Things We Do to Windows In the Dark

I am a settings fiddler. I’m constantly optimizing, but there are a few things I do every time I face a new windows install.

I figured I’d include some here to keep track of them and maybe help someone out in the process who might not know about some of these.

1.) Data drive – Always keep a separate data drive.  This used to be a partition of the main drive, one for the operating system, and one for the data.  This helps because Windows doesn’t always live forever, at least it didn’t used to but the latest UEFI booting and Win 10 makes this point moot.  I find comfort in knowing my data is separate from my OS.

This is especially useful in the case of an SSD since they’ve been limited in space and lifespan.  The more times you read/write to an SSD drive the closer it is to death. If data is written to another drive, that’s less reads and writes against the SSD.  I have had some which did not stand the heat, literally (Crucial Vertex 3 – I had 2 go kaput on me) but they’re just as reliable as mechanical drives now, if not more-so.

a.) Pick the drive  you want to use, note the drive letter. (I use D – for data!)  

b.) Create all your folders on the data drive: Documents, Pictures, Videos are the main ones and you can also add 3D Objects, Favorites, Searches as you see fit.

b.) Right click on my Documents, chooses location… and move.  Give your data drive location (d:\Documents) and click ok.

c.) Rinse and repeat for each folder you want to relocate.

Right click Computer: Documents folder, choose properties and location tab.

2.) Temp folders – Another process I learned from countless OS installs and reinstalls.  If you want to watch your space, or even do some effective spring cleaning, why have all your temp folders strewn around? For example
* c:\users\%username%\AppData\temp
* c:\windows\temp

a.) Create a folder on your C: drive (or your Data drive) named Temp

b.) Right click on Computer/This PC and choose properties.

c.) Click Advanced system settings

d.) Click Environment Variables button

e.) Change the 2 temp locations in top section to the temp folder you just created by clicking the item, clicking the edit button, and changing the path to the single Temp of truth! (open the location and delete all the files if it will let you else you’ll have orphan temp files until your next OS refresh)

f.) Do the same for the 2+ entries in the System variables section.

Right click on Computer / This PC and choose properties
Click the Environment Variables button to modify your TEMP folder locations
Click each entry and change it to the same one. 

You’ve now got one location to go delete from if you’re feeling like doing a little digital spring cleaning!  

Windows should make a system checkpoint for you after these changes but you may want to make a checkpoint before and after to be sure they’ll stick.

Hierarchy [ Uncategorized ]
Classified [ , , , , ]
Feedback [Leave a comment ]

Befallen

I b fallen in Super Cloudbuilt.  It makes me anxious and it’s overstimulating on top of being cell-shaded which I have disliked since the days of JetSetRadio.   This one in particular has a lot of thought put into it and I’m not really giving it the due credit nor time it deserves.  I think some people might really like it.  I think I’m finding a trend of solo games as I explore these new ones.  I picked up my weapon and things started crawling on me so I may need to back of some of the settings a little.

An interesting tidbit regarding graphics… I upgraded the brains of the puter and I’m using the same graphics cards. I really thought it was the bottleneck but appears to be the cards.  One the one hand it’s managed to gain in a few games which were juuuuuust shy of running @ 100fps, and others it has seemingly made no difference in.

Dirt 4 is apparently really hard on the graphics. It BOGS 🙁
Dirt rally worked beautifully and I could even crank up the AA but that was 1080p.  I may have been asking too much of these cards for 3440×1440 / 100 on everything but the new ones just don’t have the specs to back up the purchase price over what I have!  More memory is a big one though at this res… and just peeked at my cards and they’re actually 6g!  ugh, it’s far too much for a new graphics card now, let alone 2.  I have no need for the pixel pushing, that is working fab but it’s the resolutions that are killing me with available video memory!

I also tried The Turing Test and played through Chapter 1. I was super excited for it when it came out, snatched it up on sale a while back and it’s cool and all but I liken it to Portal, and not just because of the cubes… ok, it’s a lot because of the cubes but the energy gun and the zapping and the puzzle aspect… nah, it’s totally portal.

Hierarchy [ 2018, games, gaming, graphics, hardware, ramble, SLi, technology ]
Classified [ , , ]
Feedback [Leave a comment ]

New Games

I added a few new games to the library, thanks to some steam sales + lack of impulse control.
I missed out on my cart full of songs for Rocksmith – 40% off is the cheapest they ever go and they were on sale this weekend. Just as well as I don’t have the $20 I would have spent on them.

However with money being no object in virtual land here are the new additions:

– RedOut: holy mackerel this first load is killing me! It’s a 7g install so I can’t imagine why it’s taking this long! There was a firewall exemtion waiting for me when I alt+tabbed but that’s it that I can see… Still loading. Long enough for new to get bored, pull out the phone and update this post. I installed it to the mechanical drive because I didn’t think it would make a difference being so small!

