree and did it in the Ivies, loves singing in church choir, and whips his glasses off like Clark Kent becoming Superman on the field. And his job is basically “Hulk”. Omigawd he’s just adorable. Maybe a hedge against Fairley disappearing up his own ass?

TJ Jones… my reaction was and kinda still is “who?”. They need more depth at WR, and though Golden Tate will help, they need more. I would rather have seen them take a wideout earlier in the draft. It was seeming like they’d trade up in pick order for Sammy Watkins, which would have been awesome, but alas it was not to be. Right now he feels like another “meh, it’s a body” along with Fuller and Broyles.

Nate Freese… this guy might actually have been a late-round steal. The Lions have issues with closing, and an accurate and reliable kicker helps saving busted drives. They have kind of a curse on the position though, so we’ll see.

– Oh Jacksonville. Go home, you’re drunk. Bortles was a good grab given what an epic bust Gabbert turned out to be, though I hear mutterings they’re not going to let him start. (He’d be worse than Henne? Really? I agree Bortles needs development but c’mon!) They somehow let their freaky little power dwarf Maurice Jones-Drew get away from them when he was pretty much the one player on the team who was truly standout in the league. Lee was a great pick and Robinson might turn out to be, but the rest were iffy at best.

– I am very sad Khalil Mack went to the Raiders. I was really looking forward to watching him (MAYBE IN DETROIT??), and the Raiders and their fans are such dicks. He’s truly gone to the dark side. Or at least been press-ganged to it.

It can’t be news to any of you that I’m a huge nerd…

Hugo Your Way, I’ll Go My Way

April 25, 2014 - 5:57 pm
Irradiated by LabRat

So I’ve mostly driven quickly past the various kerfluffles and infighting in the Sci-Fi/Fantasy community because a) I don’t have a dog in the fight, I haven’t read most of the work of the authors involved and those that I AM fans of are often on opposite sides, and b) The idea that I should give a shit about the politics of authors whose writing I like both makes me deeply exhausted and deeply paranoid that I will quickly have nothing left to read that I like. I have John Scalzi and Larry Correia both linked in my blogroll because I really like both of their writing to the point I’ll buy almost anything either writes, and I often enjoy their pontifications, not because I’m particularly on board with either of their politics. (Although depending on the subject du jour, I often am with one, the other, or in twisted ways both at the same time.)

But sometimes it bleeds into my virtual life from all directions, and thus I became unwillingly aware of this post from Larry when it was linked from two separate places I read avidly at the same time.

Let me make one thing crystal clear: I like Larry, though I’ve never met him, and I really, REALLY like Larry’s books. The only things of his I haven’t read are the Dead Six novels, because it’s really not my genre, and the stuff set in the Warmachine universe, because my time to read these days is far more limited than I’d like and trimming out stuff set in universes I’m not remotely familiar with that aren’t original to the author is one way to keep it manageable. (You should see my backlog anyway.) If he wins a Hugo I’ll think he deserved it. I bounce on my toes in anticipation whenever something new in the Monster Hunter or Grimnoir series comes out. Suffice to say I’m a fan, which I can’t say for most of the authors he’s in a furball with.

Larry’s pissed of a lot of the right people, who have mostly reacted to him for the wrong reasons with completely unjustified venom. I often agree with some of the favored causes of the Social Justice folks, but I disagree heavily with what often seem to be their tactics of exaggeration and vilification. I think the best way to handle speech I think is wrongheaded is civil discussion, based at least at first on the premise that the other person has their own premises that might be as well-thought-through as mine are. (Often this proves not to be true, but still, it satisfies my own moral standards to start from that assumption.) Tarring people with shit they did not say and positions they do not hold is wrong. This, notably, does NOT mean I am always willing to give a fair hearing to everyone with every single opinion- when those premises are clearly spelled out as not just wrongheaded but morally repugnant, I’m willing to write that person off as an irredeemable fuckhead without a second thought.

