Finally, I am playing through a title that everyone told me I had to play through as a Zelda fan. It was, “so amazing” and “I can’t believe you have a Wii and haven’ played this” and blah, blah, fucking blah. The title is Skyward Sword on the Wii. I know I am late to this, but I was excited to check out the newest title in this line up. In general, just like most of the Nintendo titles, it showcases the best of what Nintendo has to offer. Except this time. This time I have no option but to use a shitty combat system that makes me swing the controller, balance with it, etc. and is very inaccurate and frustrating at best. The idea is cool, but the hardware on the Wii just isn’t up to snuff to make this a good experience. I find myself even more frustrated with this adventure than The Adventures of Link on original NES and there is no other solution or escape for this pile of garbage. There is no, plug your Gambecube controller in and don’t deal with this bullshit solution, like there should be for such sloppy play control. No, you get to suffer through falling to your death over and over again because of shitty play control, not attacking when you know you swung the shitty Wii controller, or not attacking in the way you intended to, etc. Also, the story isn’t that compelling either. Fuck this game! I love Nintendo products and games in general, but this one is fucking awful. Shame on Nintendo for putting this out in this condition, and putting a stain on their otherwise good name. What a fucking awful game.
Love or hate Barack Obama a lawsuit against him, or any entity associated with him, is crazy when your premise is the Affordable Health Care act, because love or hate that act, it was put into law by a vote involving more entities than just the office of the president. In fact, the current law is a poor example of what Barack Obama himself hoped to achieve in health care reform before he was elected to his first term. So, no matter how you feel about it, it took the involvement of many thousands of people for the act to end up becoming a law and even if you want to hold the people at the highest levels responsible you have to hold the House and the Senate responsible before the President himself. Also, we have a process for that. You can bring a new bill before Congress that gets rid of or alters the old bill. It’s called removal of the old bill or an amendment of the old bill. We have this legal framework in place to make sure that the majority of Americans are represented most of the time. I know it’s kind of a joke with special interest lobbying going on but bear with me. It tries to make sure that laws are not just removed when they inconvenience the very wealthy, a special interest group, or any other group that may abuse their authority (aka the very wealthy Republicans that don’t want to raise your minimum wage and give you the dignity of health care even though inflation has taken place, the cost of energy has sky rocketed, and you work 30 hours a week or more, something most of them are not familiar with.) Still, this is what they do lately when they’re told no, make up reasons to sue the President. Remember the last time they tried something like this, during the Clinton administration? Something about shutting the whole country down because the President might be getting his dick wet with an intern. Something about trying to impeach him over that even though there were more important things going on. Something about distracting the Commander in Chief of the most powerful military in the world for a few months for blowing the occasional load in places he maybe shouldn’t have. Anyway, has anyone else realized that the Republican party is already dead, and is just being animated by the money that is associated with it? It’s kind of like a zombie party hyped up on H that just won’t go gracefully into the night but instead tries to eat the brains of all of the politically minded people around it. Anyway, John Boehner, your lawsuit is bullshit, we have more important problems, please stop ruining our country with your selfish, special interest driven, temper tantrums. Wait I’ll put it in terms Zombie Republicans can understand, Wahhhhh, brains, Wahhh, Cocaine, wahhhhhh, exploit workers makes more money, no health care for non-believers. To hell with Constitution, me want exploit more workers, wahhhhh!!!
Since high ranking Republicans are so wealthy in general that they don’t have anything better, or useful to do I have come up with a list of suggested hobbies they might consider so that they might become more productive members of our society. I’ve narrowed it down to 10.
10. Walking through a plate glass window.
9. Walking themselves and their associates off of a tall building and allowing their remains to fill a giant cross on the ground directly below. It’s about as actually Christian as anything else they do anyway.