– Little Nightmares: This was one I wanted for a while because it fit my style and looked totally different. I haven’t played it yet.

– Binary Domain: Courtesy of Humble Bundle. I haven’t played it yet.

– A Hat in Time: A super cute platformer. I probably paid too much but it gives a very Mario Odyssey feel on PC. I like it so far but it’s challenging.

– OlliOlli2: Another of the Humble Bundle batch, maybe it’s a fingerboard simulator? I haven’t played it yet.

– Crazy Taxi: The primary reason I gave Humble Bundle $1 – I loved it for Dreamcast and definitely didn’t remember how repetitive it was. I thought there was more of a campaign mode and not just “see how long you can do it for without running out of time” or “see how many points you can rack up in X minutes”.

– Castlevania Lords of Shadow 2: I had gotten this from GreenManGaming giant AAA charity pack a while back but the code didn’t work, they finally provided me the replacement and added it. I haven’t played it yet.

– The Flame in the Flood: I heard really good things about it from a guy at work. I think I might enjoy it? I haven’t played it yet.

– Super Cloudbuilt: pretty sure I got this from the GMG bundle. It’s parkour craziness and not sure how I’m going to feel about it. I got frustrated at Mirror’s Edge Catalyst after picking it up about a month ago and playing it for about 2 hours constantly dying once I finally confirmed what I was supposed to do. In a game where you are supposed to primarily avoid combat I ended up having to combat waves of opponents from Ksec and it was far too frustrating.

I’ve been trying to play PubG, Fortnite, trying to keep my youngster hat on and it’s tough. I would much rather play Battlefield which has a bit more substance to it. I’m not a great online player. I haven’t been since the days of mouse and unreal tournament 2k and even then I wasn’t that great. The best part of Battlefield is that I don’t HAVE to be good at shooting to do well, I definitely still enjoy myself and when I do well with shooting people I just do better!

So those are just some of the recent ones. I’ve got some VR ones too but they’re just not playable in the office, there’s not enough room and the computer downstairs is lacking in the video card department. I need another video card for the one up here to really work well and when I do that I can put one downstairs but I would really need to buy two to future-proof this one, sell one, and put the other in the machine downstairs and that is WAY too much of an investment than I should be making on superfluous stuff when I need to be whittling down my debt. The games will wait, I already have a pile a km deep.

Hierarchy [ 2018, games, gaming, hardware, ramble ]
Classified [ , ]
Feedback [Leave a comment ]

Time Check

It’s not quite 8pm. I worked from home today because the kids were here for most of my workday. We had gone up to VT this weekend for my Mom’s birthday party. It was a mixed bag but I was a mess. My Mom apparently didn’t give anyone a heads-up so it was reintroducing myself a few times and having her do it fairly graciously (for her) a few. It was tough regardless and saw what I thought I expected a few times where it was not. One of my aunts who I completely expected to snub me did, but because she didn’t really know where she was or who everyone was because she’s mostly gone to dementia. So overall it was ok. The name was almost always right, but it was the pronouns. Oh the dreaded pronouns!

I keep thinking it’s my voice for most people, but family is a whole other ball o wax. I really wish i could just disconnect myself from all of them. The kids are wonderful though (my sister’s kids) and I’m actually getting along with my sister now. We had a spat where she wasn’t talking to me and I wasn’t in any hurry to talk to her so it went on… then my other sister died and we kind of just put it to bed. My family never talks about things. We just act polite and then my mom talks behind everyone’s back.

So it was stressful, and took 2 big naps on Saturday and Sunday. I lost my temper quite a few times on Sunday and even today. I yelled at A because she threw a tantrum and started whining that she said 2 waffles when I gave her 1. I specifically remembered her saying 1 right next to me as I tried to pry some answers from them while they were watching TV. In-between trying to be active on work via VPN. I always regret yelling, and it seems so foolish. The oven was still on, why not just acknowledge the misunderstanding and put another in? I did once she stormed upstairs. I was angry with a (butter) knife in my hand. I lunged at a box on the counter in my rage and that damn near scared me. I don’t want to scare them. I hated when my parents got angry and I need to show them that yelling and screaming and acting out solves nothing, everyone loses.

So once I finished work I watched a few shows and I was going to come upstairs and play some games in the office when I realized I was feeling super anxious and sick to my stomach. It’s the medication, since upping the dose again I realize I don’t feel hungry – it just feels like anxiety in my stomach instead. I need to be able to identify when I should be eating food in order to keep it in check.

A friend posted today that writing is the only time she feels sane, but it’s often so difficult to do. I agree wholeheartedly as typing down my thoughts does wonder to unwind the psyche but I never seem to take the time to do it.