Vox Day is, in my opinion, one such fuckhead, and it must be here that Larry and I part company. Larry:

The reason Vox is so hated is that he is the only person ever kicked out of SFWA. He makes me look cuddly and diplomatic. He was expelled from SFWA because the powers that be decided he was a racist, in fact, it was so obvious that he was racist that it only took a thirty page thesis explaining how stuff he said was actually racist, including the leadership of SFWA searching through the vile cesspool that is Stormfront until they found some nazi skin head who used similar words, and then holding him accountable for things that posters said in his blog comments (us right wing bloggers don’t believe in censorship so we don’t “manage” or “massage” our comments like they do) then they kicked him out for misusing their Twitter account.

Basically, he called Nora Jesmin an “ignorant half-savage” and that pissed everybody off. See, Nora, is a beloved libprog activist and Social Justice Warrior, and all the reports of her victimization at the hands of the villainous Vox usually leave out the parts where she’d been hurling personal insults at him for years. Myself? I thought that comment might be a bit over the line, but then again, Google search my name and see what the SJW’s have been calling me for the last few days. It is way worse that ignorant or savage, and I think I’m darker skinned than K. Tempest Bradford. I’ve yet to see any SJWs condemning those comments about me. Tolerance is a one way street with them.

“Ignorant half-savage” is not quite what he said. Granted it took some digging to extract the actual original quote and context, because people mostly did not link to it. I’m only half doing so myself, not because I want to spare people from his badthink, but because I want to deal with his horde of Morlocks about as much as I want to deal with a termite infestation. So here it is: A Black Female Fantasist Calls For Reconciliation. A much lengthier quote of what he said BEFORE and immediately after “ignorant half-savage”, because I do believe in linking to the source and providing context:

I therefore suggest that their assertions should be taken with at least a small grain of salt rather than credited to me. And it should be obvious that, being a libertarian, I am not actively attempting to take away anyone’s “most basic rights”. Jemisin has it wrong; it is not that I, and others, do not view her as human, (although genetic science presently suggests that we are not equally homo sapiens sapiens), it is that we simply do not view her as being fully civilized for the obvious historical reason that she is not.

She is lying about the laws in Texas and Florida too. The laws are not there to let whites ” just shoot people like me, without consequence, as long as they feel threatened by my presence”, those self-defense laws have been put in place to let whites defend their lives and their property from people, like her, who are half-savages engaged in attacking them.

Jemisin’s disregard for the truth is no different than the average Chicago gangbanger’s disregard for the traditional Western code of civilized conduct. She could, if she wished, claim that privileged white males are responsible for the decline of Detroit, for the declining sales of science fiction, even for the economic and cultural decline of the United States, but that would not make it true. It would not even make it credible. Anyone who is paying sufficient attention will understand who is genuinely responsible for these problems.

Unlike the white males she excoriates, there is no evidence to be found anywhere on the planet that a society of NK Jemisins is capable of building an advanced civilization, or even successfully maintaining one without significant external support from those white males. If one considers that it took my English and German ancestors more than one thousand years to become fully civilized after their first contact with advanced Greco-Roman civilization, it should be patently obvious that it is illogical to imagine, let alone insist, that Africans have somehow managed to do the same in less than half the time at a greater geographic distance. These things take time.

Being an educated, but ignorant half-savage, with little more understanding of what it took to build a new literature by “a bunch of beardy old middle-class middle-American guys” than an illiterate Igbotu tribesman has of how to build a jet engine, Jemisin clearly does not understand that her dishonest call for “reconciliation” and even more diversity within SF/F is tantamount to a call for its decline into irrelevance. Nor do the back-patting Samuel Johnsons wiping their eyes and congratulating her for her ever-so-touching speech understand that.

If Vox is a misunderstood opinionated religious right-winger who uses some salty old-fashioned language rather than a real racist, I am Princess Anastasia. I realize there is a school of thought that he is actually a very elaborate troll who enjoys riling leftists and doesn’t really think any of this, but I think this is wishful thinking and even if it’s not he’s still SAID all of it, publically stood behind it, and used the SFWA’s bullhorn to do it. He richly deserved his expulsion, as well as most if not all (I would be willing to go with all) of the contempt for him. I could go on for quite a long time providing the original context for the library of stuff he’s said that additionally convinced me of that “irredeemable fuckhead” status, but given this particular incident that got him booted from SFWA is the subject that Larry mentioned, I’ll stick with it for now. If being kicked out of that organization for your politics is a crying injustice and an example of bias against anyone to the left of Dennis Kucinich, absolutely no one is to blame for it more than Vox himself.

