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41  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: So, I've been in the hostpital - A warning on: February 25, 2014, 03:24:37 AM
Hope your recovery beats expectations. I will forgo a political rant about our healthcare system, as I'm sure that your experience and opinions are stronger and better informed than mine now. I'm just trying to hang on until I get Medicare in 8 more years.
42  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Harold Ramis passed away today on: February 25, 2014, 03:15:30 AM
His sense of humor dovetailed pretty well with my own. I admire most of his work from SCTV onward. One obit said that Groundhog Day is often held up in screenwriting classes as an example of a perfect screenplay.
43  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: Arizona passes controversial anti-gay bill on: February 24, 2014, 02:01:59 AM
Have any mainstream churches spoken in favor of it?
44  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: [movie] Guardians of the Galaxy on: February 19, 2014, 11:31:06 PM

Quote from: Bullwinkle on February 19, 2014, 04:31:54 PM

Just watched the trailer.  Count me in the know next to nothing about the characters and very excited to see the movie camp.

If it's campy I might rent it. I didn't realize until I saw the trailer that it's a comedy...although I suppose the raccoon should have been a giveaway.
45  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: The Unsettling Feeling of Work Lulls on: February 19, 2014, 11:26:30 PM
During the years that I worked in PC game development, the workload was project-driven and very uneven -- and not always predictable, either, as corporate would occasionally kill a project unexpectedly. There was always at least a brief lull (and sometimes a lengthy one) after a game went gold. And head count was routinely reduced as well. You knew that most of the testers were going to be gone, but you never knew who else they were going to sweep away while they were at it.

Being a game company, we were expected to use these down periods "doing market research" -- that is, playing games.
46  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Bands You've Never Seen In Concert But Wish You Could/Had/Will on: February 19, 2014, 11:21:20 PM
I saw Bowie in his Thin White Duke years, right after Station to Station. He was in a huge arena in Detroit and I was way in the back. From where I stood, David Bowie was no more than 2 millimeters tall.
47  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Bands You've Never Seen In Concert But Wish You Could/Had/Will on: February 18, 2014, 07:15:54 AM

Quote from: Laner on February 18, 2014, 04:34:10 AM

Queen w/ Mercury

Saw them twice. Also Genesis with Gabriel.

I saw a LOT of the headline acts of the 1970s and early 80s -- I daresay most of them -- but always kind of regretted missing Pink Floyd.
48  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: The Walking Dead tap dances onto AMC for Season 4 on: February 18, 2014, 03:17:50 AM

Quote from: Mystic95Z on February 17, 2014, 10:35:42 PM

I though she was gonna off that baby too  icon_eek
I was rooting for her. I'll bet that baby will think twice before it starts bawling when Lizzy's around.
49  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: These 12 New Headline Trends Will Astound You! on: February 18, 2014, 03:13:42 AM
Downworthy will not change your life in any meaningful way!
50  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Soft drinks? on: February 16, 2014, 04:34:04 PM

Quote from: Lee on February 16, 2014, 01:01:46 PM

Kegerators aren't a good idea for people without willpower. I think there might be a name for that... icon_confused

I can keep hard alcohol or wine in my house and it can last months to a year. Beer, not so much. If I have it, I will drink it.

Being a creature of habit, I can easily stick to my beer ration as long as I'm counting 12-oz bottles. Give me a free-flowing tap and a bottomless glass? All bets are off. Plus if I had draft beer at home I would no longer have any reason to ever leave the house.
51  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: Ted Cruz: The Alienator on: February 14, 2014, 11:26:32 PM
As far as Democrats are concerned, Ted Cruz is the gift that keeps on giving. Like Bachman and Palin, he's got unshakable support among the red-meat base while scaring everybody else, including mainstream Republicans. I'm sure there is nothing that Clinton or Biden would like better than to face off against Cruz in 2016.

