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Showing posts from November, 2009

Champions Online Lag

Lag is a sometimes fact of life for massively multiplayer online game players. Even the best games have periods of time, either daily, weekly, or monthly, where their servers or the connections to the servers are not as good as others, and the large number of gamers connecting to the application causes the game to slow down and "rubberbanding" and other effects to occur.

I have played or currently play World of Warcraft (WoW), Lord of the Rings Online (LotRO), Dungeons & Dragons Online (DDO), City of Heroes (COH), EverQuest (EQ), and some games that could be played online with smaller groups, like Diablo II, NeverWinter Nights (NWN), et al.

I cannot remember ever having the lag issues in any of those games like I experience each and every time I connect to the Champions Online servers.

I build my own machines; have since 1987 when my dad and I built my first PC. I know the quality of the products and the capabilities of the hardware within my box. It is built to be a gaming…

NFL Football; Injuries, Longer Season

I think there are two easy solutions that will help the NFL in two areas: injuries (especially concussions) and the fear of playing 17-18 games in a regular season.

1. Do away with the roster limit of 53 people. This is an anachronism from an earlier time when teams frequently had two-way players and special teams was primarily filled with generalist instead of specialists. Today's NFL needs more players on a team for a variety of reasons, but injuries are the primary one. As it is, coaches play fast and loose with the injured reserve list and practice squad in order to carry closer to 60 players on their roster than the 53 mandated by the NFL. I say, do away with the limit all together. If a Jerry Jones or a Dan Snyder wants to pay the luxury taxes involved and load up with 60, 70, 80 players, let them!

Many may say that the more income-rich teams could then buy the Super Bowl like the Yankees do in MLB. I don't think so. There are so many fewer games in which to shine, players…

Insurance "Debate"

If the President of the United States tells you to do something, you do it or make your very best effort. Right or wrong, good or bad, President Obama asked our leadership to come up with a plan for "universal" health care for all Americans, so that Americans can enjoy the same basic privilege of every other industrial nation. He outlined the following minimum requirements for this plan to be signed into law.

The Democrats, those of the same party as the President and the party with a majority on both sides of Congress, went to it with relish. They turned in a massive, bloated, and potentially problematic law that may not solve the problem, but at least covered what the President asked for in most ways. By all accounts, they tried to get Republicans to help with the plan and got a little bit of cooperation.

And the Republicans.... did nothing. Well, not nothing. They poo-pooed the plan the Democrats came up with, they poo-pooed the President and the President's proposal. E…

Gun Laws and Tragedies

One of my favorite sportswriters is Peter King from SI. While I find his NFL knowledge timely and well-researched, he frequently digresses into politics and non-football related topics. Those digressions usually wind up being fairly knee-jerk reactions that do not have his usual research or thought-out responses.

A case in point. In his most current Monday Morning Quarterback article, he has this little throw-out near the end:
My heart goes out to the victims of the Fort Hood and Orlando shootings and their loved ones. Senseless, senseless incidents. I will not go quietly into the night on this one. America needs to do something about idiots with handguns. How many more Fort Hoods and Orlandos do there have to be before our political leaders have the guts to severely restrict access to murderous weapons?
While I definitely agree with the sentiment he shows for the victims, the rest of that is, in essence, an anti-gun diatribe that has little to do with the facts. Because of this, I took …

Last Dance?

I grilled steaks last night. It took forever to cook them, as they were good, thick, Costco steaks and high quality. I actually thought they were done after 18 minutes of cooking (I even cut into one to check, something I try to avoid doing). However, they were not done cooking and I took them back out for another 6 minutes with the grill on high.

When I brought them back into the house this time, they were a nice medium... a bit of pink in the middle with a nice sear on the outside. And boy were they juicy and tender.

However, the sadness is that we are rapidly running out of grilling days. It is November now, and the temps are getting to or below freezing at night and the days aren't warming up much. The rains have started, and we've even seen some flurries and some light dustings on the ground once or twice.

It is nearly time to roll the grill into the shed for the winter. My wife is fighting it as long as she can, but even she knows the inevitable is just about here.

The good …

Milk

Today we went across the border. While there, we picked up two gallons of milk, in plastic jugs, for a cost of $3.32 USD each, or $6.64 total. In SJ, we can only purchase up to a 2 litre amount in handy plastic jugs and those cost us $3.72 CND each. Since the two dollars are close to the same value right now, that indicates that in America, an hour and a half away from here, in a location that does not have a bottling and distribution center in the same city, we pay approximately the same amount of money for almost twice the amount of milk.

The other thing we cannot fathom is why Baxter, the main milk producer/distributor available in SJ, does not provide larger than a 2L plastic jug. Oh, you can purchase more milk than that, you just have to buy it in bags. Yes, you read that correctly, bags. You can purchase a 4L bag (which, in almost every case, is actually two 2L bags sold together in one larger bag), but you then have to pour that milk into something else in order to drink/use it …