The other thing that bothers me is that tit-for-tat isn’t actually a moral stance, which makes the “they didn’t mention the shit she said about him!” a nonargument. I don’t care if she’s the Wicked Witch of Africa, nothing she could have said would have justified what I just quoted in any way. “She was mean to me!” is a playground argument. (So is the Roman Polanski thing, which while a very good burn is also pretty inaccurate- I keep an eyeball on the SJWs as much as I do the Dark Enlightenment people, and I didn’t see a single one defend Polanski rather than calling for his liver to be served with a nice chianti.)

Larry is a good guy I sometimes- not even that often- disagree with. He doesn’t deserve to be associated with Vox, at all. Which is why I’m so disappointed he’s volunteered for it himself.

ETA postscript: Can’t believe I forgot to include this point before I hit post: None of this means that Vox shouldn’t win a Hugo for his novelette. I regard the idea that the Hugo has recently or ever been primarily a meritocracy instead of a back-scratching popularity contest reflecting current politics hilariously naive, but being a raging asshole doesn’t mean you can’t or shouldn’t win an award for your work unrelated to your asshole-related agendas. However, by exactly the same token he doesn’t deserve to be on anyone’s slate because he makes the right people angry.

Loch Lurker

April 18, 2014 - 10:19 pm
Irradiated by LabRat

Dear world,

The Daily Mail and the Loch Ness Monster Fan Club are not credible reporters of whether an aquatic Rorschach blot is a hundred-foot animal. While large animals previously unknown to Western science CAN still be found (though they are generally not remotely unknown by local populations that don’t give a shit about Western science), they are not found in oligotrophic freshwater lakes with frequent surface traffic in the middle of heavily populated-by-Westerners countries. The idea that Loch Ness is inhabited by a breeding population of marine reptiles or similar animals is only somewhat more likely than the idea that New York City is inhabited by pterosaurs.

Civil Oddities

April 16, 2014 - 2:38 pm
Irradiated by LabRat

So recently, I had to spend my morning and early afternoon at a local government office oriented toward the low-income. (We are fine. I was there to get off a roll I was mistakenly placed on.) I was not, to put it mildly, looking forward to the experience, being acquainted with the motor vehicle departments in Phoenix and New Orleans, and even here in our tiny whitebread little burg. I walked in with low expecations.

So to my immense surprise, the waiting room was quiet and pleasant, all the conversation I heard was in articulate, unaccented English (I was the only white face in the room until another walked in near the end of my visit), many of the waiting room inhabitants were chatting pleasantly with one another, the line was moving efficiently, there were zero tantrums or meltdowns, all the employees were polite and seemingly possessed of a genuine desire to help, and though there were small children present, their parents were keeping them quiet, supervised, and amused. Once it was my turn, my task was completed easily and efficiently, with zero surliness on the part of the fellow behind the counter.

If you’ll excuse me, I need to go re-examine a whole bunch of assumptions.

Modern Musings

April 15, 2014 - 2:37 pm
Irradiated by Stingray

What is it about new tires that’s so deeply, primally satisfying? Is that just me?

Game Nerd Breakdown

April 8, 2014 - 2:43 pm
Irradiated by Stingray

Over on the book of faces, Tam posted a kill shot from our last raid night. Naturally, this brought all the nerds a-runnin’, and quickly derailed Tam’s victory pose into a discussion of game mechanics and a more meta discussion on interface design. So basically take this as warning that if you’re not into gaming or whatnot you may as well knock off here.

A commenter correctly observed that there appeared to be a metric shitload of information present on Tam’s display. Various players agreed that yes, in fact there was, and it got a bit conversational about how that information is managed, displayed, and how it scaled from zero to ALL THE THINGS. LabRat did a rundown of her interface, which caught on. I was going to do a rundown of mine, and then my browser crashed and ate about 1300 words worth of explanation, causing me to say many unkind things about many things before sobbing openly and starting over. Since it came out to such a firehose of gamer nerdism, I figured why not share it here.

