Saturday, December 22, 2012

Revival

I recently read a post of mine that I wrote a couple months ago.  It made me laugh.  Oh how things can change in a few months.
It made me sad though, too.  Not the post itself, but the fact that I haven't blogged here in a really long time.
Today is my Saturday to work.  And by "work," I mean stand at the desk and make sure it doesn't float to the ceiling.  It has a tendency to do that.  It's a problem.
To keep myself occupied, I often look for parts and accessories for my car, as any self respecting car guy would do.  Into the search bar, I typed, "2004 Honda Accord Coupe V6 6-Speed."  To my surprise, my own review of my car was the 8th result on the list.  A few days ago, I searched for "2004 Honda Accord Coupe V6 performance," and my review was on the first page.  I don't remember what place it was in.
This made me realize that we really have something good with this blog.  We have got some great writers, and some genuinely good material.  Some of the shit we post is laugh-out-loud hilarious too.
So this is a follow-up to "Post;" a random assortment of the many tangential vectors of thought that continually bounce around in my head like a blaster bolt in a magnetically sealed Death Star garbage masher.
How the hell did a Dianoga get into the garbage masher on a large, spherical space station anyway?
In the last "Post," I was dealing with problems with my then girlfriend.  Thank God that is over.  Whew.  I seem to write better when I'm angry, though.
That said, what a difference a few months makes!  Though situations in my life haven't changed much, I don't ever remember being this happy and content.  And right about the time I started feeling better, an amazing woman came out of fkn nowhere and knocked me head over heels.
But that's enough sap.  Shouldn't that figure of speech be "heels over head"?  I mean I'm sitting down right now, and my head is definitely over my heels.
Ok who am I kidding?  A large portion of the reason I made this post was to brag about the fact that I have a hot new girlfriend.  And the beauty of it is that I was not expecting it to happen like this.  I was finally starting to find peace and contentment in life on my own, and she came along.  Then my life hit VTEC.  Now it's OVER 9000!!!!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Consoles And PCs

While this post is mostly inspired by what I am hearing about the launch of the WiiU, it really extends to all consoles these days so anyways.

The game.

I was born in 1982, I will be 30 in December.  I have owned many, many Nintendo systems.  I will likely own a WiiU at some point because I just think it is all sorts of cool but I am reading online about how the system has to receive a patch as soon as you get it home.  Wut?  What happened that made it so our consoles leave the factory imperfect?  My Super Nintendo never needed a patch.  But I figured out the problem pretty darn fast.  It's that our consoles want to be computers.

This doesn't work for me.  For me, consoles are consoles and PCs are PCs.  They don't compete, they don't interact.  They shouldn't do either of those things either.  When a console tries to be a PC, it does it poorly and you wish it was a computer (see The Sims).  When a PC tries to be a console, it does it poorly and you wish it was a console (see EVERY FUCKING RACING GAME).  But then there's this thing called the Internet that console makers really wanted to take advantage of, so they started building their consoles like computers.
Here's the problem, the Internet is the realm of the PC.  It always has been, it always will be.  Consoles just suck when they get on the Internet.  It makes game publishers sloppy and makes them force shitty ways for consoles to make use of the stupid Internet.  Not only that, when you're a user like me that doesn't take their consoles on the Internet, you end up alienating those users.  Online functionality for me seems like this magical realm until I actually get on it and realize that consoles just don't belong on the Internet and those that have their consoles on the Internet are quite depraved.  Jokes about 12 year olds telling people on the Internet to fuck their mothers exist for a reason.  We have people levelling up for killing people with machine guns so they can buy hats.  We have games that get released with few changes from their predicessor just to add more multiplayer functionality.  Fucking Minecraft.
I know this isn't anything new, but when I heard that the WiiU is basically hinging everything on online use I threw up.  I am one of those people that when I buy something, I don't really expect it to change unless I continue to pay for it.  When I buy a game, I expect the game will stay that way unless I buy a different game.  That isn't the way it is anymore.  But even further, I've gone so far to not purchase games because I knew that I would have to get "DLC" in order to make use of it.  NO!  NONONONONONONONONONONONONONONO!  It still pisses me off that I don't have all of the stuff I paid for on my Forza 4 disk because I haven't connected to the Internet.  How fucking fair is that?!  You included a second disk with the damn game, why do I have to download even more shit!?
So call me old, but I think that building games with full intent of patching them or only to add DLC later is a huge cop out.  The greatest games in history didn't need patches, why do today's?  Because they can.  Enough.  Those of us that don't have broadband Internet coming out of our ass would really like to have our consoles back.

Thank you.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Short Game Review: Pokemon Black 2

This post started out differently but I didn't finish it before I actually played the game so now I'm going to write a review.  I've had about five hours play time on Black 2 at this point and managed to get a couple of badges so far and the verdict is that Black 2 feels a lot like Black and that's a good thing.

The battle mechanics are essentially the same as they were except the selection of Pokemon is a lot different.  In fact, the selection reminds me a lot of SoulSilver.  I started with Oshawott and I have a Pidove but those are the only two Pokemon in my group right now from Generation 5.  There are a lot of Generation 1 and 2 Pokemon in the first areas to encounter.  Playing the game some more reminds me a lot of SoulSilver.

One thing that is definitely missing is challenge.  The first three gyms that I have worked through have been pretty darn easy.  Challenging the first gym was the biggest challenge at this point because I did not have a type advantage and there was no really good place to level up at.  The other two gym leaders had major type disadvantages.  The "Poison" gym leader was a joke and fell to a Magnemite that was 4 levels lower.  Sonicboom to death.  The "Bug" gym leader had Swadloon and Leavanny which has 4x damage from Fire which made them one shots to my Growlithe.  I've also noticed lots of chances to have Pokemon healed in large areas to prevent the need for lots of potions or running back and forth between the Pokemon Center.  But these things really aren't new, Pokemon Black was very easy on the player as well, reserving the challenge for the parts of the game after the game.  You lost the game.  For this reason, I hesitate to say "Pokemon Black 2 is easy" because it very well could be difficult by the end of the game and I could be over grinding and making my Pokemon higher levels than they need to be.  I am also blessed to be getting Pokemon that I really like having.

But it is kind of fun experiencing the game again with slightly different characters and areas and the music is fantastic.  While that might sound kind of funny since the music is very similar to the previous game, the existing pieces were touched up and the new pieces are great for a portable.  Giving every trainer an animated intro was an excellent touch and the game retains the speed of generation 5.  Looking closely at some of the Pokemon, their animations are different, at least the starting Pokemon.

Now that I have finished it, I was shocked by how much easier it was.  The game seems to force you to have higher level Pokemon by the end so when the Pokemon jump to the 60s in the post-game, your Pokemon are already there.  I've started collecting the wide range of legendaries available and have experimented with the Pokemon World Tournament and I've been very challenged.  I am enjoying it.

The verdict?  The game isn't as good as Pokemon Black because Pokemon Black exists.  If this had been the first game in the series, I would have been extremely satisfied with it.  Because I've already put so much effort into Black, this one doesn't feel quite as good.  And that is sad.

Youtube Poop

Sorry for the long delay in writing, I just haven't cared for a while.

Youtube Poop is one of the top 10 things ever created by man.  If you have not seen one, you are missing out.  The premise behind a Youtube Poop is to take something and use video editing techniques to make it dirty.  For example, making Spongebob kill people or Twilight Sparkle have sex with Spike.  Like most things on Youtube, there are good ones and there are bad ones but lately technology has improved to the point where poopers are creating some incredibly high quality videos.

Most people looking for Poops the first time will find them made from footage of old Mario and Zelda CD-I games for the Phillips Laserdisk.  The games were incredibly lame and the footage even worse but these videos are present in nearly all early poops and gave rise to the memes "My boy", "All Toasters Toast Toast", and "I wonder what's for dinner".  The Mario animated series are also topics of many early poops and gave rise to some of the early speech twisting resulting in Mario saying "Shit".  Today however, Youtube Poops have gotten incredibly advanced and moved on to essentially all subjects.  Children's television is the biggest target with poops of Spongebob, My Little Pony and iCarly being widespread.

The Crap Door - Trololol'd
Possibly the best Youtube Poop ever made and illustrates all of the elements of Youtube Poop.

Youtube Poop, like many types of videos, has stylistic elements that are typical to the genre.  Poops rarely use all of the elements but they easy enough to recognize after watching a few good ones.

Speech Twisting - Early poops straight swapped audio from other things onto video to make it appear that characters were saying something they were not.  However, more current poops actually twist multiple syllables together to create new words that the character appears to be saying in their own voice, usually swear words (As shown in the above video when the narrator says "overworked servant of the fucking thing upstairs).  This element creates hilarity because we have a character swearing when he shouldn't.  The Crap Door uses a lot of speech substitution as well like when the skull says "Oh god, it's a book of PORN, you don't want to fap with that sort of thing."  Using speech twisting the editor has managed to make the video tell a completely different story than it should have.  In one of my favorite MLP poops the author remixes some speech in the opening sequence to make it sound like Twilight Sparkle says "I used to suck my brother's meat.  Oh shit it's Mr. Clean."  I die every time.