I’m worrying about money again. I tried to downgrade my cable stuff but apparently removing the extra TV channels, phone, and netflix would cost me $10 extra a month if I kept DVR and even then without it I’d be down to breaking even with my current price, though I’m sure I’d save some on the “back-end” in fees and taxes. Netflix saved us on the drive, it was one of the first times I just went full tilt movies both ways. I used the data plan on the ipad because of course I didn’t think ahead and downloaded 4 movies at about 380mb a piece. It’s supposed to be unlimited and unthrottled even after 2g but it certainly acted like it used to when t-mo started throttling the connection.

Hierarchy [ 2018, consumerism, family, lament, status ]
Classified [ , , ]
Feedback [Leave a comment ]

Flashback: Found Drug Pamphlet

Growing up in the 80s, even the 90s, you’d be no stranger to anti-drug propaganda. Filled with embellishments, hyperbole, and straight up lies intended to make drugs a feared and binary topic.

If you haven’t seen these, you might be surprised, even amused. In the interest of extending the internet’s preservation of history as it was, not as it’s retold I wanted to make it available.

So here’s your snapshot into 1989, reprinted from an article in Boys Life (Boy Scouts of America monthly periodical) as a handout to cub scouts.

Attached 8mb PDF from original, includes 8 y/o diligent (and not so) pencil edits.

Hierarchy [ Uncategorized ]
Feedback [Leave a comment ]

Little Bits

I missed my meds last night so I took it this morning after building giant bed assembly for the office. Double decker bed over desk. Many parts, some heavy. The meds make me sleepy which is why I normally take them at night. I missed my psych appt. They charge me money for a bit call no show. I slept right through it.

I woke up, took a bath due to lack of shower curtain. I used my Sears credits for curtain rod that arches outward + a cute curtain. I also assembled much of the house. This may be my way of trying to make it up to myself, to be productive despite missing the appt, the counter-productive.

The living room is comming together, craft desk set up, kitchen a little more, general tidyness. I drank cola though, so between nap and caffeine I’m still awake at 4:30 with “class” at 9:30. Considered not sleeping but that’d be even write in the long run.

Maybe tomorrow I can head to the home store, get she nuts n washers for the kitchen table to attach the legs. Pretty sure I threw out the old hardware not knowing what it was for when packing up the apt.

Pick up server rails for mounting… Old router now in place, wink hub set up… Feels like things are coming together, need to get a better grip on myself, do the needful and not miss appointments.

Hierarchy [ Uncategorized ]
Feedback [Leave a comment ]

Adventures in Adulting (.cont)

I have rented a 2nd floor apartment in a house in a bad neighborhood.

I have been robbed. I took measures which prevented me from being cleaned out the following day until I could move out to a safe location.

I moved into someone’s shared floor house which caused them to be evicted.

I texted a third floor apartment with that same person who moved in with the landlord and left it mostly empty.

I have rented a half house, 3 floor, 5 bedrooms and attempted to manage it.

I moved in with a girlfriend temporarily when that situation turned sour.

I moved in with a girlfriend to a 2nd floor apartment in a nice neighborhood.

I purchased a home with my soon to be wife in the same neighborhood. We raised children. There were difficult times.

I moved into a boutique apartment in the city. I paid too much.

I have purchased a condo. My first, on my own. They’re is some work to be done.

Hierarchy [ Uncategorized ]
Feedback [Leave a comment ]

Vudu You Ought To Check Out (free)

As Walmart creeps ever closer to challenging Netflix’s streaming rule they’ve added free offerings of some older movies with ads. HDX (1080p 5.1) quality… 0 content edits.

They’re no referrals anymore so I won’t bother linking to them here.

Pluto Nash

I had never seen this one before. It was one of those movie covers that just looks pain dumb but was pleasantly surprised. 4 solid-ass stars. Costume design was incredible! They’ve created ‘little America’ on the moon and there’s some gambling hubub. Memorable characters, forgettable tropes.

Death to Smoochy

Also 4 stars, a very different set of starts, however. I had seen this one before but definitely didn’t remember it beyond a fleeting trailer level of detail.

Dark comedy, some top notch Robin Williams, even Ed Norton, Danny Devito… the list goes on. Some unique characters in that one too. It brought up some of the really interesting social commentary of the time re: sexual identity, along with a natzi set-up reaction I wish could garner the same revulsion today as it did back in 99. I could never have imagined a time where the strong moral messages of American History X, Shindlers List, etc… could possibly give way to a modern Charlottesville.

Hierarchy [ Uncategorized ]
Feedback [Leave a comment ]

Searching

I’m always searching for something.

Today that is cheaper rent. I am looking at a lesser building because I need to do something. I’d like another bedroom for the kids. If that can be cheaper, well that’s cool too.

I’m searching romantically. I wouldn’t mind being in an actual relationship. I want a go-to person to hang with. Someone local, someone low drama, preferably attracted to me, and I to them. Maybe I’m to much drama for a relationship, I mostly want a friend. Other needs are here and far between, and I’ve sufficiently got that down.

