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Archive for July, 2008

I’m going to change gears a bit every so often and post a comic from the battleforum that I have made. Right now, my series is called Achievements Unlocked: The Comic Version.

Click to Enlarge

It’s merely a time-waster project to update the comic page of our forum (which has gone dormant since our comic artiste – Exmoure – left for IRL stuff) to mitigate the OMG WHERE COMIC?!?! pesters I get every now and then.

Hopefully, the art will get better and when I go to conventions like PAX, I can get someone like Mike (Gabe) or Fred (Piro) to draw me a panel for this.

Enjoy.

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The World Trade Organization talks went absolutely nowhere this month, causing everyone to point fingers at everyone else. However, all our allies are pointing the finger at the US. This doesn’t help an already declining opinion about our country internationally.

Luckily, our ally Turkey is trying to hold out against radical government. The AK party was only fined, but not closed. I’m pretty sure the EU was relieved somewhat at the court decision.

$120 billion of our federal budget is basically wasted in Iraq on contractors who do too little work for too much money. Oh, wait – I’ve been reporting this forever. But the message has to get across, so I’ll be a repetitious bastard.

Today’s IDAM:
Iran will keep working on nuclear facilities, because they got all the nonaligned nations of the world to stand up with them and say FUCK YOU to everyone else. The US, EU and Israel are ready go to a step farther, but this presents a whole other obstacle at the UN that may cause some future problems.

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I want to thank all the people from the Yahoo! Group Fantasy_Vault who read and commented on my internal memo. My mailbox was full with the YG’s topic replies, and a few comments before I realized this evening like a yutz that I had linked the wrong WP entry. Luckily, most of you figured it out, read the right entry and just sent the comments to my ABOUT page, just in case. So I moved them to the last entry so they can be viewed under the right entry. I’m such a dumbass. >__< I’m glad that not everyone agreed with me or pointed out other things I probably should have used as arguments in my last entry. Thanks again! (Oh, India’s not exploding because of you, I just wanted to tap one of my news stories up there)

Senator “The-Internet-Is-A-Series-Of-Tubes” Stevens is in trouble. Big trouble. But still lol worthy mentioning it.

Pakistan’s PM is here, hanging out with Bush, getting ally endorsements. Meanwhile, back home in Pakistan, his security forces are getting kidnapped by militants. That’s gotta be a facepalm and a half.

Al-Sadr’s martyr list proves … that his people are doing what they set out to do – dying to kill Americans. It’s good to know that he’s slowly running out of known recruits. My fear is he’ll start resorting to the old tradition of recruiting outsiders and more children.

Things are blowing up in India regularly now. It’s not a giant stretch to see why …

Today’s IDAM:
Get together with other non-aligned nations of the world and basically tell them that “All Their Base Are Belong to Us!

And good news from Massachusettes – all the gay marriages made out-of-state will be accepted in Massachusettes. Horray for civil rights.

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Sarcasm Drive The Blag

By now, most people have caught on that I use sarcasm as a primary delivery system in my blog. When I say something about a serious subject, and it sounds suspiciously snarky, making you roll your eyes while reading the article linked, then my intention is poke fun at the overly conscious nature of the subject.

For example:

“And to close, a new material is being touted for extending a gallon of gas from 50 mpg to 80+ mpg. That puts a kink in the plan for all those people who want oil/gas to continue to go up in price, hoping that the price will drive people towards mass transport and/or alternative fuels. In 2002, $12 would fill my gas tank for two weeks. If this thing works, I could put 3 gallons in my tank for $14, and run for two weeks. That doesn’t motivate people like me to do anything to change my habits (note: I’m speaking theoretically here – I want us to be independent of oil as much as those people). Anyway, I don’t believe in mass transportation, and think that idea sucks as all it does is divert us from driving our own oil dependent vehicle to riding in another vehicle – with the dregs of humanity – that depends on oil for it’s energy.”

Recognize yesterday’s entry? Some people – one of those people – takes this shit way too seriously and wishes bad things on good people. So he can go fuck himself about this, really. <- See? That was sarcasm.