8. Being eaten by polar bears. Sorry bears, I know it’ll be gross, but sometimes you have to take one for the team. Besides, they owe you one with all of the environmental damage they are totally for all of the time. Republicans are like, “fuck you polar bears” so I think it’s time that the bears are like “fuck you Republicans.” The bears should feel free to have hate sex with the Republicans before eating them, if they so choose.
7. Standing on an active train track until a train hits you.
6. Seppuku, never mind this is for honorable people. Let’s just say that the less honorable equivalent would be acceptable.
5. Using their money to build a rocket that will shoot them, and the CEOs of investment (and most other banks) into the sun. It should be equipped with a heat shielded communications array so we can hear their screams and laugh up until the last second over drinks.
4. Starvation through malnutrition.
3. Hurricane Katrina reenactment. Basically, we recreate the conditions present during and in the first days and weeks after Hurricane Katrina, and give them proportionately the same level of governmental support that the residents of New Orleans enjoyed.
2. Hunting with Dick Cheney. Need I say more?
1. Crocheting, which makes most that participate insane and suicidal in general.
I did these by the number in series number and not in season, or by production number. Anyway, the titles are here too. I did rank them too.
1. A Taste of Armageddon — Episode 23 — I think this is one of the best anti-war episodes of anything ever made so it gets a big plus in my book. It also talks about how, just because man has the nature to be violent doesn’t mean that they have to. You can choose not to. There’s an awesome Kirk monologue on this point.
2. Patterns of Force — Episode 50 — A super cool look at the parallel development of a Nazi society on another planet. This episode gives us great justification for The Prime Directive and is also cool for many other reason that I don’t want to spoil for you.
3. Errand of Mercy — Episode 26 — Man, I can’t say much without spoiling this one… Let’s just say that the Federation and the Klingons end up looking like fools.
4. The Enterprise Incident — Episode 57 — I had to include a Romulan episode, and I really went back and forth between this one and Balance of Terror. In the end, I think the cloaking device won out. It makes sense that even in peace time the Federation would want to try to get their hands on one. Plus, I think the Romulan Commander in this one is way hotter than Mark Lenard. Sorry Mark. I know it’s a lame reason to pick an episode, but it isn’t my only one.
5. The Doomsday Machine — Episode 35 — The stupidity of building weapons of mass destruction takes on new meaning in this episode.
6. Amok Time — Episode 30 — Apparently, even Vulcans go crazy without some good loving on a regular basis.
7. Journey to Babel — Episode 39 — This episode gives us a closer look at Vulcan society. We meet Sarek for the first time, as portrayed by Mark Lenard. See, I got you back a little bit for not being hot Mark. It’s all good. It also shows us the tense relationship between Spock and his father Sarek. This takes place during tense negotiations. We get to meet a few new alien species here too like the Andorians and the Tellarites.
8. Arena — Episode 18 — The famous battle between two very different Captains takes place under the watchful eye of aliens with a secret agenda. Who will win, brawn or wits. Perhaps a bit of both? This is the first appearance of the Reptile species the Gorn.
9. The Devil in the Dark — Episode 25 — I love the idea of life forms based on things other than carbon, and I’ve probably already said too much by saying that. This is about and environmentally preachy as 60′s TV got, which is to say not a lot, but it does make you think about how our societies, especially our current one, jumps to the conclusion that eliminating your enemy is often the first and “best” option.
10. The Savage Curtain — Episode 77 — Again, a very powerful alien pits two different teams against one another to run an experiment. Abraham Lincoln gets to work with Kirk and Spock on a solution.
Ok, so this one will be updated quite a bit. I’ve started disassembling and trying to repair a Pioneer CLD-D701 player that I got for $20. Needless to say, I got such a “great deal” because it has a problem. A problem I believe I can solve. Let’s say, hope I can solve, because although I’m 99% sure I can figure out what is wrong with it, idk if I’ll be able to get the parts, etc. that I need. The tray will not open or close correctly. There is a grinding sound accompanies with it trying to, but it never does and the belt inside of the player is good.