I’m searching for motivation. I want my drive back. I had a desire to learn, to create, and a purpose.

I’m searching for myself. I can be me privately, even publicly, but never comfortably.

I’m searching for my calm. I am always nervous, worried, and on edge. I’ve been running away for this reason. I need to stop, turn around and face this fear.

Hierarchy [ Uncategorized ]
Feedback [Leave a comment ]

Enter the Cray(cray)

Nothing

Trying to think about why I am sad. I feel like there are layers of sadness right now.

I just spent the weekend with my kids. I was later than I wanted getting up. I was supposed to do more than I did before picking them up. I felt like I needed more time with myself. I also felt bad that I didn’t just go ahead and take them Friday night too. They had it off so they could have come early.

The plan was to have my friend come over and hang out. No real purpose, just general hanging. I had forgotten about a happy hour with a girl from Tinder I’d been out with one other time. I hit my friend back with a message while I was there, she didn’t want to “intrude” but I was really leaving soon, knowing that the girl I was with needed to get back home and it was a ways away. She brought a friend and it was cool to be part of a group. I was a little lost for words a couple times, wasn’t really feeling like eating the super rich food there, and definitely not being able to pay for it. I had 2 happy hour drinks and called it at that for the night.

I was called by someone else in the middle who had already sent me money for an N64 I had listed for sale. They were a past co-worker, so left to be able to meet up with them.

So I said goodbye to the happy hour, walked back, sent my first friend a message that I was home so she could plan accordingly. I didn’t hear back from her for the rest of the night. I did the handoff with the N64, and spent my remaining waking hours watching Orange is the New Black for the rest of the night. I’m nearing the end of the series.

—-

That doesn’t really explain my sadness.
It is part loneliness, part disappointment in my self
The things I beat myself up over are mostly recent, but past disappointments compound the feelings when I think about it too much. Part of it is worry, the upcoming operation, being out of work and alone while healing, my financial situation. I come back to the loneliness. That causes the ache in my stomach. The knot that resonates up to my shoulders and spreads to each of my eyes causing them to well up yet again. I’ve come a long way in a year. I’ve gotten so much done with my life, and yet nothing all at once. I’ve done nothing with my job, gained no ground and even been a disappointment there as well. I want to do my best and I worry I’m no good anymore. I worry maybe it’s the medication messing up my brain, but it’s the timeout I’ve been taking the past 6 months or so. I’ve tried to get as far from this feeling as I can and it remains, waiting, when I don’t have something occupying me it surfaces. All the time. It’s constant, I can’t even really work through it. It’s just a general sad situation I can not change. I have friends, old friends I don’t speak to enough. I have family, and often speaking with them doesn’t make me feel great so I tend to avoid them too, which also makes me sad. I have new friends I’m trying to make all the time. I’m looking for people to be close, in person. People whom it wouldn’t be out of the question to hang out and do nothing because it’s no extra effort to be with them than without them. Whatever is missing, it’s never enough. I feel like I’m letting someone down. I feel like I’m letting everyone down. I feel like I’m letting myself down. I can’t just be, and do nothing to change, nothing to improve. I can’t study, I can’t gain skills, am I too far gone?

I’m older, why can’t I get wiser? I feel like a kid. A kid who has no idea how to do things and can’t remember how to do what I am supposed to do.

I just yelled at my cat. She tried to get up on my lap and of course scratched my leg and pulled a thread of my jeans. I can’t wear a goddamn thing without her fucking it up with one claw, like she fucking does it on purpose. I have to change instantly when I get home or else the little fuck will pull a thread right in the middle. Little shit, and that made me angry enough to start punching my thigh where she pulled the thread and yell at her. She just wanted to say hi, she can’t possibly be plotting to destroy my clothing, but this is where my mind goes. I don’t know what to think sometimes, what to trust. Why does my brain do this to myself? Why do I do this to myself? It used to be that putting my feelings out would help, would alleviate something in me by taking them from inside and putting them outside and now I just feel like this is some crazy ass rambling by a clearly unstable person.

I don’t’ think I’ll ever figure it out, it’s never going to get easier, so what do I do? Why do it? I’m just feeling so lost, so lonely, and so unsure and afraid of the unknown.

Hierarchy [ 2018, lament, status ]
Classified [ , , , , ]
Feedback [Leave a comment ]

Robot Maintenance

We’re getting to the point that someone has to start fixing the robots. I had an older model vacuum robot that recently ran into some issues.

I unlocked it’s secrets and I’m confident I could do it again. The model in question was NeatO brand. From a repair perspective it looks slicker than the roomba, though it too had its idiosyncrasies.

this particular issue was that the brush was stuck, I clean it regularly so needed to go deeper.