Anyway, that was written mostly to point out the entire hypothetical argument that higher gas prices force us to look at alternative fuels and mass transportation. The reality is – because of the screwed up way automobile and transportation corporations, and humans, think – that higher gas prices only tend to push technology into extending a gallon of gas farther down the road. And that reinforces that mindset in the average person (I’m average, so I gave a theoretical situation – in reality, in 2002, I probably filled my 13 gallon gas tank up enough with $7 of gas and went for three weeks without refilling my car, since my work wasn’t that far away. A bus pass to achieve the same effect back then was $15 – see the problem?) Average people think thusly – “If they keep building cars with greater miles per gallon, I don’t need to think about the price of gas or about pollution or the fact we’ll run out of oil in the future.” The reality is that if we really want to become independent from oil, the object is not to use oil at all. No gas-powered cars, no electrical-powered transportation that relies on coal* and oil. We have to take it to that extreme or the condition will not change.

Same for the failure that is mass transportation. Hey, it’s great if you live in one of eight cities where it functions efficiently enough to be useful. But the rest of the US has substandard, inefficient if not non-existent mass transportation. Plus, if everyone used mass transport, it’s again only a stop-gap method since most mass transport relies on gas or energy derived from an oil/gas/coal source. Increased riders means increased vehicles and increased repetitions of routes. Or in rural areas, there is too large a gap between locations that make it non-viable or affordable. There is not enough nuclear power to go around. I have yet to find a bus or subway that runs on solar power or an alternative fuel source. People are not going to move into cities just because it is a “convenient solution” for the city-going people. If it’s not effective for everyone, the solution is flat-out NOT EFFECTIVE.

But do we think that way or go there? No. Instead, we accept the half-solutions and only fund research enough to push the stop-gap measure for another 10 years. Because even those people are too lazy to actually sit down, get invested and do something to fix the problem. “I’m only one person,” is the excuse I hear all the time. It only takes one person with enough courage and drive to lead all the other one persons into changing the system. I’m not that one person, that’s for sure. I resigned trying to be that one person when I tried to make a difference and be a leader, and people as a whole in the military didn’t fucking care. I don’t have the Godly patience for it. So I have the attitude of fuck you, you immovable race of shitbags.

The thing that disturbs me is the bitching. The never-ending, incessant bitching. Listen – oil dependency isn’t going to change while I’m alive. It’s not even going to MOVE around much while I’m alive. So since I have to LIVE with this broken thing, I don’t want you to fucking MAKE ME MISERABLE while doing it. So I’m going to kill people who intentionally try to make gasoline prices higher or incessantly bitch about it without doing anything to actually fix it and keep the rest of us from being miserable (because the noise only makes everyone more miserable and more angry). Either move it, or lose it. If you aren’t moving it, then STFU. No excuses.
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* Coal is another stop-gap measure of a limited resource that causes pollution or destruction to the environment. It is on-par with oil, and mostly made up of the same materials anyway. No half-solutions.

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New reports show that the level of AIDS infection has grown considerably in the southern states. They tiptoe around the reasons for such problems, but I’d say that a large part of the problem is that the southern Christians don’t teach safe sex, and rely on the faulty assumption that abstinence education will make it all better. Teenagers and young adults are fairly permiscuous despite all the browbeating – would it hurt to teach them to use a condom for safer intercourse? Those who answer YES are fucktards.

I’ve never liked Ryan Crocker, the US ambassador to Iraq. He’s been a part of the huge fearmongering, corrupted exchange between the US and Iraq since he’s been there. He goes out and blabs two-faced answers, generally saying the insurgency is almost dead but WATCH OUT! On the heels of that message, a devestating suicide bombing occurs. Whoops!

Speaking of bombings, the Hamas is being targetted. That seems … poetic.

Nukes, nukes*, who has the nukes?! Iran stopped the probe into their nuclear program, so … now what?

And to close, a new material is being touted for extending a gallon of gas from 50 mpg to 80+ mpg. That puts a kink in the plan for all those people who want oil/gas to continue to go up in price, hoping that the price will drive people towards mass transport and/or alternative fuels. In 2002, $12 would fill my gas tank for two weeks. If this thing works, I could put 3 gallons in my tank for $14, and run for two weeks. That doesn’t motivate people like me to do anything to change my habits (note: I’m speaking theoretically here – I want us to be independent of oil as much as those people). Anyway, I don’t believe in mass transportation, and think that idea sucks as all it does is divert us from driving our own oil dependent vehicle to riding in another vehicle – with the dregs of humanity – that depends on oil for it’s energy.