Why am I doing this you may ask, and I would answer. “Han shoots first bitches!” Yeah I know, the Limited Edition DVDs have the Han Shoots First edition on them, but I think LDs are cool, plus most optical disc players work on the same basic principles as Laser Disc players, so…. Anyway,
Step 1 — Get an egg carton, or other easy to label compartmentalized container, and start putting your screws and other small items in it. I recommend labeling each compartment with the location of where the items were removed from and storing them accordingly. This is a great step for almost any repair project.
More to come as I have the time to work on this.
Ah, TNG, the series that gave me childhood heroes like Data, and amazing actors like Patrick Stewart as Captain Picard also had its share of flops. Still, I’d say that I only have 2 TOS episodes that I think were truly bad on my list, for TNG it’s probably only about 15% of all of their episodes. For DS9 it’s probably about 30% and for Voyager it’s probably about 45%. Enterprise was so fucking awful that I don’t really consider it to be part of the Trek universe. Yes I know it is, and there’s nothing I can technically do about that, but I can try to pretend that it never existed if I close my eyes and really try. Hell, even the New Voyages stuff is way better than Enterprise, and it’s produced in an old car dealership by hard core fans. Enterprise, what the hell? Anyway, before this turns into an anti-Enterprise rant. Here is my list of Top 10 TNG Episodes. Also, Q episodes are totally useless. Enemies that have no weaknesses and total power are totally uninteresting. Yes, I know my list is ascending. I believe that TNG got better as it went on.
10. Season 1 Episode 17 — Home Soil — Silicon based life. The idea of life based on something other than carbon is fascinating to me, as it should be to everyone :).
9. Season 1 Episode 24 — Conspiracy — This episode is great because it shows that sometimes governmental systems become corrupt and it takes strong individuals to question them and make a change. It also does this in an awesome, totally old school Trek way.
8. Season 2 Episode 9 — Measure of a Man — This episode deals with sentience and when a machine should start to get the same rights as an individual.
7. Season 2 Episode 12 — The Royale — I love this episode because it involves old space travelers, and highlights the dangers of space travel.
6. Season 3 Episode 10 — The Defector — A great episode that gives us a better look at Romulans in general. We get a sense that they are not all unreasonable, just like some of the books do for us with the Klingons. Not all Klingons are warriors, for example. Not all Romulans are ultra paranoid deceitful mislead patriots.
5. Season 3 Episode 12 — The High Ground — A resistance group with the best of intentions, but brutal methods, abducts the Doctor to try and help them use a dangerous but effective transporter device without killing themselves. It’s a great episode that deal with how governments often call freedom fighters terrorists, but in this case that title may be well deserved, or is it? Guess you’ll have to watch to find out.
4. Season 3 Episode 26 and Season 4 Episode 1 — The Best of Both Worlds (Parts 1 and 2) — This is the episode that leads to Locutus of Borg. Yeah, again, a spoiler but if you don’t know about TNG by now, shame on you.
3. Season 4 Episode 12 — The Wounded — We get to see the Cardassians for what they really are. This episode helps set the stage for DS9.
2. Season 5 Episode 23 — I, Borg — This episode deals with redemption and gives us a glimpse into the Borg. You know, before they made them lame in First Contact.
1. Season 6 Episodes 10 and 11 — Chain of Command (Parts 1 and 2) — This not only shows us how ruthless the Cardassians can be, but it is the best display of how strong the Captain’s character is and probably is the best performance if Patrick Stewart as Captain Picard.