Repetition - Obnoxious repeating is a very common element of Youtube Poops.  Some poops overuse this element to the point of annoyance but the video above does it perfectly multiple times as shown when the character Berk is looking through stuff and picks up the book of PORN multiple times, the crap door squishes the spider many times and Berk runs down the hall over and over.  Repetition is an important comedic element but it is also one that bad poops abuse badly.

Swearing - All good poops have swearing, they just aren't as funny otherwise.  How real the swearing sounds makes a really big difference and whether or not it's in the character's actual voice.  Just tacking in swear words isn't nearly as funny as hearing a character like Patrick Star say "Spongebob, let's fuck."

Out of Control Visuals - These are becoming more common and add a lot of style to poops.  Altering the original video is a very advanced technique and is a hallmark of a truly good pooper.  I've actually seen a poop where the author was able to make it look like Spongebob was killing everybody he works with.  It was excellent and highly stylized.

To end, I'll post the links of some of my other recent favorites for you to enjoy.  You might laugh.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mkaLCe4y8kM&feature=plcp
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_CAaCztUOzs&feature=plcp
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IsRV6mBL84M&feature=plcp

ABRUPT ENDING!

Monday, October 22, 2012

RedChocobo Is Mad!

Okay, I made the mistake this morning of reading an article by a hack that is working for Time Magazine called "How To Starve Internet Trolls" or as it is also known "The Biggest Load of Horse Shit on the Internet".  I won't link to the article because I don't want them to get more pageviews of their hackery but suffice to say that they try to make it sound like all trolls are online bullies and pedophiles that revel in personal destruction of others.  BULL SHIT with a capital SHIT.  Some people who call themselves trolls may be like that, but I would blame it more on individual communities.

I don't 4Chan, I don't Reddit.  Those places are, for lack of better words, cesspools of the Internet and I would think less of myself if I were to actively spend time there.  If you go to those places, you are in the cesspool no matter what.  To troll those places takes a special kind of psycho, especially 4Chan.  Anything goes in those places and to get a rise out of people you have to take things to the next level on purpose.  That is why so many Reddit and 4Chan trolls resort to blatant racism and pedophilia to get a rise out of people.  It's what the community requires.  To blame "trolling" for these people's disgusting actions is placing the blame in the wrong place.  You blame the community for creating an environment where such actions are not only allowed but rewarded.  They focus on a dude named Brutsch who got outed for trolling Reddit with borderline child porn and lost everything as a result, except for the only thing that mattered to him, his ego.  He got on fucking CNN for trolling.  That's an epic win for him.  They talk about how bad trolls are and how we shouldn't feed them and then give "Reddit's biggest troll" a fucking smorgasbord of troll food.  It would be like Scott Evans interviewing me in the magazine for trolling the forum, which of course Scott wouldn't do because IT WOULD DRAW ATTENTION TO ME!  FUCKING DUH!

The thing I take the most offense to is the fact that they characterize all trolls as the same kind of person as the idiot that they interviewed and say that Internet trolls revel in saying things obnoxious because nobody knows who they are and they wouldn't act the same way in public.  Again, bullshit.  The only online community that I troll happens to know exactly who I am in real life.  I've fully admitted that I "play a character" online but that I am not above acting like an idiot in public as well.  But I'm not about personal destruction.  I'm not going to follow someone around online and talk about how much of an idiot they are and call them names, that is below me.  I'll call their favorite car that they don't own a rustbucket however because attacking ideas is what trolling is all about for me.  In a short statement, all bullies are trolls but not all trolls are bullies.  Most of us just want to have fun but to try and throw all Internet trolls in with these scumbags is morally wrong.

But hey, they would know all about trolling because the article itself is trolling complete with name-calling, idiotic generalizations and complete logical fails.  It's a lame attempt to try and bully trolls into stopping but the truth is that the world at large loves trolling.  Why do you think the presidential debates get so much viewership?  It's because people love watching the candidates troll each other.  It's quite obvious that the author wants someone to blame for the death of Amanda Todd who was stalked by a online predator and people used her case to troll people on the Internet but the truth is that IS the Internet.  These communities have been created to allow people to be depraved and get away with it.  They are rewarded for their acts of disregard toward other people.  It's not anything new, people just have a much larger audience.  Reading a story on Gawker about the unmasking of "Reddit's Biggest Troll" tells a much better story that you can tell is written by someone who understands the community and the Internet in general instead of an angry person who just wants to say that trolling is the same as bullying.  In fact, trolling can be a good way to counter bullying as the girl who was nominated for Homecoming Court found out.

So you can be mad at trolls but the truth is that the trolls are just as if not more loyal to the community than the people they troll.  On MT who are the first people to respond when people come to flame?  The trolls.  Who are the first ones to post suggestions when people ask for ways to improve the community?  The trolls.  The truth is, communities need trolls just as much as they need any other type of poster.  Sure, they don't need idiots that post nearly naked pictures of teens online but really those parents and teens need to keep better control of their personal images.  There are a lot of disgusting people out there and we can't stop them completely but you could at least make it harder for yourself to become a victim.

So anyways, I guess I felt like jumping to the defense of trolling today.  I still won't be going on Reddit because I learned something about that community in my research today and that is that Reddit is full of freaks.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Republicans Want to Put the White Back into the White House



Conservatives have been hell bent on getting President Obama out of the White House, or to put it more accurately, the White People want the Black man out of the White House. Actually, like myself, he's of mixed race, so maybe they only want half of him out.

So naturally they pick the Whitest guy in politics: Governor Mitt Romney (R-MA). I thought that Romney was going to pick Sen. Mark Rubio (R-FL), because of his ties to the Hispanic community and to capture some of the "sexy vote", as I like to call it. Instead, he went with the Tea Party darling, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI). White Republicans rejoiced, especially Tea Partiers. If you haven't figured out, the Tea Party is comprised primarily of White people.



A couple of weeks ago, I was doing some research on Facebook to see how many of my FB friends were supporting Romney. 75 of them are supporting him...of those, 70 of them are White (the vast majority are Mormon, like myself), and five of them are Hispanic. All of those are Republicans, and a good amount of those are Tea Partiers (I honestly don't know how many there are in total, but I do know that some of them are). I did not find a single Black or Asian person supporting him, but Romney knows that he can't win that vote. I was really surprised that some Hispanics are supporting him, but maybe they thought that since his father was born in Mexico, then that makes him Hispanic as well...or at least they think that he'll have their best interest at heart.

Is this election all about race? Will the Conservatives keep telling blatant lies to convince the "20 Percenters" (the undecided) to vote for Rmoney and Eddie Munster?

I say yes...Republicans will do and say whatever it takes to win. I've had many a discussion with them, and tried in earnest to figure out what their issue was with President Obama. Whenever he was first elected, all I would get is "well, I don't like him". Over time I then got:

"He's going to take our guns away" (he didn't)

"He's a Socialist" (he's not, Hitler was, so making comparisons to him are factually inaccurate)

"Because he was born in Kenya" (he wasn't, despite releasing both versions of his birth certificate, as well as other evidence supporting this)



It's interesting to note that John McCain (R-AZ), his opponent on the 2008 Presidential election, was born in Spain. Where was the controversy there? Oh right, he's White. If he was Hispanic, it might have taken some of the heat off of Obama. Emphasis on "might have".

Anyways, as a minority, the first thing that popped into my head was "they hate him because he's Black". Over the years and countless more discussions, nothing that Conservatives have said has swayed my view on this. I've even had some people come out and say that they didn't like him because he is Black. In an odd way, I actually respect the fact that they're honest about how they feel, even though I don't agree with their opinion. Racism will exist as long as people aren't willing to change their views concerning other races of people.

Since Obama took office, we've also seen the rise of the Tea Party to power...primarily comprised of Whites looking to remove the President from office. Rep. John Boehner said himself that their (Republicans) ultimate goal was to make the President an one-term Administration. Believe it or not, he's White as well, and of course, he has a legion of White voters supporting him.

Over time of course, people are going to be critical of the President's policies, but I can't help but to think that part of that is the underlying racism that's involved because of the President's skin colour. This opinion has been reiterated whenever people refuse to use facts to back up their opinions, which are derived primarily from watching Fox News for hours on end (also comprised of White people).

Of course, some White Republicans will never admit that they're racist, because it wouldn't be the White right thing to do. As my buddy Jared would say, "not all Republicans are racist, but all racists are Republicans".

Food for thought indeed.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Rats Flying

I Dare You....