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I hope all my friends in Texas and such in the path of Hurricane Dolly don’t get blown away or drowned in floods. I get nervous for Wulffie and Ben in particular, since they are always in the path of some dangerous storm down there. Granted, Nebraska weather isn’t much better, but at least we can vacation at our favorite campgrounds without worrying about actual hurricanes.

Back on topic:
Today, the Pentagon tried to downplay the escalation of violence in Afghanistan. Meanwhile, the Army reports a few obstacles involved in trying to push a surge of troops there. It doesn’t help that fighting two wars at once in Muslim countries puts a giant strain on the troops and their resources.

So what I talked about yesterday is official – the Iraqis are not going to hold their democratic elections this year. Mostly because a lot of leaders don’t want to merely give up their posts. Like every other democracy in the Middle East, it usually takes some arm twisting to get a fair election in the first place.

When US military service people don’t get their promised benefits for serving oversees in combat zones, I get highly pissed off. I have already written to Senator Hagel, demanding someone look into it. I’ve also sent an e-mail to Senator Pelosi’s office, but I doubt she’ll do anything.

Obama’s been wandering all over the Middle East. He’s basically reassured Israel that he won’t stand for Iran getting nuclear bombs. Despite their rather determined stance to get nuclear power. His is a slightly more … diplomatic approach, but it’s a new approach, so we’ll see. Anything is better than this fucktarded approach the Administration has been using for 8 years now.

France had a nuclear leak that may have contaminated* 100 people. The F in France is for FAIL.

People protesting Fox News is racist. Okay, that’s true about Fox, but they should wander over to CNN and MSNBC while they are at it and protest that all the cable news groups are horribly biased. It would only be fair.

Satellite SCIENCE!!! The attempt to stop any more asteroid disaster movies from being made. Seriously, though – this is long, long, long overdue.

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* Contaminated is an understatement.

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Our expectations of Iraq’s democratic process is often way too high. It appears that Iraq is – again – going to fail to follow-up with the traditional vote for provincial representatives and governors, allowing those in power to stay in power longer. As Iraq’s progress plods along slowly – making some headway, but not enough fast enough – the entire political system starts to wind down like a cheap $10 watch. Not surprising, since the US has dragged their feet right behind the Iraqis. There doesn’t seem to be any incentative to push things forward as long as we sit on our ass over there, carrying them.

Afghanistan is starting to see an increase in violence and bombings on a regular basis with great leaps in escalation. It’s almost as bad as Iraq was a year ago.

New York passes an unnecessary video game law. Game makers already comply with a dozen other regulations and laws, so this seems overly excessive and money-wasting. I think it’s an attempt to create jobs for some cushy rich lawmakers to monitor more bullshit on our tax dollar. On a video game sidenote: I wasn’t aware that Yahoo! has their own Playback video game channel. Weeeirrrddd.

My SCIENCE!!! links of the week – the University of Nebraska Medical Center is using surgery simulators to practice several procedures. I think back to those Nintendo games where your flakey method of control makes it overly hard to cut out that tumor! The other link is to someone’s blag about how religionnn could learn a few things from science. That seems … oddly fitting, in a way.

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How long have I been saying that one of the things Bush’s Administration has been doing to the detriment of Iraq is hiring friends/constituents as contractors for the rebuilding effort? Almost two years? Well, it’s now public knowledge – that they just take the money and don’t do much of anything over there. Someone should seriously kick Cheney’s ass.

The US military is trying to solve a problem in Iraq – smuggled arms to insurgents and militants. While concentrating on the Iranian border might help, they aren’t doing much to stop the flow from coming over the Turkish, Saudi or Syrian borders. I figure this will work for about 6 months until the suppliers start re-routing shipments over the other borders. The other problem that needs to be solved with Iraq is what to do with all the displaced Iraqis who are barely surviving? No one is really doing anything about it, which is really sad.

The President has finally capitulated to a “time horizon” for withdrawing troops from Iraq. I would consider it more like a time event horizon, because whatever the projection is, it’s going to SUCK.

Israel is paranoid, and I understand why. But being paranoid to the point of stupid never helps ANYONE. Especially the bastion of Western ideas in the Middle East.

I’m kind of miffed about the fact that the USAF has been used as the government’s airline service for so long that now top officials expect First Class seating. I know they are the military’s airlifters and transporters, but JFC. I believe the statement about the Home Depot carpet – Air Force One, when it was parked at Offutt, needed paint and we went to WAL-MART to get the materials. Not Sherman Williams, not Ethan Allen, not anything fancy. $1.70 a pint paint, people. We balked when the JCS wanted us to provide them with bottled water in-flight to Europe.