This is a screenshot from in-combat, annotated badly because I suck at gimp. I’ll try to stay somewhat meta so what I’m looking at and why is more important than the game/class specific mechanic in game-terms. I play a rogue, a melee dps (damage-per-second) class. My entire raison d’etre is to pump out damage on the enemy. I have very limited ability to self-heal, and substantially less damage resistance than a tank (though broadly more than a healer), with a few tools available to mitigate incoming damage if used properly.

No, there are not many like it.

A is my unit frame. Mine is the game default because I don’t rely on it terribly much. Green bar is my health, green text is incoming healing. Fun fact, showing this shot to LabRat, neither of us had any idea where that healing was coming from and I had to look it up (turns out it’s a racial passive skill I’d forgotten I even had). The yellow bar is energy, my primary resource, also tracked by the yellow bar in the central box marked 47. Anything I do in combat consumes energy at various costs per skill, and it regenerates fairly rapidly over time on its own, sometimes aided by chance-based “procs”.

B is my target, a training dummy which is exactly what it sounds like. Also game default because the useful information I’ve replicated in more sensible/useful places and don’t care enough to change it there. The three red dots on its portrait’s right are combo points, more on those shortly.

C and D are cooldowns. These are things I can trigger to increase my damage output for a short time, which are then unavailable for a while. The greyed out C means it has been activated, and the 39.4 is how many seconds until I can use it again. Since D is in color, it’s available to use.

E and F are “Fix this, dumbass” indicators. E is present because in this shot, I have not applied a poison to my weapon, which is a major source of my damage output but only lasts an hour between applications. It can expire in combat, and if it goes unremedied all of a sudden I go from useful to burden. F means that the enemy has not had its armor weakend. There are multiple classes that can do this, including my own, but it needs to be done by *someone* so there’s an indicator up for me if nobody has done it yet.

G, both left and right, is a proc, a chance based event to let me use an attack at a reduced (free in this case) cost. The big ( ) slashes are the game default indicator, the stabby box is my redundant indicator because it’s a short window to take advantage of the proc and I really need to get on that.

H is whether or not my interrupt ability is available. This can stop an enemy from casting some types of spells, but has a short cooldown on use. It’s short enough I find it more useful to be a binary present/not present icon rather than tracking time till available like on C and D.

I is the list of buffs and debuffs on my character. In a group, this would condense down to a single box with an X applied out of Y available count for buffs available from other party members, but some proc-based ones such as the left-most four would still appear separate. Unmodified since I can’t control the proc-based ones, and they don’t impact what I’m actively doing in combat (other than the Really Big one at G), and the party buffs are dealt with before combat starts, ideally.

J is just my area minimap. Unmodified, but ringed by icons to access the settings for a bunch of the addons I run.

Coming back in to the central box on the screen, this is all of the most vital data I need to run combat. The bar marked Rupture is a timer counting down. This is an class specific ability I need to keep active on the enemy if combat is of any noteworthy duration. The bar marked Slice and Dice is likewise a countdown timer, but instead for a buff I apply to myself that’s a major source of damage output increase. The initial duration of both is determined by how many combo points, the green, yellow, and orange boxes between the timers, I have when I do it.

The combo points are my secondary resource. They’re generated by doing “builder” moves at the cost of energy. Five is the maximum, although there’s a player-choice mechanic to tweak that a little bit just for more complexity/flexibility depending on how you like to play it. These are spent with big burst damage moves called finishers. They don’t necessarily actually finish the boss, but it’s a big whack of damage.

The red bar with 99 then a huge number is enemy health in both percent form and total hit points remaining. I track it redundantly here because after it’s hurt badly enough, I get to use a different move as my combo point builder that increases my damage output. This phase of the fight is called “rush-down,” and happens at different points for different classes. During rush-down phases, bigger enemies tend to change their mechanics to become more dangerous with sort of desperation tactics. Not all classes get rush-down tools, but they’re huge increases to damage output for those that do.

Chat window is in the lower left, and the box marked DPS in the lower right is my e-peen meter. That tracks how much damage everybody in a group is pumping out either for a given fight or overall (it can track other metrics for other classes, too). There’s another meter that comes up when I am in a group fight that shows how much threat I have, i.e. how important the enemy considers me in priority for who to squish. Damage output is a major factor in threat generation, though far from the only one. Tanks get moves specifically designed to generate more threat than my raw damage output, but that isn’t to say I won’t pull threat from a tank if I just unload carelessly. Or intentionally, since it can be fun to annoy tanks if I think I can survive being the monster’s focus for a while.