Sometimes it is just ratty to butterfly a stick em up. But I say, rats to you. That's right, rats, flying down the drain at the rate of unicorns touching solar panels. For every unicorn flying rat out there, solar panels and Priora are suffering. The road may be paved in golden cobblestones made from the dreams of thousands of tiny rats flying up your nose, but that is not the point.

The point is, rats flying is the best thing since United Airlines Lost Baggage Squad. Never lost your marbles on a flight with United? Flying rats took them, ingested them, and crapped them out in a barrage of stinky marbles. Pelting the plane with foulness best described as free pugs. Unfortunately, the Lost Baggage Squad's in flight meal servers were serving your eggs at the time, They were broken. As broken as flying rats.


Thursday, October 11, 2012

I saw this on a stupid rage comic site and added the last two panels myself.  Women are smarter than to only play the trap at one level.

I Drove a Chevy and Liked it

America has pretty much always sucked at making small cars.  No other cars quite embody this fact like the Pinto, Gremlin, Pacer, and Vega.  You may have a soft spot in your heart for these little buckets of failure because all you have to do to make them good is shoehorn a huge V8 in 'em.  As economy cars, though, they were all entirely worthless.  Take the Vega for instance.  Aside from the 2300cc four cylinder engine that needed rebuilt every two or three miles, Chevy decided to use a TH350 transmission and a ten bolt rear differential; both pieces found in Camaros and trucks.  Out of the 90 horsepower the engine made at the crank, it's a wonder the little scamp could move under its own power at all.  For those drivers who didn't want to "upgrade" to the automatic transmission, the Vega's base transmission was a three speed manual with the shift quality of churning butter with rocks in it.
Things have certainly changed since then, but until recently, the American marques had a hard time competing with their import rivals on the econocar front.
Enter the new Chevy Sonic.  Video game character references aside, it's styled like an angry robot.  Its gaping maw chomps on a plus-sized Chevy bow-tie, and the exposed headlamp assemblies and swooping hood give it an aggressive disposition on the road.  Its looks are polarizing for sure but they've grown on me.
Like many cars in its class, the Sonic is tall, but Chevy has managed to keep its height reasonable.  It's not as goofy looking as a Fit, but it also doesn't sacrifice interior space in the interest of design.  It's a very good balance of form and function.
The interior is really where the little Sonic shines, though.  Frankly, the Sonic has a nicer interior than Chevy's own Corvette.  Very little in the Sonic would look out of place in a VW Golf.  Even the sound of the door closing makes an almost VW-esque thwump.  The center stack is a bit shiny and hard, but everything else is soft touch, matte finish stuff.  It appears to share its steering wheel with the 2012 Camaro, which is no bad thing.  It's thick and has grips in just the right places.  Even Chevy's gold bow-tie looks high quality.   A gauge cluster, reportedly inspired by motorcycles, sits in front of the driver, and it's supremely cool.  Thankfully, an analog tachometer is the most prevalent feature on the left, gnawing Pac-Man style on a rectangular digital readout on the right. This little multifunction rectangle displays fuel level, mileage, and the like, as well as your speed with a slight skew so you feel like you're going fast.  Polka-dots above and below the rectangle display dummy lights.
Turn the switchblade style key in the ignition and the Sonic whispers to life.  None of the buzzy shakiness of other cars of its size.  The car I drove was equipped with the manual transmission, thankfully.  The throws are longish, but relatively solid feeling with positive engagement.  One ergonomic foible: the seat mounted arm rest has no adjustment, and resting your arm on it makes it so your hand is three inches above the shifter.  grab the shifter and your elbow meets the very front of the rest.  I finally put the damn thing up.
Once underway, the Sonic feels seriously solid.  Road imperfections are felt but not heard.  At slow speeds, steering effort is pinky light.  At highway speeds it seems to weight up, but there could still be a bit more feel.  A slight twitch of the wheel at speed reminded me that I was driving a compact car, as it responded instantly to my inputs.
Getting off the highway I tossed it into a turn.  It responded eagerly with very little drama.  A little bit of lean, but no tire squeal.  Accelerating out of the turn, the little 1.4 turbo growled, but never shouted, and moved the little hatch with purpose.  It needs a few extra ponies to do a certain blue computer generated hedgehog proud, but for an economy car, the Sonic scoots along nicely, especially at the bottom end of the tach.  Seems to run out of breath after about 5000 rpm.
As far as cars go, I'm not easily impressed.  But the Sonic impressed me.  If I was in the market for a new car right now, the Sonic would be near the top of the list.  It blends fun, comfort, and economy better than cars in the midsize segment costing thousands more, and it proves that Chevy is serious about delivering genuinely good cars.  If this is a sign of things to come from GM, I can't wait to see more.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Hey, Imma Write Some Stuff

It's been a while since I've written something here, so I'm just gonna write something.  Let me tell you, I will be as surprised by how this post ends as you are.

First of all, girls suck.  You spend five years with a girl, and suddenly, she decides you're old hat.  But I won't bore you with that sob story.  Just know, that as much as girls say that they want commitment and a guy who does sweet things for them, they are flakier than a pastry in the continental breakfast at a nice hotel.

Is anyone else tired of hearing about the election?  I mean really?  Is Romney going to make this country do a 180?  No.  Is Obama?  No.  Why?  Because the president doesn't run the country, congress does.  And congress is made up of rich guys who frankly don't give a flying rat shit about you or your bank account.

Speaking of politics, do you really think your vote counts?  in 2000, the popular vote went to Al Gore (for some dumb reason).  But Bush was our president.  Why?  Because the Electoral College saw your votes and thought, "lol wut?" and just elected Bush because fuck you.

I can hardly read articles on cars online anymore.  In a recent review of the new Ram 1500 with the Pentastar, the author wrote, "Describing the changes to the 2013 Ram as merely a face-lift is like saying that country music is popular in Texas.  The full-size pickup truck has been significantly tweaked, even if the sheet metal looks quite similar to the outgoing model."  Really?  This is what people are getting paid to write?  I am, by no means, a world class writer, but if writing was my job, I certainly wouldn't turn in something with a misused and weak metaphor. 

Supliment:  Thank you, Google Blogger, for whiting out half of my last paragraph because I copied and pasted it from another site.  I could bad mouth said site, but I won't do that, though they have been known to publish crap.

Enough about politics and complaining, though, let's talk cars.  There seems to be three different approaches to the midsize segment.  There're those who continue to make big sedans with big V6s, others make big cars with turbocharged four cylinder engines, and the stragglers who make smaller sedans with naturally aspirated fours.  Let's talk about the stragglers.  I am a big fan of the original Acura TSX.  It was light and tossable, it loved to rev, and it was a manageable size.  It should have been the Honda Accord, but that is another discussion for another time.  While the other two approaches yield more horsepower, none of the upcoming midsizers will be able to hold a candle to the driving experience of the new Mazda6. This is a car built by a company who has specifically said that they tuned the steering for feedback and quick recentering of the wheel. If they are putting time and effort tuning the recentering of the wheel, they are building a car with a purpose. Toyota seems to continue accidentally building the Camry, just taking the same formula and putting it through the replicator over and over again. Mazda is clearly trying with the new 6. The greatest thing about it, is that Mazda is not trying to build a Mazda Camry. The last 6 was arguably the most Camry like of all the 6s. And it flopped. Sure, the last gen 6 will remain the fastest 6, but the new car will be the purest driving experience in the midsize segment. I can't wait. Every response will feel as if the car is an extension of the driver. It will dive into corners with wreckless abandon, gripping until you let off the throttle, putting it into a controlled slide. The wheel will hum with an electric energy, begging you to clip that next apex. The little Skyactiv 4 cylinder will growl with a gristly rage. The shifter will shudder on startup, just so you know it's actually connected to something mechanical. Will the new 6 break? Hell yeah. It's a Mazda. Japanese Alfa Romeo. Will it shove you back in your seat? No, it's less than 200 horse. But who cares! Mazda built it all by themselves! They didn't ask Subaru to build a car for them.

Sorry about your rage. No actually I don't care. I hope you're raging. Hate.

Monday, October 8, 2012

It Has Been A Long Time Coming....

Trolling Is Not Dead, It Is Disguised

For those of you don't know, I am westys otherwise known as the Troll Force. Subtlety rules my way of life on Forums large and small. Many of my posts are simple in nature but most of them are pure troll posts or a way to troll more.

How is this possible? Many of the threads I do seem innocuous, I admit. Even to the other trolls who do not troll anymore seem to be oblivious of my trolling anymore. That is ok. I am the Force. My ways are not meant to be understood. Look on in awe or look on in confusion, both ways gratify me.