Sad penguin SCIENCE!!! People who say there’s nothing wrong with the environment need to STFU right the fuck now.

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I’ll just sum it up in small bullets, so you don’t have to read walls of text:

  • PS3 Home – looks cool, but too God damn much that it won’t get used as much. Also, those who hated Second Life will probably hate this.
  • XBL changes – too little, kinda off-the-wall, and it will help me like XB Arcade. The avatar thing is a little quirky and a rip from Miis.
  • Bioware’s Dragon Age – looking forward to it with anticipation. Also looked at NWN2′s new The Storm of Zehir. Looks cool.
  • Firefly’s Dungeon Hero – looks good, may try it.
  • Star Wars: The Force Unleashed – looks good, but looks can be deceiving.
  • Puzzle Quest: Galactrix – looks interesting, one for my list of possibles.
  • Fable 2 – probably the most impressive change up I’ve seen. Like the new way of inviting people into your games, like the way they showed it being played.
  • Warhammer 40k Dawn of War 2 – while it looks great and the trailer looks fabulous, I’m not sure if it’s much of an improvement over the first to warrant a must-buy.
  • Warhammer: Battle March – looks strange and somewhat interesting. May put it on my 360 list.
  • Halo Wars – eeehhh, not really interested in that, I think. It seems to be horribly lacking in core Halo-esqueness.
  • Final Fantasy XIII – it’s coming out for the XBox, so yeah, must-buy. Looks fantastic, and an improvement over FFXII.
  • Rise of the Argonauts – holy shit, looks awesome. Made by Codemasters, the guys who made Overlord, one of my faves. Hope it reviews good.
  • Civ IV – looks pretty, but it looks like it’s more of the same.
  • Ghostbusters – looks awesome, and going on my “watch closely” list.
  • Dead Space, Animal Crossing: CF, and Silent Hill: Homecoming – they look somewhat fun, but I’ll probably pass until they are cheap.
  • Little Big Planet – while it looks like fun, until I can afford to buy a PS3, it’s not that great a thing for me.
  • Spore- holy shit it looks like it’s going to take months to play. Each stage is a fucking game of it’s own (they showed the tribal stage, and it looks pretty complicated). Must buy x 2 (one for me, one for Michi)
  • Gears of War 2, God of War 3 – they look pretty, but I’m not interested. GoW3 looks really stupid. GoW2 looks … repetively hard.
  • Fallout 3 – looks fantastic and fun. Already had my rant about the fantards. A must buy.
  • Endwar and C&C Red Alert 3 – Jesus, it’s like the RTS games never stop. Both look good, but I will pass.
  • Champions Online – while it looks good, it kind of feels like a CoH/WoW hybrid. Could be fun. Will have to see what others say after they try it first.
  • Rock Band 2 & Guitar Hero: World Tour – both look fantastic and fun. RB2 has half the music and the forwarded content features, while GH:WT has the other half the music and the create your own content. Weirdly enough, that lawsuit about the instruments being compatable with each other seems to have disappeared and they both tout you can use the other’s kits in their game. I’ll probaby end up buying GH:WT as a kit, and RB2 as a disc. Since I already own RB1.
  • Sony’s, Microsoft’s, and Nintendo’s Press Conferences – Penny Arcade summed it up nicely. Sony was arrogant and sounded like they don’t give a shit about the gamers. Microsoft said shit that didn’t make sense sometimes. Nintendo was ill-equipped and sad. All three should be thoroughly slapped for such shitty conferences. Sony needs to STFU and calm the fuck down compared to the other two.
  • The Rest – everyone had some neat stuff showing. One thing that was both funny and sad at the same time was the Apogee Duke Nukem trailer. I sure hope it’s a gag, because that was pathetic to the point of awesome. Other things to watch for were Mirror Image, and the slew of DS ports like the Final Fantasies, Chrono Trigger and a new Rune Factory. The PSP, in my eyes, had the worst showing and not much to say except that it’s now the PS3′s whore.

And that’s my spiel. I watched a lot of Gamespot‘s live coverage of E3, since they seemed to get a LOT of inside information and exclusive reveals. Gotta hand it to them – although they are a bit biased and sometimes suck at reviews, they do get the inside information and great vids.

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