I have recently started re-watching Star Trek Voyager. I have a new appreciation for the series. Out of all of the post TOS Star Treks, it remind me the most of the spirit of The Original Series. Sure TOS had way more good episodes than Voyager, especially percentage wise, but I appreciate having an ST series that’s really based on exploration and meeting new alien races. Anyway, I started re-watching with a few lists that I found online of top 10 episodes, and all of them were good lists, but I tend to be biased towards prime directive episodes, Vulcan issue episodes, and I have a few other biases like mostly hating time paradox episodes and not giving a shit about romantic relationships in Star Trek. I also definitely hate all holodeck episodes from all of Star Trek. A few glimpses of the holodeck here and there are cool, but whole episodes on it are totally lame. So for what it’s worth here is my Voyager top 10. Oh yeah, before I forget, the Kazon are probably the lamest enemy in all of Star Trek. They’re basically shitty Klingons with bad Afros that we meet early on in Voyager… At least the series makes up for it later. You’ll notice that I have a lot of Season 2 picks. I believe that this was when Voyager really fulfilled its promise as a series, and as hot as Seven of Nine is, I think getting her onto the series required the producers, and writers, to jump a shark to get her there.
10. Season 4 Episodes 8 and 9 — Year of Hell (Parts 1 and 2) — Ok, in general I hate episodes that deal with time, but this one is an exception. Yeah, I spoiled it for some, but whatever, if you don’t know about this series by now then shame on you. Otherwise, this episode shows how tough both ship and crew are, and reminds us of the dangers of space travel.
9. Season 2 Episode 13 — Prototype — Another awesome episode that deals with what happens when you violate the Prime Directive, even when your intentions are good. Plus I love robots.
8. Season 2 Episode 15 — Threshold — I know that even I was able to pick out some of the problems in this episode with even my limited understanding of genetics, but the way that the episode unfolds is great, and the ending in fantastic. Overall this is probably the second most old school Trek like episode in all of the post TOS series.
7. Season 2 Episode 16 — Meld — I love that this episode doesn’t just deal with the problems with ancient Vulcans, and mind melds, but also examines the criminal mind and the concepts of crime and punishment.
6. Season 2 Episode 24 — Tuvix — Ok, I didn’t think this was going to be good when I read the synopsis either, but Tuvix ends up being an amazing character. This episode deals with the concept of the sanctity of life and the rights of an individual.
5. Season 2 Episode 26 and Season 3 Episode 1 — Basics (Parts 1 and 2) — This is the resolution of the super lame Kazon and Seska story. I put this in here because I loved seeing the crew deal with being stranded on a planet and having to learn to live primitively. There is an excellent cliffhanger that involves Tom Paris, and shows his real value to the crew as a pilot and dependable crew member, regardless of his past. Also, we get to see Voyager in the wrong hands, and we get some very cool atmospheric entry visuals of the ship.
4. Season 3 Episode 26 and Season 4 Episode 1 — Scorpion (Parts 1 and 2) — Captain Janeway has to make a deal with the devil (aka the Borg) to fight an even more dangerous enemy. I don’t think I need to say anything else about this one :).
3. Season 1 Episode 9 — Prime Factors — I love this episode because it puts the Federation on the other side of the Prime Directive and lets them feel what it’s like to be denied a technology that they desperately need because of a culture’s refusal to share it with them.
2. Season 5 Episode 25 and Season 6 Episode 1 — Equinox (Parts 1 and 2) — Who can say no to an episode where the Voyager crew meets another Star Fleet vessel that has dealt with the problem of being trapped in the Delta Quadrant in a very different way, including by using a fuel source that is a direct violation of the Prime Directive.
1. Season 2 Episode 23 — The Thaw — The Trekkiest of all of the Voyager episodes, this episode focuses on the concept of fear.