Recently, I played the part of Sok-Eye to perfection. Sok-Eye was my sock puppet on the MT Forum. Named for a sockeye salmon, a fish you have to troll for to catch it. The name gave away the intent yet no one caught on unless let in on the joke. In order to pull off such a brilliant sock puppet troll, I made 'her' a single mom of two daughters. 'They' supported my own personal beliefs that the FRS and Mustang were girls' cars as each one of those 'girls' loved one or both of these cars. I also dropped hints at my own personal likes and dislikes yet no one was the wiser. It was the ultimate troll pulled off by the Force. KNEEL BEFORE THE MASTER!!!



I said earlier in the post that I continue to troll. This is true. I will not divulge the posts on which I troll or how I do it. I assume that some of you out there have a brain and can use it to figure it out rather than using it to keep your skull from caving in. In any case, I continue to have fun regardless of the 'new and improved' methods for sniffing out threadbombs. Others will be blamed for my instigations and will cry foul all the while, I will sit back an enjoy. It has happened before, it will happen again. I have the patience to wait for it.

Do you?

Friday, October 5, 2012

A Super-Majority of Americans Live Paycheck to Paycheck

It used to be that living "paycheck to paycheck" where one saves not a single dollar was a sign of fiscal mismanagement or not having enough income.  But unfortunately a report from the American Payroll Association says that 68% of Americans are living without any savings.  This little fact nearly slipped by me completely yesterday as the evening news mentioned it very briefly after briefly reporting that median incomes continue to slip in the US.  Of course these two facts are related and yet nobody really wants to talk about it.  What upset me about it further was that the anchor tried to skirt past the fact by saying that the reason Americans are living paycheck to paycheck is because "luxuries" like Internet and mobile phones are considered necessities.  Oh yes, I'm sure the $100 I spend on those things would really help me balance my budget.

We need to accept the fact that prices are going up while paychecks are going down and that the result is that people are struggling more and more with their financial situation.  I personally struggle with money quite a lot.  To the point where I just try to not even think about it because if I do I just despair to the point of depression.  I don't have a bad paying job either.  But when I look at it, I see everything but my paycheck going up and I see people not giving a single flark about it.  In fact there's a good portion of the population that wants to see my paycheck go down, but that's another story for another day.

America is headed for a very dangerous place.  One of the reasons the US was a "Land of Oppertunity" was because a man could, with hard work, make quite a lot of money without much schooling.  There wasn't really any school to go to for one to build a building, lay a road or manufacture widgets.  However a person could make good money in the past doing those very activities.  As the US continues to be content in giving up its manufacturing, allowing its infrastructure to rot and the demand for new contruction goes out the door, the demand for "unskilled" labor shrinks exponentially.  By some estimates we will have an 89,000,000 worker surplus in unskilled labor within the next 5 years.  Brings some perspective to why some can't find work, eh?  But if you're a financial vulture capitalist or lawyer things are fucking super!  Sorry RoTi.

But still, even after endless tax breaks and taxes being the lowest they've been in decades, we still must lower taxes further and hope that the magical "job creators" make more jobs for us to become wages slaves in.  However, those job creators are not creating jobs, they're hording cash to protect themselves when the markets flop again because they won't hire.  You know, there gets to be a point where we look and see business defending themselves and not giving a single fuck about the common man and we have to say "maybe it's time for business to feel some pain".  Maybe we should only start caring about ourselves.  We should say "raise taxes on corporations and lower them on individuals".  A nice 99.99% corporate tax seems good at this point to me.  Or maybe we should tax individuals the same way we tax businesses.  I would like it very much if I only had to pay taxes on my "profits" instead of my "revenues".  I don't think I'd ever pay taxes again.

What it comes down to is that the extremely wealthy have such a buffer now that they don't even notice when recessions happen anymore.  They just use them as excuses to get their tax burdens lowered again and again by calling themselves "job creators".  Bullshit.  Stuffing cash into your bank accounts doesn't create a single job.  Higher profits for you doesn't create a single job.  Why?  Because you purposely don't "create jobs" to get higher profits.  People cost you money, throwing money into derivatives doesn't.  And there by jove is the problem.  As long as you have enough money you can make your money make money without a single person to do any work for you.  Who cares if your country's manufacturing is falling through the floor because China will just build everything you need for you and you can continue to make money off of nothing.

Perhaps this is why Candidate Rmoney wanted the American auto companies to go under?  Maybe he has some interest in Chinese cars.  In fact we would hardly know the difference as they added Dodge Charger copies to our market that looked exactly right but had 4 cylinder engines.  Oh wait, Fiat is already going to do that.  Problem?  I hope so.  But that topic is actually a bit of a digression.  Oh well.

The point I'm getting to is the system that Romney is getting to has already proven that it does not work.  Trickle down does not work.  If it did, the already ridiculously low tax rates would have "fixed" the economy a long time ago.  I'm tired of the dangling carrot as mega-corporations pay single digit tax rates and continue to tell us if we just lower taxes a bit further than they'll "create jobs".  The only jobs I see are blow jobs for big business.  Time for a new system.

And yes, I want your money.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Stories From My Brain

Right before I woke up this morning 5 minutes before the alarm like I always do I had the weirdest dream that was very easy to remember.  It was about a story that I'm fairly sure I've never seen anywhere or thought about before and I thought it was so cool that I need to write it down.

The setting was some sort of zombie apocalypse type situation although my brain never really decided how all of that happened and my character (I say character because I was not myself) had been specially conscripted into a unit of "marines" that was assigned to defend a hospital facility.  Although we knew we had to defend the facility we didn't know why this particular facility was so special.  Before getting our weapons to go on a patrol we had to pass through a scanner device.

On our patrol making sure that "zombies" didn't come too close to the facility I keep having flashbacks and seeing this white form with multiple nuclei that I never remember having seen before.  We encounter nothing however.  Everywhere we go the sky is a dark red and it always appears to be near dusk.  There is a very large freeway next to the facility but all of the vehicles are like monster trucks.  My brain explains that one later.

After returning from our patrol I go outside with a group of civilians to a small "safe zone" that overlooks the freeway and I see that the vehicles are all shaped like monster trucks because they have to drive at high speeds over the top of the zombies because if they were lower than the zombies could swarm the vehicles to stop them.  This is the first time I see the "zombies" which are just human looking with dark red skin, animal like nature and incredible strength.  One of the vehicles crashes on the freeway but nobody bothers to stop to help.  The driver runs toward the facility but a zombie catches him and rips his head off.  "Cool!" a kid yells.  I laugh thinking about that now.

However, the man moving toward the facility encourages a zombie group to head toward the facility.  Although we cannot be touched in the safe zone, we also can't leave it and since I am unarmed I encourage the people to stay put while I radio for help.  It isn't a big deal usually because nobody can enter the facility without a keycard.  Most of the zombies get tired of trying to figure out how to get us and leave except for two surprisingly sentient ones that move toward the facility.  Seeing them brings on more flashbacks about the white blob.  Hearing "why is he letting them in" brings me back to reality as I see one of the doctors allowing the sentient zombies into the facility.  The first one goes in but the second one raises his hand and the doctor turns to goo.  The route now clear and me being needed to stop this new threat we move back into the facility.

Passing through the scanner to get our weapons an alarm goes off as I pass through stating "Black Magic detected".  The security guards raise their weapons on me.  I think "when did I contract Black Magic" but the machine indicates that the Black Magic was contracted 17 years ago rather than just now and that the origin is the Alabama containment zone, Alabama being the home state of my character.  Another flashback shows a facility, a man's picture is shown with "sedative drip at all times" next to it.  The white blob is on his head, externally.  "Black Magic" is the name for the substance that normally changes people into the "zombies" and is an alien organism.  The Black Magic are parasites that take over their hosts and use the hosts to destroy the ecosystem of a planet so they may colonize it.  While normal Black Magic is dark red, the white blob is revealed to be a form of Black Magic that has given the man powers beyond the normal super strength but has made him extremely unstable.  Doctors walk in and put some needle into the blob and it releases from the man.  He instantly dies as Black Magic cannot be removed from the host without killing them.  "We can control it" they say and the flashback ends.

I remember back to my troubled childhood, the rumors that a child had destroyed an entire room of people but the government covered it up.  How when I got angry at people they contracted illnesses.  The unique circumstances that had me stationed at the facility.  Men in suits walk up and tell the men to stand down, that I was necessary and that they needed me removed before bad things happened.  I realize now that the special form of Black Magic that I saw in the flashbacks was inside me somehow and had gone undetected for 17 years but was now active.  However I was still in complete control of myself despite the Black Magic being active.

Realizing that the sentient zombies were likely there because of me, I said that I was needed here.  One of the suits comes forward and attempts to grab me but I send him flying with a wave of my wrist.  The security guards fire their weapons but the bullets simply bounce off of me and I send them flying as well.  The remaining suit says into his radio "Project X is active, send support" before I raise my hand to him and electrify him enough to knock him out.  The rest of my marine unit looks at me and asks "You still with us bro".  I pause a moment before I say "Yeah, let's kick some ass."

