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41  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: So....I'm fostering a kid for a year (maybe more?) on: July 27, 2015, 11:17:02 PM
Free labor for a year! Erm, I mean, using chores to instill the importance of earning one's keep.

Srsly, I have several friends with multiple children who receive allowances in exchange for exactly nothing. One has three teenaged sons who have never mowed a lawn and wouldn't know which end of a rake to hold.
42  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Swerve or Stay In Your Lane? on: July 27, 2015, 01:24:12 AM
Yeah, it's too situational to answer that. If the lanes next to me were clear I'd move; if not, I wouldn't. Definitely wouldn't stop or brake hard on a busy freeway, though.
43  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: Women in combat on: July 25, 2015, 02:44:35 AM
Not in detail, no, but I'll back you up generally. The Solid South was solidly Democratic until the Johnson administration handed it over to the Republicans with the Civil Rights Act. (Just as an aside, I had the pleasure of seeing Bryan Cranston in All the Way last year; that play deals directly with this subject and is apparently going to be an HBO movie.) That's when the parties realigned into their present forms.

I'm skeptical that it even makes sense to apply conservative/liberal labels to Lincoln's time, but you'd have to go through some gyrations to classify Lincoln as a conservative.
44  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Waning forum usage? on: July 22, 2015, 02:42:53 AM
It always does. That's part of the reason people drift away, and 100% of the reason nobody would touch Eco's Chattanooga thread. He has been trying to invoke the ban hammer for as long as I've been coming here. His persecution complex is oddly endearing, but without new fish to take the bait its entertainment value is nil.
45  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Waning forum usage? on: July 19, 2015, 07:12:36 PM

Quote from: hitbyambulance on July 19, 2015, 09:09:13 AM

played it years ago.

That's me. I buy games after they're fully patched and expanded and marked down, usually at least 2-3 years after release.
46  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Waning forum usage? on: July 16, 2015, 05:40:05 PM

Quote from: Lee on July 16, 2015, 04:02:46 AM

Quote from: Ironrod on July 16, 2015, 02:52:09 AM

... and another hour at FB (not because my Friends are so fascinating as much as because, IFL Science,, etc).

Completely off topic, but if you aren't going to FB for your friends but for content from other websites, why on earth would you do it through FB? On some podcast I listen to they were talking about how with their business FB accounts if they had 100,000 followers and published an article, FB would show that maybe 10k of those people saw it. Then FB sends the content creator an email saying if you would like more people to see your postings, pay us money. So even if you like/follow something on FB, you are not guaranteed to see everything they post.

Seems like if you liked those pages, you would be better off just going to those sites. It would be better for the sites themselves as well if you like them.

FB aggregates content from all of those sites (and a few more that I didn't mention), interspersed with posts from friends and local groups. It's the mix that I like. I wouldn't bother with IFL Science by itself, but one post mixed into all the rest? Sure, why not? I go there to see what my friends are up to and I get drawn into clickbait.
47  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Waning forum usage? on: July 16, 2015, 02:52:09 AM

Quote from: YellowKing on July 15, 2015, 11:32:44 AM

I'm far more active comment-wise on OO, but that's mostly due to how long I've been there. In terms of reading the forums, I still frequent GT almost as much as I do OO.

My usual routine is OO > GT > Facebook at least once a day, and usually multiple quick checks. I linger for as long as the day's new content warrants. That's typically an hour or more at OO, a couple of seconds here, and another hour at FB (not because my Friends are so fascinating as much as because, IFL Science,, etc).

This forum has three subjects: gadgets (don't care), pop culture (don't care), and movies. I stopped checking the game forums when they killed PC games, and the politics forum here is where ideas go to die. So I mostly consider GT to be my movies forum.

When I find something worth sharing, I usually post it at OO where there's a bigger audience. Most of my original topics are political, which is a non-starter here. So that makes me part of the problem. But the crux of the biscuit is that we lack a critical mass of people to introduce anything interesting or unexpected, so it's mostly Star Wars and superheroes and Apple products. 
48  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Movie trailer catch all on: July 16, 2015, 02:25:07 AM
Do they even make movies without Jennifer Lawrence anymore?
49  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: [movie] Terminator: Genesis + a TV series? on: July 04, 2015, 05:17:40 PM

Quote from: EngineNo9 on July 04, 2015, 03:55:35 AM

Quote from: rittchard on July 04, 2015, 12:17:03 AM

I think this is the only thread for the new Terminator Genisys movie - surprised there weren't any comments here yet.  Though it does seem like the Off Topic forum is becoming more and more like a graveyard these days  icon_frown

Yeah, the forum has certainly slowed down but I think the lack of talk about this movie might have more to do with it's 27% rating on Rotten Tomatoes than anything else.  What was a mild interest turned into "I'll see it on Netflix" very quickly once reviews came out. 