I unhooked some super wirey fur from the axle and put it back together… 4 times over 2 days but I figured out how to put it back so the front bumper, which detects collisions didn’t fail diagnostics.

I will fix your robots.

Hierarchy [ Uncategorized ]
Feedback [Leave a comment ]

Geeky Stuff

I am ridding my server of NFS. I had a few hard drives that started out in the desktop that I moved to the server holder… thing. I am not being coy, as it’s no rack, it’s not a shelf, not a table… it’s on a thing, heating my apartment by defeating the draft from my metallic framed windows. Oh the ellipsis ! I trail off in speech, like a punctuation? literally. huh.

Right, geeky stuff. So you’ve got this hard drive which is NFS and you want it to be in EXT4 (right? any reason to use 3? c’mon mon!) so you move the files, do the needful, and… this is actually to help my ridiculous file system OCD. The directories need to line up, the drives should be named the same as the mount points and things are neat and maybe I can do something with dynamic redundancy — use all the space as a big blob – with parity! All the bits, all the bytes, the whole digitaco.

oh! also… my server is back up. That means things like nes libraries.

Hierarchy [ Uncategorized ]
Feedback [Leave a comment ]

The World How It Is

I haven’t looked at this in a while. It pains me to see how hard I was trying. I was appealing to what I felt was my demographic rather than developing one based on who I am. I was still in the character frame of mind.

Now I have never felt more like myself. Not since high school. I had no idea I couldn’t just be me… until I proved how that wasn’t going to get me anywhere. It was junior year of high school psychology class that I got the idea. We needed an end of year project and I wanted nothing more than to impress my teacher, a young 20s woman who exuded honesty, who seemed to have made it through her adolescence into what I perceived to be a solid adult who was confident, comfortable, and courageous.

I had chosen to be ‘goth’ for the past couple years. Somewhere in 9th grade(?) Possibly sooner… Dyed my hair black, grew it past my ears, wore what band shirts I could find. I think it started with black jeans, boots, a chain wallet. I loved breaking the expectations, shattering the small town quiet with my wild habits (i say this all with caramelized sarcasm and liberal air quotes). I had no such disillusions and there was nothing all that revolutionary about me other than I was obviously not like other people.

I never hurt anyone, I never bothered anyone. Just being was enough for some people, though. They couldn’t stand it, it irked their sensibilies or dangled the prospect of showing their toughness. Whatever the reason (and I would so love to get an answer from at least one of them some day) they bullied me constantly. Before school, at my locker, in the hall, in the bathroom, even in class in hushed tones. Threats, taunts, insults and insinuations: years worth. I rode the bus with headphones, eventually sat in front. I would stick to the particular lunch table, be slow in the locker room, stay out of the bathroom unless during class… These were my coping methods. My friends, all knowing we were ok and each believing in each other, were the only thing that got me through.

More to come…

Hierarchy [ 2017, school ]
Classified [ , ]
Feedback [Leave a comment ]

A new era

Much has changed since April. I hope to expand the type of content… Actually creating content.

My twitch is relatively active as is YouTube and especially Twitter. Making that a more visible component is one of my goals.

I hope you’ll stay tuned for dinner exciting developments °hint hint°

Hierarchy [ Uncategorized ]
Feedback [Leave a comment ]

Carmageddon: MAX Damage

Well this was a bonus, really. They took the scaled-down version for consoles and released it for PC as well. It really is designed to obfuscate, blur, and scale down… down… down. It’s a huge step down from Carmageddon: Reincarnation…

Hierarchy [ Uncategorized ]
Feedback [Leave a comment ]

Past Time

Oblivion, Elder Scrolls IV came out 11 years ago. I remember what I was doing, I remember my life at the time.


My wife and I were not married yet, we were living in a second floor apartment 1 street over from our current house.  It was a time without kids. She had a part time job and school, I had a good 5 years or so in with my current company.  We had two cats, but really that was the extent of our responsibility.  I had my dream car, and had yet to modify it too much.  It seemed like everything was so delightfully simple.  We knew we had growing up to do, but neither of us knew how much.

I remember buying the deluxe edition. It came with a leather book with info, notes and world information, an atlas for a virtual world. It also came with a coin with the emperor’s face embossed and the dragon symbol on the back.  I got into that world and it was amazing.  The grass and trees, the world seemed alive and it was dripping with lore.

Much of IV set the stage for V and even ESO.  It established the nines, Oblivion, and the Dramora (?) I couldn’t run it max at first, back when that was the expectation.  It would mature and my computer would upgrade and it was a fine day when I would realize maximum draw distance.

It helps me to remember things like that. It is grounding, humbling, and I realize how much life has passed. The passage of not just the time, but of the living.