So our legal machinery is allowing Apple to yet again attack Samsung, and maybe even slow them down, for no good reason. Yes, in the 90′s Apple created a technology that allowed people to sort-of predicatively search floppy disks, so what. Xerox made the GUI and both Apple and Microsoft stole that, but in this case Samsung didn’t even steal from Apple, so where is the case. Allow me to explain. The idea of predicatively searching has been around for a long time, and has been developed by many companies in many different ways. Google is the first that pops to mind as I write this. This old floppy disk technology is what Apple is using to attack Samsung. It’s a flimsy president at best. Look, I don’t like big corporations that abuse people in general, but at least now it’s not two companies trying to screw you by controlling your information (aka the almost exclusive old days of Microsoft vs.). Now we have one old shitty, fascist company, Apple, versus one that at least truly uses Open Source. OSX doesn’t really count anymore. In the days of OS 10.3 this was different, but Apple had to “Apple up” their OS, and close it up as much as possible, so it sucks now. Plus, look at the security problems they’ve been having lately. They obviously don’t care about their computers anymore but that topic could be an entire article. Anyway, it’s not like I think Samsung is run by saints. Both companies abuse people overseas to build the products that you buy, that most of you don’t need, but in this case Apple is totally out of line and we are all coming out ahead by supporting Samsung or a company that uses Open Source. Again, they probably know this, but just like when they challenged Samsung over the screen size of their tablets a couple of years ago, this case is just as ridiculous. Apple claimed that no one else could possibly have been as intelligent as they are and thought of using a 10.1″ screen size. Other people just aren’t smart enough to think of things like that. That’s why they need Apple, right? Perhaps Apple should get off their high horse, and focus on building better products, like iPads that can really multi-task, instead of just trying to slow a better company like Samsung down and keeping their better products off of the market. Plus, what will this lead to. If Apple wins the case will they sue everyone that ever thought about predictive searching or has a tablet over 10 inches in size? Will they do what they always do and claim that they were the first to think of every cool new technology and take everyone to court that doesn’t agree with them?
I want to make clear that my post is not pro or Anti-Obamacare. These guys have been terrible both before and after. They have more money now through, which makes their scope of awfulness broader. I have several friends that use this plan, more now post-Obamacare since it was assigned to most people making less than 61,000 dollars a year by the state especially for their kids. All have moderate or better complaints. Their customer service is pretty much totally unresponsive. You know the receptionist, male and female, are doing their nails while you’re talking to them and not paying attention. For starters the call center is based in Texas, even though this is a Washington organization, and the people you are talking to can give less than a shit about your problems. They do almost all of their paperwork by snail mail, even though it’s 2014. I’ll highlight two of five cases that I know of. In one case they forgot to file a friend’s Certificate of Credible Coverage, but then sent them a go ahead for an expensive MRI, and then later tried to charge them several thousand dollars for it because they forgot to file the CCC. It took five months to fix. All they had to do was file another CCC. Which was sent to them next day by the original private healthcare company. The original rep. simply stopped working on it and the paperwork had to be taken off of his desk. Then some of it was missing, so the stuff had to be sent again. Every change took two weeks to process and that really was anything, even looking at the paperwork again. Oh, and they of course told him it was all his fault because their approval letter wasn’t really an approval letter and he needed to make sure that they did their job and filed his CCC in the first place, even though they sent an approval letter. In another case an 18 month old child’s father was told that he could not discuss his daughter’s medical records with them although he was listed as the father during the Obamacare setup phase. Probably the rep. simply wasn’t paying attention and didn’t realize that they were talking about a child or know that state and federal law make the father a guardian of the child, especially in an in tact, married household. She simply wasn’t listening, reading, etc. She then snail mailed a consent form that was never filed, and then mailed another one. It is taking over 2 months to get the father the right to talk about getting anti-biotics, for example, for his daughter with CHPW. We’ll see what happens with it. The point I’m getting to here is that this organization is terrible. They almost never file paperwork correctly, they’ve outsourced the call center to Texas, where the reps think that Spokane close to Seattle. It’s on the other side of the state by the way, about 279 miles away from Seattle. They have never been good. This is because the people at CHPW just don’t give a shit. Sure, there are a few exceptions, but then their policies keep them from trying to help, even in critical situations, because they don’t want to be bothered as a first priority. It’s tough to tell when it’s a real policy or they just don’t give a shit since the priority of all call centers is to get you off of the phone with a solution as quickly as possible. Note: A solution, not necessarily a good or correct one. Obamacare or not healthcare in this country is always going to suck as long as the people involved in it suck. It’s that simple. Put these two priorities together with the fact that they work mostly with poor people that can’t afford legal representation and you get an expensive organization that produces next to nothing at high tax payer expense. It probably also doesn’t help that the call center was moved to a state with an average IQ lower than not just the rest of the US, but the rest of the developed world. I’m not making that up because of my personal beliefs about the biggest embarrassment to the nation (aka The South), btw. That has actually been shown in several polls. Perhaps they simply can’t understand full sentences. I might feel bad for them if it didn’t effect children getting healthcare, for example. So good luck to all of those unfortunate souls that got assigned CHPW. The next open enrollment period starts November 15th. If you have CHPW you should mark this date as, change my healthcare plan to just about anything else as quickly as possible, on your calendar.