While this whole thing is unique to me, perhaps the *most* individual aspect are the rows of buttons along the bottom. I use a keyboard with 18 macro buttons off to the left, and a mouse with another 12 aligned in a thumb-grid, and on my main character there, every one of them has a use. Those bars map all sorts of utility skills and spells for faster access than clicking them (which is still available as a redundant access to the tool). The bar with the buttons marked 1 through – are my most combat-critical things, though not sorted by numeric priority but a more organic process as I leveled the character, with a dash of standardization across all my characters (for instance 5 is *always* my interrupt button).

Finally, the bar at the very top of the screen is supplemental information: where I am, how much bag space I have, etc.

And this is what happens when I have nothing better to do in an afternoon than nerd out about warcrack. Which for all that complexity remains…. a game. I don’t think Pong had quite this many tweaks.

Things I Have Learned From Advertising

April 2, 2014 - 10:33 pm
Irradiated by LabRat

….Mission “content, any content”. This is inclusive of TV ads, print, web ads, billboards… whatever.

1. Women cannot poop naturally. Usually the miracle substance that allows them to is yogurt, though it varies. This explains why boys and some men might be under the impression that women don’t poop, but it begs the question of why they’d want to start.

2. There is nothing more sheerly entertaining, or engaging, than salad. Seriously, forget alcohol, what you need is some iceberg and cherry tomatoes and it. is. ON.

3. People who have debilitating illnesses for which they’re willing to take drugs whose list of instructions includes three screens of potential side effects and the phrase “if you suspect your liver may be melting and running out of your anus, stop taking Disolvitol immediately and contact your regular physician” are the most rosy-cheeked, active, social people you have ever seen.

4. There is something intensely erotic about beaches. And, for some reason, beaches in conjunction with horses, or bathtubs, which makes even less sense but must be true.

5. Women and infants secrete a blue substance of unknown origin.

6. Mothers and daughters share heartfelt and extremely detailed information about their bowel movements and menstrual experiences with each other. Generally in the kitchen, over juice. This is awkward for no one. Maybe my relationship with my mother is just shitty.

7. It is normal for women to have skin like polished and airbrushed plastic, and also for their arms to be radically different lengths and/or have extra joints.

8. Doctors and other professionals react with rage, hysteria, and coordinated attempts to silence people who render their services very slightly less necessary.

9. Life is very, very shocking. Seriously, you should wear rubber-soled shoes and carry sedatives.

10. Diamonds are so expensive because they come pre-installed with mind control software.

11. What humanity really wants for Christmas is to be jollied at by history’s most irritating celebrities.

12. Hydration is a very complex and technical challenge for women.

13. Men, meanwhile, are completely baffled and horrified by their own houses and children, and react to them as they would to waking up in an alien landscape, being pursued by five-mouthed chartreuse spiders.

14. When children make messes, it is always a disastrous bomb of violently shaded juice or tomato-sauced product onto an utterly pristine white carpet or uniform, which has clearly come in contact with nothing more staining or abrasive than distilled water. Fortunately, Mom suspected this might someday happen, and is prepared to clean up rather than fall to the floor shrieking in horror. You too, must prepare for such a far-fetched eventuality.

15. If you are awake at three in the morning, your state of despair about your sexuality, attractiveness, food options, body hair, and potence must truly be at the lowest possible level. (Not sure this wasn’t a perfectly on point life lesson, actually.)

15. What people want to know when choosing alcohol is that smirking douchebags would drink it.

16. The sound that excitement makes is a BWWWWWWWWAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMP noise reminiscent of the mating calls of hippos.

17. Is it silver, slim, and accented in bright primary colors? It’s either an Apple product or an attacking alien spacecraft.

18. People who are suffering from insomnia really enjoy being sung lullabies by people promoting the sort of chemical help that might let them sleep for up to the next two days.

19. People who are buying health insurance need to be informed that it exists. People who are buying car insurance expect it to be an experience at least on par with a visit to Six Flags.