That's me. I lost interest when I read that it makes only half-hearted and ham-handed efforts to integrate with the previous movies, simultaneously paying homage and asking you to forget what came before. From what I've read it's not a sequel OR a remake OR a just is. (Netflix calls it a prequel, which is the first time I've heard that.) As a rental it might benefit from low expectations. 
50  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: Gay Marriage is now totally a thing. on: June 27, 2015, 11:02:12 PM

Quote from: leo8877 on June 27, 2015, 06:12:43 PM

Quote from: Lee on June 27, 2015, 05:07:26 AM

Quote from: Ironrod on June 27, 2015, 03:22:26 AM

Marriage equality has been the law in MA for 10 years. What seemed audacious then is unremarkable now. Ten years from now the rest of the country will most likely feel the same way -- by 2025 everyone will wonder why this was ever a big deal.

Said like someone who has never been to the Midwest. icon_smile

Or the South!

I was born and raised in the Midwest and often visited kinfolk in the South, but I've been a Yankee for so long that I lose perspective. Do you think this is going to fester over time? Will people resist it actively or passively?
51  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: Gay Marriage is now totally a thing. on: June 27, 2015, 03:22:26 AM
Marriage equality has been the law in MA for 10 years. What seemed audacious then is unremarkable now. Ten years from now the rest of the country will most likely feel the same way -- by 2025 everyone will wonder why this was ever a big deal.
52  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: Healthcare Exchanges Are Live. How's it Looking For You? on: June 25, 2015, 10:25:27 PM
Seeing it called a "win for the Obama administration" annoys me. It's a win for the healthcare sector, and especially for the millions of newly-insured Americans in the red states that didn't create their own exchanges. After five tumultuous years the ACA is the status quo and the major players have adapted pretty well. Uprooting it with no alternative in place would have caused chaos among providers and disaster among the 9 million citizens left twisting in the wind -- or, as the press would have called it, "a win for conservative Republicans."
53  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: 2016 Republican Nomination on: June 05, 2015, 01:40:08 AM
Who do you suppose the Kochs will choose? As I read it, Rubio is the leading establishment figure because the Bush name is poison, but Walker is also a contender. Admittedly, most of what I read is filtered through liberal press.
54  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: So....I'm moving to Texas (with a new jerb!) on: June 02, 2015, 03:04:23 AM
You're going to need a gun now.
55  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Movie trailer catch all on: May 31, 2015, 02:28:20 AM

Quote from: Bullwinkle on May 30, 2015, 05:58:26 AM

Quote from: Ironrod on May 29, 2015, 10:02:20 PM

Quote from: EngineNo9 on May 28, 2015, 10:11:04 PM

Quote from: farley2k on May 28, 2015, 09:04:22 PM

The Red Brand trailer for American Ultra....I laughed a bit but it appeared pretty formulaic

That didn't seem terrible to me.  I'd watch it on Netflix.

Added to my queue. I like Jesse Eisenberg.

But Kristen Stewart...ugh.

Also, isn't this Chuck with drugs?  Didn't appeal to me to much, but I'm happy to be corrected, if it turns out great.

Drugs make everything better. Even Kristen Stewart? I don't know anything about her except that she was in those sparkly vampire movies. Oh, and I didn't see Chuck.
56  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Movie trailer catch all on: May 29, 2015, 10:02:20 PM

Quote from: EngineNo9 on May 28, 2015, 10:11:04 PM

Quote from: farley2k on May 28, 2015, 09:04:22 PM

The Red Brand trailer for American Ultra....I laughed a bit but it appeared pretty formulaic

That didn't seem terrible to me.  I'd watch it on Netflix.

Added to my queue. I like Jesse Eisenberg.
57  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: I had one job! on: May 22, 2015, 01:27:29 AM
That's a pretty sweet deal. I'm 58 and thinking tentatively about retiring at 67. I could call myself "semi-retired" because Curio City only demands my full attention during one quarter...but my wife does a burn when I say that, so I don't.  icon_razz For most of the year I only work 2-4 hours a day, and that's at home.

Enjoy your new life as a man of leisure. You earned it.
58  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: [movie] Mad Max Returns in Fury Road on: May 12, 2015, 01:56:35 AM
A trailer for the new movie motivated me to look up the originals, which I never saw. They look like protracted car chases and explosions and gunplay and whatnot. Is that accurate?
59  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: It's been a full month without any new R&P Discussions on: May 10, 2015, 10:33:41 PM

Quote from: Lee on May 10, 2015, 09:24:18 PM

Quote from: Dante Rising on May 10, 2015, 06:37:14 PM

Americans love complaining about how much they hate Congress and The President, but Thomas Jefferson said it best: “The government you elect is government you deserve.”   