I have to say that I watch the news in 2 languages lately; German and American English. Whenever I get the news about the Ukraine from a normal German news station it goes right to the serious story about the Ukraine that I’ve clicked on and provides me with good, relevant coverage, leaving the advertisements in the side columns where they belong. Whenever I watch something on say CNN, CBS, NBC News, etc. websites I get a car, bank or cell phone commercial before hand. Yeah, I know that’s how news stations pay their bills, but shouldn’t some stories be important enough that I do get bombarded with up beat car, cell phone, and other ads before getting to view my material. Oh well, I guess something is more important than the problems in the Ukraine that might lead to war with a well armed, well trained enemy like Russia, and that must be selling shitty cars and cell phones. My mistake. I should have known better. So far I’m boycotting the companies that pop-up before this coverage. Wells-Fargo, Verizon, and Chevrolet. Chevy sucked before this so they were off my radar already, but still.
I remember when I was into Apple, remember the better hardware (that’s now the same as any other PC), remember the better BSD based OS (now arguably as good as Windows 7, or 8 if you get the plugin that makes it behave like 7 anyway). I remember it was more secure, not just because of its obscurity, but because the developers really kept up on patching flaws (well the recent 34 critical patches including the very bad SSL one prove that isn’t a priority for Apple anymore). I started to loose my interest in Apple once the iPhone became popular. I knew the company would shift their top guys from computer to phone development, and they obviously did. I mean, they dropped their XServe line many years ago and once a company does not produce real servers they are not a real computer company. Sure, it may make financial sense, but computer guys should be into computer hardware, and it should show up in their server line. Anyway, once the head developer of OSX went to HP I knew it was game over, but that people would hang on until Steve Jobs died since Apple has a cult like following. Then he died. The OS already sucked by then, but the phone was doing well. For all of these reasons, a bad OS, overrated expensive computers, and a questionable phone Apple should be out of business right? Well yes, but Americans have proven time and time again that we reward shitty products. We bailed out GM and Chrysler for building shitty cars because they are part of the “American Landscape/Dream” to us. Harley has never done better, and even though they have a better engine design paired with a better electrical system in the Revolution based bikes, people still prefer the old Evolution Engine over the Revolution engine. They like the shitty circa 1960′s technology. Being broken down is part of the Harley culture. Harley has a cult following of loyal fans that will buy their products regardless of how overpriced and shitty they really are, and so does Apple (now better called Crapple). So fear not, Crapple will survive, even though there are now much better products out there and it doesn’t deserve to. Hell we have an excellent free OS available in Linux, especially in distros like Ubuntu, but people still prefer proprietary shit even though they don’t need to pay for it in most cases. So yeah, they’ll be fine, because if they fail the government will just make you and I reward them, by bailing them out for making shitty products and they have the aforementioned cult following. Oh and let’s not forget the crimes against humanity that we all support in China and other places by supporting Apple’s Foxconn city. Yeah, that will keep going on too because we have proven time and time again that Americans prefer shinny garbage that is “cool” over well built items and will allow people to be abused to make it, just as long as we don’t see it ourselves. Not all of us, but enough of us to keep Apple floating.