That was pretty much the end of it except for an extra piece right at the end where a guy grabs me and says "Who made you" before I basically kill the heck out of him and face down a number of other people like me.

I thought it was a cool idea and I have no idea where it came from but, it's cool.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Game Review: Bad Piggies

Rovio is a very interesting company.  They are known for essentially a single game: Angry Birds.  And that game is fantastic.  I am a huge Angry Birds fan owning ad-free versions of every Angry Birds game, a special T-Mobile version of original birds with Mighty Eagle for Android and having three stars on almost every single stage in every version.  Additionally I own about a dozen different Angry Birds shirts and about 10 bird plush toys.  I love birds.  However, Rovio's last new game was a departure from Birds called Amazing Alex.  Frankly, it wasn't good.  There was no characters and it was essentially just a "set up and drop" game with no real action.  The result is that you had to make frustratingly small changes with a fairly lame control interface.  It felt like Cut the Rope or Where's my Water without any of the cute characters.

So when I found out that Rovio was planning a new release about the pigs I was prepared to be dissappointed.  I loved the birds, not the pigs.  However, I gave Rovio a second chance and downloaded Bad Piggies last Thursday.  I didn't play it until the afternoon and had a busy night but found myself more absorbed in it when I had the chance.  Circumstances on Friday gave me plenty of time to play with the pigs and play I did.  Bad Piggies is fantastic and shows that Rovio does have the potential to not only make fantastic games, but make fantastic games that follow a completely different formula than birds.

For those that haven't played it, what's wrong with you!?  The game follows the pigs trying to make up for their stupid mistakes by building vehicles to move from the starting point to the "goal line" (for one star) while fulfilling special conditions like a time limit, not using specific parts, gathering star boxes or not smashing the vehicle to earn the remaining stars.  Some stages even ask you to escort the massive King Pig in your vehicle which adds a lot of challenge.  The first set of stages focuses on ground movement using engines to power fans or wheels or even using shook pop bottles as rockets.  My favorite stages were the ones where you were given an engine with drive wheels and asked to navigate a stage.  I quickly learned that just building a frame with a massive engine and throwing the wheel on the back resulted in an upside-down vehicle or a cracked frame.  Some stages relied on momentum conservation while others relied on careful control of brute power.  The best part is that proper vehicle construction is only half of the game, actually piloting that vehicle is just as important which makes Bad Piggies effectively an action game.

Just as I was completely geeking out about building vehicles and driving them, I got into the second set of stages which adds flight.  I came.  While they ease you into flight by using balloons and fans which makes for some slower action with careful anticipation the helicopter blades come next.  What was a slow and careful manuvering of a balloon lifted vehicle turns into a frantic mashing of the power controls to keep your vehicle from crashing into ceilings and walls.  Eventually I got used to controlling the fast moving vehicles, but the first few flights resulted in some hilarious results.

Where Rovio has always shined is in their sounds and characters.  The sounds of destruction and the reactions of the pig pilot make me laugh even while I am failing.  Miss your jump and start flying toward a wall?  Watch the pig get worried and make a gasp of tense anticipation.  Fly off a sweet jump?  Listen to the pig shout with a mighty "Yee haw!"  Mr. Pig is a very conservative driver as he gets a very worried look on his face when you get a little speed in the tires.  Smash your vehicle and watch as Batman-like "crash" and "bang" pop out on screen with hilariously cartoon like sounds.  However, nothing is more satisfying than completing the stage even as your carefully developed vehicle smashes into pieces.  Basically the area where Amazing Alex completely failed is the area that Bad Piggies hits completely out of the ballpark.  I've played every stage and I am already begging for more.

I do have some gripes about Bad Piggies however.  One is the "Sandbox" stages.  Seperate from the main stages are stages that the game calls "The Sandbox".  The Sandbox contains four stages that are very large and contain 20 star boxes that have to be collected.  At first these stages are basically impossible but as you complete other stages, you add parts to the Sandbox until you have enough to build a very complex vehicle.  Once you have those complex parts like the large engine and large propeller the Sandbox stage becomes very easy.  In the end I found myself running around in a craft not unlike a Chinook helicopter just collecting all of the boxes.  It was EASY.  But then I built a plane with a huge amount of rockets on it and WHEE!  However the Sandbox shows that with enough parts any challenge is not a challenge anymore and leaves me wishing there was a real "sandbox" stage with relatively simple terrain that I could use to do crazy stuff.  The only other gripe I have is that Piggies is very processor intensive and therefore eats battery.  I can only play it for about an hour before my phone is back on the charger and most other games, even the notoriously battery hungry Kairosoft games, last 2-3 times longer.

So Bad Piggies was the game that Rovio really needed to do.  It proved that they can do more than just Angry Birds updates.  As of this morning, Android Market is showing 500,000+ downloads on Bad Piggies which is in 5 days half of all the downloads Amazing Alex has in 3 months.  Kudos Rovio, I believe in you again.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Game Review: Pokemon Rumble Blast

I have Gamefly like any self-respecting gamer and I just recently finished Pokemon Rumble Blast and decided to write a review of it.  I think I may just start writing reviews of games on a regular basis.  Anyways...

Pokemon Rumble Blast has the distinction of being the first Pokemon game for the 3DS.  Even the upcoming Black and White sequels are not going to be 3DS titles.  However it is not a traditional Pokemon game per se.  It is a sequel to the WiiWare title Pokemon Rumble that was expanded with Pokemon from fifth generation.  Essentially you control Pokemon "toys" that have up to two attacks and a given power rating.  While your toys can learn new moves by spending cash they can never increase in power.  The only way is to find new versions of toys with higher powers by defeating swarms of enemy toys and hoping some of those enemy toys "tip-over" and become your allies.  Sometimes enemy toys may come equipped with special abilities and will be a purple color similar to unique drops in RPG games.  It is a lot of button mashing fun, but there's no reason to get attached to any of the toys because each new stage brings along the latest and greatest version.

But that's not to say that there isn't any strategy involved.  While most of the stages are composed of just rampaging through killing as much as possible without getting killed yourself, there are special stages where coliseum style fights are waged.  In these stages the enemies are a little more powerful and they fight each other as well as you.  Going headfirst into these fights will have you picking from your reserve list quickly, finding a strong toy with a good sitback move is a necessity for these fights.  That itself can be a challenge because when you get a toy with a good moveset it's outdated 2 or 3 stages later and the game makes it difficult to pass moves along to better toys.  Boss battles can be taxing as well because the straight up damage moves that are so useful against the swarm aren't much help when taking on an enemy that can hit you much harder than you can hit it.

The game is not without its weaknesses.  Despite it being a 3D game, I found very little benefit to having the 3D active.  While games like Mario Land, Ocarina and Star Fox found ways to make the 3D interesting I find little to no benefit having the 3D on and play with it off 99% of the time for increased battery life.  In fact there was one instance where I had accidentally turned the 3D on when the DS was in my pocket and I didn't even realize I had done it.  Additionally the fact that most Pokemon games strive to have the player "connect" with their little dudes; this game treats Pokemon as tools that are easily discarded.  In that way it actually contradicts what a Pokemon game should be and I feel that is a major weakness.

It is an interesting idea and having never played any of the other action spinoff games for Pokemon, I have to say I'm impressed that this game kept my intrest all the way through although I will admit that I take regular breaks to play real Pokemon.  I enjoyed it but not enough to add it to my collection permenantly.  It will be getting returned to Gamefly this week.

Verdict: A Pokemon title that isn't a Pokemon game.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Reflection

"One thing I've learned in life is that friendship far outweighs popularity."

I made a status about this on the book of face the other day and it was a complete enough idea that I decided to make a whole blog post about it.  I've had the unique advantage of living from both sides of the popularity barrier and thus I feel like I can post from a unique viewpoint.

I was never a popular kid in high school.  I played Pokemon and was in the orchestra for Heaven's sake.  But that's not to say I was without friends.  Movies and popular culture that depict the people who are not popular as wanting to be popular and being "losers" could not be farther from the truth.  I never wanted what the popular kids had.  One of the advantages of being unpopular is that you know the people who are your friends actually are your friends rather than simply being friends with you to heighten their own status.  Thus I had really good friendships in high school and it made the whole experience that much easier.  Sure I might have had the occational crush on a cute cheerleader that happened to play in orchestra as well but I never dated in high school so not really a loss.  Basically what I'm getting at is that being unpopular has just as many benefits as being popular, namely not needing to live up to the standards of others.