I don't feel this is true anymore. I feel like our government is controlled by lobbyist and money so it doesn't matter who I vote for, in either party. I don't feel like there is anything we can do as citizens/voters to change this. Am I being overly cynical thinking that?

No, you're not. The Republican Party is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Koch Brothers and the Democratic Party is one election away from being taken over by a different group of billionaires -- their heir apparent, Hillary Clinton, personifies big-money politics-as-usual. Bernie Sanders launches a crowdfunded campaign and he is immediately dismissed because you don't stand a chance unless you drink from that firehose of billionaire money.

We live in an oligarchy with democratic trappings that obfuscate whether the Republic has already ended or is still in the process of dying. It looks irreversible either way. But hey, Rome's greatest days began when their republic died, so who knows? Maybe the American Imperium will rise the same way. 

Elections only determine which faction of oligarchs are in control. Spillovers into ordinary people's lives is purely incidental. But don't take my word for it: Look at this study's conclusion:

When organized interest groups or economic elites want a particular policy passed, there’s a strongly likelihood their wishes will come true. But when average citizens support something, they have next to no influence.

That’s according to a forthcoming article in Perspectives on Politics by Martin Gilens of Princeton University and Benjamin I. Page of Northwestern University. The two looked at a data set of 1,779 policy issues between 1981 and 2002 and matched them up against surveys of public opinion broken down by income as well as support from interest groups.

They estimate that the impact of what an average citizen prefers put up against what the elites and interest groups want is next to nothing, or “a non-significant, near-zero level.” They note that their findings show “ordinary citizens…have little or no independent influence on policy at all.” The affluent, on the other hand, have “a quite substantial, highly significant, independent impact on policy,” they find, “more so than any other set of actors” that they studied. Organized interest groups similarly fare well, with “a large, positive, highly significant impact on public policy.”

(The link is a little out of date because the "forthcoming study" has since been published, but the summary is accurate.)
60  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: It's been a full month without any new R&P Discussions on: May 10, 2015, 03:19:52 AM

Quote from: TiLT on May 09, 2015, 06:23:32 PM

(is "infrastate" really the right word for this? Google doesn't seem to think so)

"Intrastate" (with a T) means within a state. "Interstate" is between states. "Infrastate" is a cool word, though. We should find a use for it  icon_biggrin

You claim the dynamics are similar.

They are similar insofar as the US is a collection of semi-sovereign states, just as Europe is a collection of sovereign nations. "Similar" doesn't mean "the same." Obviously federation is strong here and sketchy there. People once thought that the EU and the Eurozone would lead to a US of E, but the trend toward association sputtered out and nationalism strengthened. If anything the momentum favors devolution now (as illustrated by the Brexit and the Grexit).

Until the Civil War, states were supreme and the US federal government was weak. Strong national government definitively eclipsed state sovereignty only during and after WW2.

Can you honestly say that Texas (to pick one of your larger states) compares in any way, shape, or form to the country of Germany politically?

Of course not. Maybe Sweden or the Czech Republic. Their foreign policies are effectively subsumed by the EU's heavy hitters. 

US states don't have foreign policy (although they do have foreign trade policies) or independent armies (although we do have some state militias, like the Texas Guard, for intrastate crises). Some of your smaller EU members might as well be states rather than countries, as far as the rest of the world is concerned; when we deal with Europe, we talk to Germany and France, and to an ever-diminishing extent to the UK. Sometimes we might thank Denmark for its opinion.  icon_smile

The real difference between our countries when it comes to this topic is that the USA's internal politics are more visible to the rest of the world due to your massive media exposure, but that doesn't mean we understand it (or even have to).

The point that I apparently failed to make was about the fractiousness of US politics. You said that you "actually find US politics to be incredibly hostile, even skirting on the edge of civil violence at times, compared to most European countries whose political systems I'm familiar with." That is true at the federal level, and that's the face that we show the world. But for most US citizens state politics are more relevant to our daily lives, and in most states those are more harmonious. That's the level on which I was comparing our states to European countries. Politics is not a blood sport in most states and federal politics only gained primacy fairly recently, historically speaking. 

Quote from: TiLT on May 09, 2015, 06:23:32 PM

Hey, you guys complained about a lack of political discussions, so I'm making one.  icon_razz

I had given up on ever seeing a serious discussion in this forum. Somebody inevitably craps all over it before we get past one page.

