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Showing posts from December, 2012

PC Woes

When I rebuilt our computers last year, I did not re-install the OS on my machine as I usually do with a newly built machine. Instead, I re-installed the old hard drive and simply updated the OS as needed so it worked with the new parts. Then, when I decided to get an SSD (solid state drive), I used the OS copying software that came with it to move everything from my then current boot drive to the new drive, rather than installing the OS from scratch and re-installing the additional programs.

Over the last couple of months, the machine has had some quirks. I'd suddenly drop all Ethernet/internet connections for no reason. Some of my games would suddenly eject me and I'd be unceremoniously dumped back to the desktop. Occasionally, my file transfer speeds would dip to incredible lows. Sometimes I would plug USB devices and nothing would happen; the OS wouldn't recognize them, the system wouldn't read them. I'd lose some or all of my headset's abilities. On some r…

Running Out of Excuses

The House Republicans are running out of options and excuses. Their Plan B, which, contrary to what Mr. Boehner and his cronies were saying, would have lowered taxes on those making between $200k and $1 million, raised them for everyone else (with those making less than $30k hit the hardest), and moved a bunch of cuts even deeper into social programs, was soundly defeated last night.

Apparently, when the American people spoke and elected Mr. Obama to a second term, the House Republicans figured that was just a ruse of some sort. They didn't really want to follow the President's plan to get the economy on track and to avoid the so-called Fiscal Cliff. Of course, the defections in the Republican party seem to indicate that even some of the Republicans are seeing the writing on the wall and realize they have to actually debate in good faith and that nothing can be marked as off the table. I think Mr. Boehner's time in office is nearing an end, unless he becomes a lot more coo…

Lincoln

Lincoln reminded me a lot of There Will Be Blood -- a phenomenal performance in an otherwise average film. Actually, the acting all-around (Sally Field, David Straithairn, James Spader, et al) was all very well-done.

The movie, like, it seems, every movie I see these days, is too long. Every scene with Mary Lincoln involving their dead eldest son or their still living oldest son (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), could have been cut without sacrificing anything. Pretty much every scene with JGL's Robert/"Bob" Lincoln could have been cut without sacrificing the story. There were so many characters who just popped up for brief cameos and were barely seen again (as it involves many one-off conversations with a multitude of congressmen), that I thought many of them could have been cut, as well. I would also cut everything that happens after Lincoln gets dressed for the Ford Theater and walks away down the hallway. We KNOW what happens there, and the scenes of grief that are shown after…

City of Heroes Gone

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NCSoft, the owner of Paragon Studios and City of Heroes (and Villains), suddenly decided to close up the studio and the game, with November 30, 2012 being the go-dark date. This came as a great surprise to both Paragon Studios and the fans, as the game was still profitable, although niche, and the studio had a lot of plans, including a full update about to launch. Instead, they started to shutter the business and prepare for the death of the game.

The big problem with playing an MMORPG is that it is online; in other words, the user, once they have "purchased" the game, is at the mercy of the game's owners and developers. When they decide the game is finished, the user cannot keep playing on their own. Once the servers are turned off, that is it. It is over. Kaput.

It has happened to a number of games, although most manage to eek out an existence on small servers with minimal staff (or even with programming-minded non-professionals taking over). What is frustrating about …

Fiscal Cliffs

Maybe we should fall off the upcoming Fiscal Cliff, as they are calling it. This would dramatically cut many services (including the military) and would raise taxes on everyone. It would, in many ways, solve many of America's current financial issues. It would also, maybe, finally convince people to demand reform from their career politicians.

From the Great Depression until the 1980s, taxes were much, much higher than they are now, both income and capital gains taxes. The rich, especially, had high taxes. And, during this time of really high taxes, America's economy grew like never before, the middle class grew, and we became the biggest economy in the world. During this time, job growth was phenomenal, the social contract between businesses, the government, and the people was strong. Prosperity ensued.

In the last thirty years of constant tax breaks, career politicians, and a steadily widening gap between the Republicans and Democrats, we have seen our economy falter, we'…

Blue October

I recently came across a band that has turned around my thinking, at least for today, called Blue October. I am not sure what genre most people would classify Blue October, as they have a lot of pop, many rock or even light metal, a couple of near rap, a couple of dance, and more than one slower songs. I guess a generic "pop/rock" will suffice for my needs.

Blue October first came to my notice with the songs released off of Foiled, their 2006 album, but I didn't learn about them until 2007. Somehow I was completely oblivious to this release or the videos from it (probably due in large part to the fact that music video channels never play music videos any more, but that is a different blog). I was listening to some videos via YouTube.com and Blue October came up on the side panel. It was the video for Into The Ocean. I watched it and was just blown away. I then watched the video for Hate Me and was similarly blown away. Knowing there were two songs I enjoyed so much, my w…