Which brings me to my life as RedChocobo.  As RedChocobo, I was popular, whether people think it or not.  How that happened is beyond me but I think it mainly had to do with the fact that I allowed myself to become the defacto leader of a popular movement.  Yes, I was a heel that appeared to constantly be clashing with management but I was popular.  I was popular enough for my critics to refer to people that did the same thing as me "followers" to which I responded "I don't have followers, I have friends".  Well, that was my first mistake.  I did have friends, but I also had followers.  People who only seemed like they were my friend because I was popular and who only "trolled" because trolling was popular and as soon as trolling's popularity passed, they claimed to be against trolling.  I won't name names, but it was easy to tell when my popularity finally faded who was still with me.  And yes, my popularity faded.  Trolling is basically dead.  A certain poster tried many times to tell me that I was trying to hard to live up to my old standards but I didn't listen.  So now I reflect back on myself and realize that I mistook popularity for friendship because I was of the unpopular mindset where the people who were my friends actually were my friends.  I won't be making that mistake again.  I will still be a heel but I want to be an unpopular heel.  I want people to hate my guts.  Especially those who claimed they were trolls until it wasn't cool and then started complaining about trolling.  There's a special place in troll hell for you assholes.  Again, I'm not naming names, but you'll be able to figure it out.

Anyways, I wanted to write this more as a thank you to my real friends but raged anyways.  Oh well.  It's nice not being popular anymore.  Sure the blog doesn't get as many views as it used to but that's assuming that I ever cared how many pageviews I got.

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Wednesday, September 19, 2012

It's Time To Get Real About The Mazdaspeed 3

The Mazdaspeed 3 doesn't get as much press as it used to.  When it first came out it was something of wonder because it was everything a normal Mazda 3 was not.  It was raw, powerful and light.  It made its contemparies look like pathetic washing machines for less money and yet it still gets ripped on every chance people get.  But it's time to get real, the Mazdaspeed 3 is an incredible vehicle.

The normal Mazda 3 was a great car simply because it was very docile.  Even the top 2.3 liter engine making 160 horsepower doesn't even feel like it's making that.  The car can be driven down the highway with your pinky finger.  For such a small, cheap car, one can get a ton of options for it.  For these reasons, the Mazda 3 was a favorite for a first car or for older people looking to downsize.  It was the version of the Focus that the Focus should have been, but hey, Mazda has always been good at taking Ford products and actually making them good.  The first generation was a real sales winner for Mazda, nobody could resist the cuteness of the Mazda 3.  Some may think that 100,000 sales a year in the US every year since 2004 doesn't sound like much, but for Mazda these are awesome numbers.  If you consider that Mazda's next best selling car, the Mazda 6, doesn't even manage half of that most years, you can see how important the success of the Mazda 3 was.  Even the goofy facelift to add the smile didn't slow sales down.

Then Mazda decided to launch their direct injection, turbocharged engine, one of the first to market.  The first run of the engine made its way into the Mazdaspeed 6 and the ill-fated CX-7.  While the Mazdaspeed 6 was a great car, it didn't get a lot of press and suffered from reliability issues not only with its engine (since Mazda tends to Beta test in production) but its cobbled together all wheel drive system.  As a result, the Mazdaspeed 6 was not a strong seller, best that I can tell only 10,000 of them were ever slated for the US and I think that figure is optimistic.  Since the 3 was launched, many suggested that it could make use of a more powerful motor.  Mazda did not have one besides the Duratec that they sourced from Ford and that engine would not fit in a Mazda 3.  However, since the Mazdaspeed 6 was using the same 2.3 liter with a turbocharger that the Mazda 3 currently used so it wasn't much work to take that engine and put it into a Mazda 3.

Thus the Mazdaspeed 3 was born.  263 horsepower and 280 ft/lbs of torque in a 3,100 container.  It was hell on wheels.  Subaru shit themselves.  Sadly, Mazda could not fit an all wheel drive system under the 3 so they had to take a couple of measures to control all of that power to the front wheels.  Power is detuned in 1st and 2nd and also when the wheel is not straight ahead.  This creates some very interesting feeling when driving it because if you have the pedal floored and straighten the wheel, the power spikes.  Despite not being able to launch at all, it still managed to make the WRX of that era look incredibly stupid because it had gobs more power and for a lower price.  Even though the 3 had a jet engine strapped to it, the vehicle retained its incredible dynamics.  Those same characteristics that made the regular Mazda 3 incredibly easy to drive made the Mazdaspeed 3 a handling monster.  Yes, there was the usual understeer under power that every limited slip equipped FWD vehicle has but a responsible driver could really tear the pavement up.

But of course, the Mazdaspeed 3 was so awesome that people couldn't help but insult it.  As every high powered FWD car, the Mazdaspeed 3 would torque steer.  In fact, the first time I drove one, going to wide open throttle in 3rd gear almost resulted in an involuntary lane change.  Only a wimp complains about torque steer and compared to a WRX, the Mazdaspeed 3 is a go cart.  The WRX is soft and understeers like a minivan until it doesn't and then you crash.  Add to that the fact that Mazda was quite conservative in their rating of the MZR (a dyno test of a 2007 resulted in 260 to the wheels) and you have a big time winner.  Even the later WRX that matched the MS3 in power couldn't beat it around VIR in the C&D Lightning Lap.  And when you consider that it beat big names like the GTI, Challenger SRT8, RX-8 R3, G37 and Cooper JCW you realize that the MS3 is an incredible value for the price.

So why does it get beat up on so often?  The Mazdaspeed 3 is unapoligetic.  It is harsh to drive for a stock car and it's MZR is tempremental just like the other vehicles that came equipped with that engine.  A long drive in the MS3 will leave your arms tired as its grippy tires will find every imperfection in the road.  It has the typical Mazda rattles and typical Mazda interior.  But all of this is easily forgiven when you realize that the Mazdaspeed 3 in today's market checking every option box on the Mazdaspeed 3 results in a price only slightly over $27,000.  Check no boxes and you're only looking at $24,000.  There's no optional handling packages that make the car the way it should be that you have to have so technically the base is all you need.  When you figure that the WRX starts $1,500 higher and can easily climb over $30,000 before you even add the letters STi, the MS3 shows just how great a value it is.

But most of all, the Mazdaspeed 3 is exactly why the Alphabet Soup Car is such a massive fail.  If you're in a world where rear wheel drive actually means a premium for you, then you might think that the Alphabet Soup Car is worth it but frankly it isn't.  The Speed 3 is even going to give you more passenger and cargo room for this lower price.  So the Mazdaspeed 3 is awesome unless you don't like giving effort while you're driving, so I guess if you want something that isn't going to ask anything of you the Toyota dealership is over there.

Monday, September 17, 2012

I am Dash Rendar

A few years ago, I was a globetrotting mercenary and smuggler, working for the highest bidder.  I separated emotion from my work and did what was necessary to get paid.  All these tools with "swag" have no idea what swagger is.  I was a galactic bad ass.  I once saved that whiny bitch Luke Skywalker from a swoop gang on Tatooine, and I fought in the Battle of Hoth, and unlike that whiny bitch Luke Skywalker, I didn't get shot down. 

After Han Solo was taken by Boba Fett, (a little known fact, he's a good friend of mine,) everything when down the garbage chute.  It really all came to a head when those Bothans were toasted on my watch.  I've never forgiven myself for that.  That was when I realized I had to get out.  I was tired of always being on the wrong side of any given fight.  I just had to wait for the right time to make my disappearing act happen. 

The Battle of Skyhook was that moment. 

After we turned the Skyhook into a metallic asteroid field, a window of opportunity showed me its gaping maw.  I took the moment by the tusks and fired my last remaining torpedo at the biggest piece of rubble near me, temporarily blinding my comrades.  By the time the flash was gone, so was I.  I was nearly a parsec away by the time they got out of the rubble field. 

After resupplying in the outer rim, I decided it was time for me to leave the galaxy altogether.  Leebo decided he wanted to stay and bought his own ship on Tatooine.  I'll miss that goofy droid bastard.  I knew it would be a very long trip to the nearest galaxy but what the hell, I did it anyway.  It took me nearly two years to get here, even with an (illegally) modified hyperdrive unit.  I searched for a planet with any kind of technology, and I must say, this galaxy is pretty primitive comparatively.  But supplies ran thin when I found this place and decided that I would be best served to stay here in something of a retirement. 

So here I stay.  The Outrider is hidden away until I find a suitable power source and I have a job selling car parts because, despite their primitive nature, are fun and interesting pieces of machinery.  I may take up a career in writing about them.  Maybe racing them.  Whatever the case may be, I am Dash Rendar, Whether you believe it or not. 

I'm Going to Talk About Pokemon Again

I love Pokemon, mainly because my daughter is really enthusiastic about it too.  Of course she likes Pokemon that are cute rather than Pokemon that are strong.  Explaining to her why she can't take on the Elite Four with her Purrloin and Deerling is kind of difficult but she doesn't like the fact that I need to use big and ugly Seismatoad and Conkeldurr to fight them.  She also doesn't want Axew to evolve because Haxorus is ugly.  But really, I still love the fact that she loves something that I love, it makes it a thousand times better because she'll see a cool Pokemon that I am battling and want me to get it for her.  I feel accomplished because I am giving her something cool and it doesn't cost any money, a great thing when money is as tight as it is.