Hierarchy [ 2017, games, gaming, graphics, lament, nostalgia ]
Classified [ , , , ]
Feedback [Leave a comment ]

New wearable measures blood alcohol levels

It uses blood alcohol levels in y your skin, so it’s a constant stream of data but only sent to the phone via Bluetooth when accessed.
https://www.imzy.com/syntheticx/post/a_wearable_that_tracks_how_drunk_you_are_shared_fr

Hierarchy [ Uncategorized ]
Feedback [Leave a comment ]

Gameplay Video: Battlefield 1

Check out this video “#ExtraLife2016 Playing for Baystate with #SpringfieldMAGuild !” http://www.twitch.tv/serinitism/v/104253868?sr=a&t=100

Proper embed is on its way.

I played this session with the Novint Falcon, Hardcore mode, 4k => 1080p/60

What’s a Falcon?

This:


like a robot gun, extension of your arm, aka “buttah”

Hierarchy [ Uncategorized ]
Classified [ ]
Feedback [Leave a comment ]

Titanfall 2

I would put this game into a bad timing pocket.  It may not see the exposure it deserves.  I may need to check out the first one just to know for sure but it feels better, plays better, certainly looks better. At least the rocks and storage units look good, and all the post processing, it’s like a might and magic game with all the energy; the air buzzing and swirling and sizzling, crackling with energy bolts.  The nature, not so much but you’re not really looking at the trees, anyway.

Further analysis and gameplay to come. Off-loading brain packets. Just filling ideas for later.

Hierarchy [ Uncategorized ]
Feedback [Leave a comment ]

TV – Mr Robot Season 2

I finished it. I’m a bit delayed, actually quite a bit delayed, but glad I could finish it within a few days.  These cliff hangers would really wear on me.

It almost takes too much license.  There is a quote in an episode later on to Darlene that sums up the feel of the season, nicely:

“you keep pretending you know what you’re doing, like it’s all part of your master plan”

It’s so disjointed at this point, it’s broken off so far from where the character was in S1. It’s his journey, he changes how he sees himself, how he sees reality… but I think they may have lost some people.  I’ve lost my interest in the old characters, many of their idiosyncrasies which seemed so important at the time have dissolved into nothing.  My investment has been realized and replaced with new characters.  I’m interested to a point but I feel let down. S1 finale was so incredible, I was expecting so much, too much, more than it delivered.

Hierarchy [ Uncategorized ]
Feedback [Leave a comment ]

TV – Fargo

I watched the first episode and I’m confused.  It’s awesome, but the whole time I’m thinking about the intro title; this is all true, it happened in MN in 2006.  Fargo the movie is older than that.  The 1995 burnt umber Siena, that’s stuck in my brain.

Also comparing to the movie the characters are a bit switched around but they’re the same personalities, otherwise.  I’m already wondering what is going to happen with the rest of it.

Hierarchy [ Uncategorized ]
Feedback [Leave a comment ]

Sale sale sale!

So far everything has been a sale, all the time. There are presales and week sales and VIP sales, even when things aren’t actually on sale (looking at you, Amazon).

Best deal on games appears to be with Titanfall 2. A badly timed release, it is apparently done quite well and under reviewed only for how a game which took the feedback from the first and really addressed the problematic issues. I never had much fun with the first, but boy the second looks good in 4K. 39 but an extra $8 off with promo code TITAN20. You could also go to Amazon and it is $29 straight off.

Other than that no huge surprises. Any good AAA title from the past 2 years is going to run you about $30 to $40.

Fallout 4 should be $10 at various outlets if you don’t have it yet and $29 is the going price for the season pass. I am still struggling with it as I don’t have much needed for a fun park but the island one looks like it might be worth a look.

You can also get some straight up legit pricing at GreenManGaming.com/SyntheticX

Hierarchy [ Uncategorized ]
Feedback [Leave a comment ]

Logic: Power Series vs Pro Series

pro

When I’m stressed, I hit the nicotine. I’ve never been a smoker since my lungs can’t stand it. I’ve also used snus on occation but the potential mouth/tooth rot potential for it scares me. I won’t say vaporizing is harmless, as cigarettes were harmless for a long long time. Perhaps sometime in the future we’ll find all the propolol-glycol we were putting into our lungs had a hidden impact. Out of all the ways to get a bit of calm-down in the day I feel it’s one of the least harmful. <- quoted for posterity, right there.

I’ve been using logic power series since I tried their throw-away at least 3 years ago or so. Of course when it was done I ripped it apart to see how it was made. It felt like a cigarette, could be used like a cigarette, held the same, stowed much more safely and once I got the rechargeable one it seemed like a good bet.