I'd like to open up a tangent: The hostile US politics that you observe are an outgrowth of our culture wars and the emerging class war. The struggle between progressives and conservatives, between secular and religious, is what really drives our national political clashes. I don't perceive Europe as having the science deniers, the creationists, the social Darwinists, and similar villains that we have to battle here. Am I wrong?
61  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: It's been a full month without any new R&P Discussions on: May 09, 2015, 05:08:23 PM
You have to understand American politics on at least two levels: federalism and state sovereignty. Intrastate politics are, by and large, more harmonious than interstate (federal) politics, where most of the conflict plays out. In that sense, talking about "American politics" is analogous to talking about "European politics" -- an overarching structure binds them together, but the states are the real powers. Even the two parties are regionally grounded, with the old Confederacy forming the Republican heartland and the Democrats based in urbanized, (post)industrial states. Much of our political history going back to the Civil War, and especially since WW2, has been about the balance of statism and federalism.

So even though the USA is one country and Europe is not, the dynamics behind them are similar. A United States of Europe would be no more unified than the USA is. I'd wager that Massachusetts and Alabama have less in common than France and Germany do.
62  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: [Job stuff] So....I did it on: May 09, 2015, 04:48:14 PM
63  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: [Movie]Vacation on: May 08, 2015, 10:34:56 PM

Quote from: EngineNo9 on May 08, 2015, 09:08:06 PM

Working blue, whatever.  I don't particularly find having a 10 year old say "bullshit" or "rimjob" to be the top of comedy, it feels like it's going for the cheapest laugh possible.
I'm with you there. The trailer left me cold for that reason.
64  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Movie trailer catch all on: May 06, 2015, 09:54:36 PM

Quote from: farley2k on May 06, 2015, 06:58:36 PM

Setting out to make a campy cult movie seldom works out well. When the camp is unintentional, cult status often follows. That trailer definitely looks like the former -- which is to say, just plain stupid.
65  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: What is his name again? on: May 03, 2015, 05:49:13 PM
If you find somebody objectionable, it's not that hard to ignore him/her. I could quickly name half a dozen famous/infamous people (political and otherwise) who are a waste of carbon and oxygen. When they manage to insinuate themselves into my consciousness I change the channel or click a different link. I would rather watch a cat play the piano than see anything about or by any Kardassian, for example. Irritant gone.
66  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: [Movie] Ex Machina on: May 01, 2015, 06:47:34 AM
They're both in my netflix queue and the DVDs will probably come out around the same time. I expect to see Ex Machina first, since I only watch superhero movies when the wife is away. She slept through most of the Marvel movies so I've stopped subjecting her to them, but she'd like Ex Machina.

I'll eventually watch the Avengers movie because I like Agents of Shield. Marketing being what it is, I suspect that the Avengers DVD will come out just before AoS returns.
67  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Random Youtube Links Part 1: This time it's random Youtube Links (NSFW) on: April 30, 2015, 05:22:18 AM

Quote from: Punisher on April 29, 2015, 03:13:50 PM

68  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: It's been a full month without any new R&P Discussions on: April 25, 2015, 03:40:01 AM
There just hasn't been anything to talk about ever since I convinced everyone that I am always right. I'm still available to tell the confused what's true, though.
69  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Movie trailer catch all on: April 22, 2015, 09:40:39 PM
"Beth" is an Aubrey Plaza vehicle. Funny if you like her, give it a pass if you don't get the meta-humor of seeing her play against type. It's kind of lame on its own merits.
70  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Movie trailer catch all on: April 22, 2015, 02:29:33 AM

Quote from: USMC Kato on April 22, 2015, 02:23:12 AM

Film is called Maggie and I'm getting a Last of Us kind of vibe.

Looks to me like Life After Beth without the laughs.
71  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Ok....I'm ready. Teach me how to invest on: April 16, 2015, 02:08:43 AM
I spread our retirement money amongst an assortment of low-fee index funds that range in risk levels. Nothing exciting, they just reliably track the overall market. I also have a small Roth that's earning an anemic 0.75% in a mutual fund. That's my safe savings. In another 18 months I'll be old enough to tap that money without tax penalty, should I need it.

Once a year I rebalance the funds based on the previous year's performance. I just spent an hour doing that in February when my wife's employer announced that they are changing their basket of core funds and undoing all the choices I just made. For some reason they decided to move my four most aggressive funds (biotech, software, medicine, and transportation) into a boring conservative target date fund. That means I'll have to rebalance again after the dust settles in June. The sector funds are volatile and expensive, but the biotech returned 34% last year. Hard to walk away from that even though I know the smart thing is to take the profit and run. 