Despite money being tight, I'm giving generation four another shot.  For those that don't remember, my last run in with generation four was not good.  I really didn't care for Pokemon Diamond because I didn't relate to the Pokemon in it and there was just too much going on.  However I cannot give it too much crap because it did lead me to Pokemon Black which I love.  My love for Pokemon Black is compounding lately and has led me to get even more Pokemon which means I have to buy some of the older games.

A run in on the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection one night showed me that my selection of Pokemon was far too thin as I got mutilated by hundreds of Pokemon with Japanese names that I had never seen before.  My next trip onto the Wi-Fi connection was for trading which resulted in me negociating with Japanese people to get some really cool stuff at really no cost to me as everything I traded I could get again.  I was so excited about doing trading that it took me hours to get to sleep that night and I've been preparing to trade again ever since.  But I realized that a majority of the junk I had in my PC boxes was not desirable to this Japanese Pokemon Bankers.  I needed more capital, so I started breeding everything rare that I got.  I've got Bulbasaurs, Torchics, Eevees, Snivys, Oshawotts and Tepigs coming out my ears but I knew that certain things I wanted weren't even going to come into the trade window.  For one, Pidgey.  He was always my favorite, I called my Pidgeys "Punkin" every single time after my beloved, now passed, lovebird.  But these Pokemon Bankers weren't likely to even offer Pidgey because his top evolution doesn't have great peak numbers or moves.  Although if any those kids that night would have slapped one up I would have thrown my Reshiram at them and it would have been the trade of their night.  The kid that got Cobalion for Bulbasaur probably thought I was an idiot.

People who don't play Pokemon have no idea what I'm talking about right now.  Quam quam quam quam quam.

So this weekend I started playing Pokemon SoulSilver.  For those that know what I'm talking about you probably think I'm the biggest hypocrite on the planet right now.  I said I hated generation two and generation four and now I just bought a generation four remake of a generation two game?  What's wrong with me?  QUAM, to you.  Pidgey is the answer.  And Pikachu.  You know how many times this weekend I was asked if I caught Pikachu yet?  I lost count, but I was asked again this morning before she went to school.  Catching Pikachu will make me a god.  But more than that, SoulSilver gives me a chance to catch all the generation one Pokemon that I love and transfer them to Black making the game I love even better.  I will feel so cool sporting an Articuno and Zapdos in Black.  My daughter will be cool sporting a shiny Lugia.

So it seems that the fifth generation has actually caused me to appreciate the previous generations more.  Am I bothered by the lack of direction and speed in SoulSilver that Black has?  Yes, I am.  Fifth generation brought a lot of intensity and speed back into the game.  The text is faster, battle animations are quick and feel less forced than fourth generation.  But there is something satisfying about being able to catch and use the Pokemon that I learned to love from the first generation.  SoulSilver is full of first generation Pokemon because the second generation only added about 100 new Pokemon and 10% of them are "legendary" ones.  I actually really like the selection.

So the moral of the story is that SoulSilver has redeemed both the fourth and second generations in my mind.  It is a fantasic remake that although it still is lacking the clear direction, speed and extra features of Black has made me forget about many of the failings of Diamond.  It really makes me wish that FireRed and LeafGreen were for DS rather than GB Advance.  But hey, give it time.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Ocarina of Time Wasn't That Good

You are having so much rage just reading the title that you probably died.  That’s okay, you deserve it.  The thing about Legend of Zelda is that while the games are mildly entertaining, people tend to put them on this undeservedly high pedestal.  Shit, the stupid Ocarina of time has a 99 on fucking Metacritic.  Frankly the Zelda games for the NES sucked so incredibly hard that I can’t even stand to play them.  Link To The Past was a wonderful game because it was challenging and actually a lot more open than one would think.  I would commonly get the hookshot and do a bunch of dungeons out of order.  And it was beautiful.  It was a great game but still far from the finest game on SNES.  Every Zelda game that came out after Link To The Past was a disappointment to the series and the ones that have come out since Majora’s Mask are just plain terrible.  Playing half the game as a fucking dog?  Bitch please…

When Ocarina of Time came out it had the unfortunate fate of being released after Super Mario 64 which was in a million ways its superior.  In Ocarina of Time, you could barely jump and explored only the world you could you could touch with your feet.  You kinda like went underwater a little bit and could float with a chicken.  Link loves cock, just sayin’.  You hack shit, you do a dungeon, you find an item, you do stuff with that item, you kill a boss with that item, you move on.  Grind, grind, grind…  In Super Mario 64 you could do all sorts of acrobatic shit, you could fly, there were epic enemies, you could fly, there were dynamic environments, you could fucking FLY, epic Bowser, epic Yoshi, epic stages, epic challenges, EPIC FUCKING FLYING!  Not only that, there was a massive playground for you to pretty much do whatever the hell you wanted.  Basically, Super Mario 64 made Ocarina of Time look like a Playskool game.  But that’s not all.  Then Rare released this little game called Banjo-Kazooie.  It was Mario 64 squared.  The stage where you played the four seasons of the forest was so epically mind blowing that I nearly came just thinking about it.  Banjo-Kazooie rapes Ocarina of Time with a SINGLE FUCKING STAGE.  And then there’s the final battle where you FUCKING DOGFIGHT WITH A FUCKING FLYING FAT WITCH AH SHIIIIIIIIT…  I came.  Because of the game, not because of the fat witch.  And that’s just two games.  How about Ogre Battle 64, Harvest Moon 64, Star Fox 64, Super Smash Bros…  So really, what we’re working towards is not only is Ocarina of Time not even close to the best game on the 64 let alone the best game of all time.  Hell it wasn’t even the best Zelda game on the console!!!

Now you’ve probably come back to life as a zombie so you could rage at me even harder.  “RedChocobo you just talked shit about Zelda I’ll kill you and all of your decendants!”  Cry moar.  People consider linear games to be shit and you don’t get much more linear than Zelda.  The games force you to play them in a certain order every single time.  In today’s marketplace that would be a failure game and wouldn’t even get a real release.  Maybe to Steam or Xbox Live Arcade.  “But RedChocobo, that wasn’t the standard back then”.  Bitch please, Super Mario 64 already did it!  And Mario didn’t need a bunch of tools to fuck shit up.  The major problem I had with Ocarina of Time and the later Zelda releases is that it feels like you’re just running a bunch of chores with some action thrown in the middle.  Majora’s Mask actually had a chore list.  Games like Harvest Moon make you actually do chores but still seems far more rewarding.  The puzzles are elementary at best, being completely outdone by games like Lufia for SNES and the boss fights are so terribly simple that a caveman could do it.  The final battles boil down to a game of full contact tennis and running through a dude’s legs to hit his flailing, backwards facing junk.  FAIL!  Yes, I just used “FAIL” to describe Ocarina of Time, please clean the spittle from your screen.

But the worst thing that Ocarina of Time was guilty of was the story.  The one where  everything Link did was just the dream of a giant whale with gas problems had a better story.  Here’s Ocarina of Time in a nutshell.  Link wants to score with a chick so he gets a sword and kills a giant talking tree to get stuff.  Chick gives him an awesome gift and he totally ditches her to go score with a chick that has more money.  Chick with more money gives him a bunch of chores while she sits and stares endlessly into a stupid window.  In the process Link scores with a fish chick!  Then rich chick gets chased out of her house and gives Link more awesomer shit because it’s fucking blue!  Link ditches the awesome gift his first chick gave him and goes to become all powerful.  OOPS, Link fucked the world.  Link tries to fix the epic fucking he gave the world so he can finally score with rich chick but fuck, she gets captured.  Epic tennis battle!  World is still fucked but dude who really fucked shit up is dead.  Fuck, pre-pubescent again, Link doesn’t get to score.  Forever alone.  It’s worse than the story from basically every Disney movie.  This alone would be forgivable except basically every single Zelda from this point forward tells the same story over and over again with a tiny twist.  After Twilight Princess I couldn’t even stomach Zelda games anymore; I haven’t played one since.  Mario games are still far superior which is why Super Mario Galaxy is truly the best action game of all time and still somehow the two Galaxy games don’t manage scores as high as Ocarina.  Mario games re-write the fucking book every time they come out and Zelda games just re-hash the same old formula over and over.  I suppose I can take some consolation in the fact that the two Galaxy games still score higher than Skyward Sword.  From Wikipedia, “GameSpot however gave the game a comparatively lower score of 7.5/10, mainly criticizing its motion controls, linear progression and formulaic gameplay”.  NO SHIT SHERLOCK!  Every Zelda game since Link To The Past changed all the rules has been like that!  Tool switching has always required a pause which is frankly unacceptable, the games can only be played in one direction and it’s been the same damn story and game for nearly a decade!  It’s about time that people tell it how it is about Zelda.