I went through a time way back when I was using them all the time. The area of my car was littered with spent cartridges in much the same way Tom Cruise has his desk littered with spent inhalers in Minority Report. Now a days it’s few and far-between but it’s helpful to move on with my life when I feel like everything is going to fall apart and is an excellent alternative to tearing all the nail and skin from my fingertips!

logic-ecigs-power-series

In case you’re not familiar, the power normally comes with a battery (3″), charger (1″) and two cartridges (1″) to start. The battery screws onto the charger, and it plugs into a usb to recharge, which takes about 2 hours. The cartridges used to come in 5 packs for about $20. If you smoked it constantly you could get about a day out of a single one. That’s a lot of nicotine in a day, especially if they were the + which has 1.8% nicotine over the usual 1%.

The power retails for $19.99 with the charger and 2 carts, so you’re spending about $10 on the unit itself. Lately I can’t even find the 5 packs of carts, it’s only 3 for $11 – not horrible, but you trade having to plop down a whole $20 for paying slightly more. Given the convenience, it’s a nice to have.

The Pro is relatively new. It retails for $24.99 with charger and I got 5 carts with it. It’s a sampler; 2 regular tobacco, 1 regular menthol, a 1.8% tobacco and 1.8% menthol come in the package. It’s significantly bigger and the carts are almost little vials. You can easily see all the “juice” though I hate calling it that, oil sounds worse.

Inside the power series carts you’ll find soaked synthetic fiber. It looks like cotton, pulls apart like plastic but is strictly a vessel for holding the liquid without having it spill all over. When it is heated, the vapor leaves the material. If you leave it out for too long, or when it’s used all the material inside will be dry.

There is a definite advantage in the carts for the pro, they seem more efficient, look to contain more and address one of the flaws of the power series – you know when you’re out. You can never quite be sure with the soaked material as you can leave it, it will condense a little and you might get an extra drag or two before the death puff. Remember that cotton like material? Really bad when it heats up without any liquid in it. It’s like sucking burnt hair into your lungs. I learned long ago I’d rather lose the last few drags than to take the chance on the death puff.

I’ve only used the pro for a day or so now, and though there are some advantages, I don’t think it’s for me. It’s a nice solid aluminum so it’s not overly heavy, but it’s big. With the svelte size of the power, the pro feels like a bong. It hits like one too. You get an unrestricted plume of vapor, which you know is both welcome and dangerous.

I also don’t think I could get away with it at my desk. Not only am I more apt to take a huge drag, it’s also less discrete. The power series is black and the size of a pen. It could easily be mistaken for a pen when the blue light at the end isn’t on, being actively dragged.

I don’t get any flack currently, but this things just too much. I like the idea, but it needs to be smaller. Get these design of carts into the size and design of the power and I’m hooked.

Hierarchy [ 2016, consumerism, technology ]
Classified [ , , , ]
Feedback [Leave a comment ]

1996 – The Year Alternative Rock Died a Messy, Forgettable Death

Some phenomenal hindsight of grunge, alternative rock, and how it became the very thing it stood against. I remember this year vividly. I was 15, at the height of my angst, and this caused me not only to re-live the period but it also provided a unique subtext I was completely oblivious to.

On the radio, Goo Goo Dolls’ “Name” bled into Tonic’s “If You Could Only See” into Dishwalla’s “Counting Blue Cars” into The Verve Pipe’s “The Freshmen” into Matchbox Twenty’s “Push” in a watery bouillabaisse of quiet-loud-quiet song structures and sad-bro earnestness.

This has to be the most fun I’ve ever had while reading a musical article. It’s seamlessly written and presented like a Family Guy episode, providing example after example of it’s sharp tongued posthumous observations, told in the best way possible, by the subjects themselves.

[AVClub]: Read More…

Hierarchy [ 2016, commentary, electronic, lament, media, music, nostalgia, pop, rock, songs ]
Classified [ , , , , , ]
Feedback [Leave a comment ]

Review: The Crew

THECREW_Wallpaper_1920x1080_254841This may be a bit delayed for some, but sales made this possible at all. I had no interest in it from the start. It didn’t look right and my gut told me no. My gut was right. It is a bad, bad game. It controls like ridge racer meets… a wall.

Originally posted Aug 1st. It is now roughly a month and a week later and I’ve played it again. See bottom for updates!

Point of note: I didn’t find the e-brake in my first run through. I was using the controller, tried X, B, and A is apparently nitro. LB is look-behind and RB is change view. No e-brake where it should be. I didn’t try Y, but why? It would make no sense for it to be Y, so I didn’t even try.

I had “assists” on hardcore, but it didn’t matter. It was socks on linoleum the whole way. You can brake for a corner, or you can just crash through. You will probably still get there before any of the other cars, even when crashing into every wall.

Ok, so I’ll start out with the things I was impressed pleased surprised by:

  • In-Car View, Interior Detail
  • Interior Customization
  • Car Selection

Now the things I had a problem with:

  • Driving “feel” aka Control
  • Exterior Detail of Car Models
  • Story
  • Missions
  • Character Animations
  • Dialogue
  • Initial Car Selection

I would say I didn’t like the graphics overall, but it was really the exterior car detail. They’d show the wheel doing a burnout and the shock was just a squiggly line. The streets were half wet looking all over the place.  The overall scenery was simple and cold.  The graphic style wasn’t even arcade, it was attempting to be realistic but it wasn’t done well. I would put it on par with the open world driving of Driver: Parallel Lines. To put it simply, it felt dated.