20. Anti-driving-and-texting campaigns are under the impression that putting their billboard message into incomprehensible text-speak will draw attention and empathy to their cause rather than a further uptick in car accidents among drivers trying to figure out what they mean.

Firehose Pressure Crazy

March 28, 2014 - 1:19 pm
Irradiated by Stingray

Ok, you all know the drill. You have open comments, sooner or later you’re gonna get some Weird Shit(TM) in there. Tam has her ghost in the machine poetry, you get the jist (because I’m too lazy to grab other examples). Back when we were still writing more regularly, we got a doozy. I mean, wow. I’ve had this thing sitting in the pending folder for over a year because every time I go to look at it again, I boggle just as hard as the very first time.

It wasn’t even submitted to a post relevant to the crazy. It was on the one about burning more hot dog buns. I mean, dafuq.

With the original well over a year old at this point, I feel it’s safe to share without attracting the attention of yon batshit loon. I mean if he, she, or it does come back, more free entertainment, right? That said, enjoy one of the biggest blocks of crazy I’ve ever read on the internet.

Just as the gods used WWII to justify an influx of new technologies so will they use the impending pestilence which kills over half the world’s population to justify historical medical advances, including the “cure of aging”, initiating the “1000 years with Jesus on Earth”.
We’ve seen this tactic used recently with AIDS, targetted at homosexuals and blacks in Africa.
Then, as promised, The End will come with fire::::Global tectonic subduction.

Anyone the gods role play telepathically or use for positioning in this Situation extensively have a legacy of hurting others. The more they hurt the more eggregious in history their legacy. Considering they tell me my auidence at any one time is nearly half a billion it is not inconceivable Adolph Hitler was reincarnated into the Situation.
Due to the expansive accumulated audience in this Situation these individuals have now qualified for a legacy of hurting billions of people, and as a result own a very exclusive legacy which will qualify them to be used for the pestilence event which kills half the world’s population:::The monsters of tommarrow.

Don’t forget the lessons the ‘ole white preacher taught:::Dancing is a sin, spare the rod spoil the child.
The gods used the liberal tool to ridicule away so many taboos, paving the way for the decay of society and ultimately the End Times::::::
Black behavior was controlled by the KKK. Men’s behavior was controlled by marriage for thousands of years.
When married by 15 men never gained the taste of promiscuity. Once the gods used the budding liberalism tool the men set the tone for the deteriorating enviornment centered around their gross disfavor.
Women’s relinquishing control of pre-arranged marriage will be what costs mankind everything in The End. It’s all their fault. Men are pigs, essentially just primally responsive disfavored beings who if given the freedom will abuse based on the impulses the god’s push them into. Whereas under pre-arranged marriage this behavior was contained now the promiscuous fraternity house epitomizes the pinnicle of what a “real man” should be like. And sadly the women fall into line.

The gods behave monsterously in the course of managing Planet Earth, matching our decay, but they demand people be good if you are to have a chance to ascend as a child in a future life.
Not only is doing the right things important (praying, attoning for your sins, thinking the right way:::accepting humility, modesty, vulnerability), so is avoiding the wrong things important as well:::”Go and sin no more”.
You NEED active parents who share wisdom to have a real chance to ascend into heaven in a future life, and you MUST be a good parent as well to have that opportunity.

As with so many things in this life “less is more”. Sex is one of those things. They used the liberal age to promote casual “free” sex intentionally::Combined with “women’s lib” and their initiation into the “trenches” of the workplace as well as other issues like alcohol consumption the people experienced a mass masculinization of the females.
The gods use sex as temptation. This is why the most disfavored among us are preoccupied with it. While some may feel being well-endowed is a sign of favor the truth is just the opposite. And often the result is misogyny, a belittling of the favored gender, and stagnation of the people as a whole.
Less is more. When young women experience passing thoughts which say you’re doing something wrong instead of fighting or dismissing the thought you should heed the warning. Sadly in today’s world too many experience prolonged periods of promiscuity in their lives, whereas if married by 15 like throughout human history this disfavor was avoided.
Don’t forget:::It is children who ascend into heaven, and the absence of sexual activity is one reason. Their general innocence is another, which should help you see the destructive nature of adult life in today’s society.

…….The Aristocrats!