The truth is, Zelda isn't Mario.  Zelda isn't Final Fantasy.  Zelda is Halo.  It's the same damn game over and over and over and over and eggs and over again.  It's been done so many times that it is just plain pathetic now.  But really, Zelda has been on a downward path for years.  They still haven't lived up to Link to The Past yet, and frankly, that's pretty sad.

U mad?

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Get Down With The Trolling

[Parody of Down With The Sickness by Disturbed]

Can you feel that?
Ah, shit

Drowning deep in my sea of trolling
Broken your wind I keel
(Will you troll in to me?)
It seems what's left of my human side
Is slowly changing in me
(Will you troll in to me?)

Looking at my own reflection
When suddenly it changes
Violently it changes (oh no)
There is no turning back now
You've woken up the trolling in me

[Chorus:]
Get up, come on get down with the trolling
Get up, come on get down with the trolling
Get up, come on get down with the trolling
Open up your hate, and let it flow into me
Get up, come on get down with the trolling
You mother get up come on get down with the trolling
You fucker get up come on get down with the trolling
Madness is the gift, that has been given to me

I can see inside you, the anger is rising
Don't try to deny what you feel
(Will you rage in to me?)
It seems that all that was good has died
And is decaying in me
(Will you rage in to me?)

It seems you're having some problems
In dealing with this trolling
Living with this trolling (oh no)
The world is a scary place
Now that you've woken up the trolling in me

[Chorus]
Get up, come on get down with the trolling
Get up, come on get down with the trolling
Get up, come on get down with the trolling
Open up your hate, and let it flow into me
Get up, come on get down with the trolling
You mother get up come on get down with the trolling
You fucker get up come on get down with the trolling
Madness is the gift, that has been given to me

And when I troll
And when I troll
And when I troll
And when I troll
The FR-BR-GT-POS-S-Z-86 is crap
The Camero is slow
FWD is better
Trucks are worse than rice
Hyundai Copies
Eggs eggs eggs eggs
Quam quam quam quam
Mustang is Better
Cadillac competes with Lincoln
Lexus competes with Lincoln
Audi is better than BMW
Lincoln is better than Mercedes
GM is American Toyota
Dodge is going to be replaced by Fiat
The Challenger is a 10 year old E class
Problemumadjellyeggsmelporb
Here it comes, get ready to TROLL

Get up, come on get down with the trolling
Get up, come on get down with the trolling
Get up, come on get down with the trolling
Open up your hate, and let it flow into me
Get up, come on get down with the trolling
You mother get up come on get down with the trolling
You fucker get up come on get down with the trolling
Extreme rage now has come over you

Modern-Day Slavery: Working for a Corporation



Slavery as we know it is no longer legal...or is it?

Think about it...you get up, most every morning. You get ready for work. You commute to work (unless you work from home, which if you do, this article doesn't apply to you. Check out one of my newly revamped sites like this one instead), you work for at least eight hours, if not longer...you commute back to your house, where you sit and veg out in front of the TV, or get on Facebook and troll until your heart's content.

Rinse and repeat until you fall over dead like an ox in the field.



Who controls all of this? Well, let's break it down:


What time you get up every workday - your boss

How many hours you work at day/week - your boss

How much work you have to do - your boss

When can you take a vacation - your boss

When can you get a promotion - your boss

Whether or not you can work on other projects - your boss

How much money you make - your boss

Notice a theme here? Yep, nearly every aspect of your waking day is controlled by someone else...your boss. If not them, then the company that you work for. Either way, they have complete control over you...just like the plantation owners had complete control over the slaves back in the 1800s. Although they did not receive any pay and barely any benefits, you, on the other hand, work for next-to-nothing (thanks to the Recession), otherwise known as "slave wages", and for benefits that decrease in value, while increasing in premiums every year. What's that I'm talking about?

Health insurance...you know, the one that Republicans and Libertarians insist that is perfectly fine? Thank God we had a Democrat finally begin to put together some semblance of health care reform together...

But that's another article for another time.

In short, your boss is really a modern-day plantation owner, the place that you work at is really a modern-day cotton field, and you my friend...are a modern-day slave. The only way to break free from the chains is to start your own business. It could be something like a pizza place, or a consulting firm, or something really awesome like running an anti-Toyota site like Toyota Deathwatch Updates. Everyone is good at something, and chances are, whatever it is, you can turn it into your own business.

But Jessie, what if I have no desire to be my own boss?

That's fine, then don't...but take a hard look at your current situation:

1) Do you like the cotton field that you work in everyday?

2) Do you like the plantation owner that you work for?

3) Are the slave wages enough to "put some vegetables in the soup" every night?

If you answered "Hell No" to at least one of these questions, then it's time to pack up and move on. The grass is greener on the other side, and chances are, there is someone that actually values your time, input, and most importantly...you.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Stop Whining 2012

It’s been 12 years since I last told you to stop whining and you are whining even harder than before.  But I suppose it’s natural because you are all idiots.  So, STOP WHINING.

What will this generation be marked by?  Consumerism.  We buy stuff because we need to buy stuff and leverage our future against it.  We go to more expensive schools than we should that get more expensive because we go to them and leverage our future against them.  We buy houses that we can’t possibly afford using instruments of mass financial destruction and leverage our future against it.  And then we whine when everything falls apart.  Deal with it.

We “YOLO” because we can and screw up our future because DSSNFYLUL (Do stupid shit now fuck your life up later) doesn’t roll of the tongue quite as well.  But hey, it’s something else to whine about.  You’re 25, living in your parents house and with a bunch of student loans secured by the very house you live in, you’ve never worked a day in your life and have entitlement issues and wonder why you can’t find a job?  Stop whining.  You can’t find a job because you’ve never had a job and your mid 20s is a bit late to be finding a job.  School isn’t everything and grades fade away a scant few years after leaving school but never having a job is for life.  So 16 year olds, get a job and stop making your parents pay for everything.  If there wasn’t any child labor laws you would have been working since you were 8 like your parents.  And stop bitching about not having a childhood when you fuck without a condom and get knocked up.  Deal with it.

The iPhone 5?  Who the fuck cares?  You have an iPhone 4SPSGSXXXSSSXXSStypeR$ that you bought 15 seconds ago but dammit now there’s going to be iPhone 5?  PREORDER THAT SHIT.  You fucking idiot.  If I bought a computer every 6 months because they added a single feature or color you’d think I was an idiot too.  And it’s not just the iPhone, it’s any stupid “smartphone” which is ironically named because they are marketed to stupidpeople.  And they make them so easy to buy on credit too!  You’ll whine when you can’t make the payment too.  Deal with it.

You can’t sing.  No matter what you see on television or who you think you sound like you can’t sing.  Most of the people you see on television or hear on the radio can’t sing either.  They have electronic enhancements.  That means that you just need to look pretty or write lad lyrics about lost love and BAM you’re a star.  Of course the lyrics alone aren’t enough but sometimes they can get people to notice you in a month then a few days later “who the hell is Adele?”  LOL, Adele was kinda funny because here you have a somewhat unattractive overweight female that managed to actually get 15 minutes of fame.  And the fact that’s unusual these days is a fail itself.  But yeah, you can’t sing and 99% of the people that go on the 100 different singing reality TV shows can’t either.  Music sucks.  Deal with it.

Quam quam quam quam quam quam quam quam quam quam quam quam quam quam quam quam quam quam quam quam quam quam quam quam quam quam quam quam quam eggs.  Deal with it.

Cars are boring and stupid.  It’s our own fault, we’ve wanted cars that were boring and stupid for a long time now.  They’re also way too expensive just like anything that we can buy on credit.  They also focus too damn much on MPGs which is funny because high MPGs are supposed to save us money but cost more money to get more of.  Biggest catch 22 ever.  Deal with it.

You are stupid.  Nothing you do will ever make you not stupid.
You are boring.  Nothing you do will ever make you not boring.
You are racist.  Nothing you do will ever make you not racist.
Deal with it.

Arguing about politics is the stupidest thing that a person can ever do.  Scratch that, arguing about religion is worse.  The person you vote for is no better than the person the other person votes for because deep down they serve the same master: money.  You also don’t have enough money and everyone else has too much of it.  You deserve their money.  Taking it either makes you a thief or a bank.  Technically they are the same thing, just one has more money.  Having enough money makes you immune to most all laws.  It also means you deserve more money.  Give me your money.  I deserve your money.  Deal with it.

The world is going to end in December, give me all your stuff.  Just kidding, it isn't.  Deal with it.

What is really blowing your mind right now is this whole thing is supposed to be telling you to stop whining when really it is just a giant whine.  I am not a hypocrite though, you are.  Deal with it.

And don’t forget to stop whining, dammit.
Bump chick chick bump chick fart.