I’m surprised they paid so much attention to the interior detail when they really should have focused on the car models. There’s no physics to it at all, you either are sliding or you are glued to the road. No in between and it’s hard to tell when you’ve actually lost traction. Even with all the assists off, it was incredibly difficult to actually get into a slide I couldn’t steer out of. Normally that ended with a wall which for the initial car you start out the prologue with meant actual smushed damage but for the replacement bumpers on the Nissan Z I was driving after… a few minor scratches.

There was so much that didn’t feel right about it and without even a plot to save it. The story was horrible, cringeworthy even for a cheap video game but this was not originally a cheap video game. I paid $10 for the main game, and $4.90 for the Season Pass/Wild Run. It was better than Crash Time II but not by much.

In what other game can you choose a truck? Dirt racing? I haven’t even gotten to any of that. I’m not sure I will even play it again. There is no joy in it, though maybe if I find an e-brake it might help me not hit the wall so much. Braking though, regular left trigger braking… I’m actually shaking my head thinking about it.

Heads up on the graphics front too… it’s locked @ 60fps. I was running it at 4k, on 1 card. That was because SLI makes it crash. It would be SO much better at 120fps, that might help it a little.

So I am writing this to save you the $15. “Steer” clear of this crew unless you have nothing else to play.  And even then… have you heard about this pokemon go thing?  If this was originally supposed to go up against NFS Most Wanted (2015) it doesn’t just pale in comparison, it’s damn near transparent.

** update 9/11/2016 **

It’s not often that a game that has been out for over a year gets better. I have to say that this game got better. Upgraded graphics was one of the first banners that greeted me when I logged in. Once I actually attempted to start racing I was surprised again that it was not crashing! They seem to have fixed the SLI limitation as well. I had put in a ticket from my first time, hadn’t really been aware of an update but it had one and that was one of the major things fixed. It also looks decidedly better. I have not researched exactly what they changed (more objects, better models, higher quality textures?) but it looks better to me. They’ve also added rain (I suppose to explain why the roads are so wet).

I found E brake, it’s X on MS-brand controllers but that hasn’t really changed the way the game handles. It’s an arcade driver through and through but this time I found a few more tidbits that I have not really seen in other racing games. The only other “open world” game(s) that I can really compare this to is Need For Speed. You’d get the same general challenges that you had to drive to and do, normally races and you have that here but they are varied. It’s not all races, it’s not all with your car. I was driving a truck off the road in a lifted Porsche as one of them. You also get “fast travel” which is nice when you just need to get to somewhere you’ve already been but the initial trip down a new road needs to be driven.

I decided to give it another shot when I saw a writeup in pcgamer this evening where they mentioned that it would be free for the Ubisoft Monthly as part of their 30 year anniversary. Starting 9/14 you can pick this up yourself. If you fire up their launcher “UPlay” in the next few days you can still pick up a copy of Rayman. They said they’re going to offer The Crew because it’s notable in that it’s their first real open world game, and I’m guessing that’s not just open world racing game.

One of the things that broke up the monotony driving 30 virtual miles across a scaled down US map was the challenges along the way. You get everything from gates, slaloms, speed challenges, oncoming (wrong side) driving and other things which you’ll be given one after another if you hold the right Dpad to activate the “stunts” mode. I did that for a little while too.

Having something to do while you’re still going somewhere to do something else is nice, it makes the time go by, and gives you a chance to pick up some additional points/money, even parts to better your car if you do well enough. A lot of them I didn’t even finish, I missed too many gates as my Nissan Z is rather slippery and once it starts sliding you can really only let off the gas to get it back in line.

All told, they’ve improved it. It’s still an arcade driver, but it looks better and whether these items are the season pass or the wild run expansion I am not sure. I was able to pick up the season pass (which appears to be all cars I am purposely not using yet) for $9.99 on amazon and then got the wild run expansion for less than $10 on G2A so all told I’ve spent $25 on the whole lot, and given the amusement it’s already given me once I gave it another shot… we’ll see if it pans out. I haven’t even gotten to the wild run stuff yet, but maybe the offroad crash one was from that pack? In any case I’m able to drive everything from a mini to some classic muscle cars, to an Escalade. Trucks in racing games are few and far between as I mentioned previously.

It’s novel enough that I gave it a second chance.
Once you get it free in a few days you can let me know what you think!

Hierarchy [ 2016, 4K, games, racing, review, SLi ]
Classified [ , , , , ]
Feedback [1 Comment ]