Speaking of which, has anybody mentioned target date funds yet? That's the simplest and safest way to invest for the long haul. The fund manager rebalances its portfolio to make it more and more conservative as your retirement date approaches. Now that we're just 9 years from retirement I steer a little more money each year out of the growth funds and into the target date.
72  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: I just had tacos for breakfast on: April 14, 2015, 01:14:00 AM
An egg mcmuffin is not breakfast. They can count on selling the tacoids some hash browns and coffee, at minimum.
73  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Carls Jr - now in Toronto should I try it? on: April 11, 2015, 10:05:21 PM

Quote from: Lee on April 11, 2015, 03:53:28 AM

Quote from: Ironrod on April 11, 2015, 02:56:50 AM

Today I finally fired up my grill for the first time this year. I can make a better burger at home in less time than it takes to go buy takeout.

My problem with home burgers is the fries part. I would never dream of deep frying at home, and oven baked just aren't the same. Next hardest part at home is finding good buns.

I make excellent oven fries, non-greasy, crispy on the outside and tender inside. I don't feel like I'm settling for second-best but YMMV if you like them soaked in grease.

1. Cut up some red potatoes into french-fry sized pieces. I use 1.5 potatoes per person.
2. Soak them in cold water for 5-10 minutes. Pat dry with paper towel.
3. Spray a baking sheet with nonstick spray.
4. Preheat oven to 350.
5. Arrange fries in a single layer. Spray with the nonstick spray. Apply salt and pepper (I like cayenne).
6. Bake for 30 minutes, turning them once halfway through.

I light up my gas grill after flipping the fries. My burger gets done at the same time as the fries are ready. As for buns, I use whole-wheat rolls from the grocer's bakery.

During the summer, though, I usually make potato salad or other side dishes rather than fries.
74  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Carls Jr - now in Toronto should I try it? on: April 11, 2015, 02:56:50 AM

Quote from: Gratch on April 10, 2015, 05:00:15 AM

It's the love for Five Guys that I don't get.  That place is nasty.

I buy fast food burgers 2-3x a year. My nearby choices are McDs, BK, and 5 Guys. I wouldn't say I love 5 Guys but it sure beats the competition.

Today I finally fired up my grill for the first time this year. I can make a better burger at home in less time than it takes to go buy takeout.
75  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: This is my thread on: March 31, 2015, 03:55:55 AM
Management is deaf to my refund claim. If everybody reading this would send me just $1, I would have at least $6, maybe as much as $8. If people don't chip in voluntarily I'm going to have to start charging $0.50 per post.
76  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: [TV] The Walking Dead Season 5 on: March 31, 2015, 03:50:49 AM
I never watch it until the next day (too many commercials to watch in real time), and often not for several days, so I always chime in late.

Quote from: rittchard on March 30, 2015, 10:29:25 PM

Sorry I was busier this morning than expected.  I loved loved loved this finale, so much packed into a 90 minute show!!!  Honestly I think I barely took a breath for the entire hour I was watching the episode.  I really thought Glenn might bite it, Aaron too, and for a second I even thought Rick might go.  Can you imagine if they had killed Rick off in that sequence; that seriously would have been one of the biggest twists/moments in TV history. 

The cool thing about his show is that you never know. I really thought Glen was a goner.

Between the cookie scene from a few weeks ago and this episode's casserole scene, Carol is now my favorite Deader.

Overall it was a great season ender. Wrapped up a lot of conflicts without strangling the story arc, with enough bonus gore to send my wife out of the room twice. The zombie head in the car door was particularly inspired, and the meat hook zombies were just plain sick.
77  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: TDS-Jon Stewart to take summer off,John Oliver to fill in on: March 30, 2015, 10:19:32 PM
I only ever watch(ed) Jon Stewart in clips that people embed in various blogs and forum posts and social media and whatnot, which people do quite frequently -- so I don't watch the Daily Show but I see a lot of its highlights. The measure of this new fellow's success will be whether such clips keep popping up or quietly disappear.
78  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: This is my thread on: March 27, 2015, 02:34:56 AM
Those are unclaimed threads. Mine has barely been used and I'm still within the warranty period. I'd hate to have to take it to craigslist. I just want my dollar back.
79  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: This is my thread on: March 26, 2015, 10:10:01 PM
It turned out that I don't actually need a thread after all. Going to see if I can get my money back.
80  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: [TV] The Walking Dead Season 5 on: March 24, 2015, 04:12:40 AM
I wonder if it's occurred to them that they ought to make laws before hiring cops.
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