I don't think there's a chance that will happen. Party leaders appear to have the upper hand over the teabaggers, at least for the time being, and they have to keep it that way if they're going to take the Senate in November. All bets are off, though, if they manage to keep the extremists at bay yet fail to capture the Senate. 
52  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: Ted Cruz: The Alienator on: February 14, 2014, 08:41:46 PM
Somebody's got to define the fringe. There's money and notoriety in staking it out.
53  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Marvel: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. on: February 14, 2014, 08:34:23 PM

Quote from: Crawley on February 14, 2014, 07:37:04 PM

Quote from: Bullwinkle on February 14, 2014, 02:37:24 PM

Quote from: Ironrod on February 14, 2014, 02:39:13 AM

Quote from: Bullwinkle on February 13, 2014, 04:59:06 PM

Quote from: Ironrod on February 13, 2014, 01:38:31 AM



Did anybody else notice Stan Lee's cameo?



Notice it?  I'm not sure how you could miss it.  They were pimping it in commercials for two weeks and even if you missed those, it wasn't exactly subtly placed.

I don't see commercials because I only watch recorded shows. Guess it wasn't much of a "cameo" if they were hawking it in ads. Thought I was clever for recognizing him.

Sorry, didn't mean to rain on your parade.  My daughter even said, "Stan Lee, duh" when he popped on screen.

Aww man. Even dissed by a kid.  thumbsdown

I take comfort from the legions of people who didn't answer the question because they missed it.  nod
54  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Marvel: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. on: February 14, 2014, 02:39:13 AM

Quote from: Bullwinkle on February 13, 2014, 04:59:06 PM

Quote from: Ironrod on February 13, 2014, 01:38:31 AM



Did anybody else notice Stan Lee's cameo?



Notice it?  I'm not sure how you could miss it.  They were pimping it in commercials for two weeks and even if you missed those, it wasn't exactly subtly placed.

I don't see commercials because I only watch recorded shows. Guess it wasn't much of a "cameo" if they were hawking it in ads. Thought I was clever for recognizing him.
55  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Marvel: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. on: February 13, 2014, 01:38:31 AM

Quote from: Bullwinkle on February 05, 2014, 09:11:47 PM

Quote from: rittchard on February 05, 2014, 06:48:44 PM

Big reveal and plot moves last night - not sure about "season changing" but pretty cool stuff.

Spoiler for Hiden:
Deathlok, whoa!!!!!!  And Skye is.... Illyria?!?!  She was kind of blue wasn't she?  Kidding!!!  Or will she die and her body be sent in that chamber to the bottom of the ocean, only to be reborn as a.... phoenix?!?!  Also kidding, yeah yeah they can't use X-characters.  Soooo I searched around and didn't see any other interesting theories, besides one saying she is Lady Sif's daughter (fallen from the "sky").  

I don't get the "season changing" description - if she had actually died I could see it being a game changer, but she wasn't dead and her story is far from complete so it's not that big a deal is it?  I guess everyone on the team is super pissed their precious little Skye got stabbed so now the show will be "darker"?  Or was the big thing Deathlok?  As much as I like them, I think a more dramatic turn would have been to actually kill off either Fitz or Simmons, possibly making room for a cooler character to join them.  Kind of like when 7 of 9 joined Voyager or Dark Wesley joined Angel.  

Also read more about Bill Pullman coming in, as well as Lady Sif (aka Jessi XY) guest starring soon too!  So the "back half" of the show looks like it could be pretty exciting.

The unfortunate WTF news is apparently the next episode airs in March, so it looks like the idiotic tools at ABC are trying to Lost-fuck the show's ratings/fans.  (Hey did I just coin a cool new term?)  Hey, we've got an episodic show that relies heavily on plot points happening from episode to episode, so... let's air them one at a time randomly each month!!!!!  So aggravating.

I imagine this episode was team/season/story changing, but we haven't seen exactly how just yet, only that the ball is in motion.

Spoiler for Hiden:
I think we'll see some kind of power develop from Skye now that she's in that chamber. 

Knowing that Sif is coming in a future ep makes that Sif's daughter theory pretty respectable, I have to say.

Well I don't know the whole Marvel mythos, but I expect Skye to become a cyborg or alien-human hybrid or something equally superheroic. Not spoilering that since it's just speculation.

Did anybody else notice Stan Lee's cameo?

56  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Downton Abbey on: February 10, 2014, 08:19:04 PM
The first couple of seasons were steeped in class, manners, tradition vs. modernity, and the eventual impact of world war sweeping away the aristocracy's grip on the world. The soap-opera plots and character arcs all grew out of the feudal tradition being overthrown. Those themes are still there, but they feel more forced now, while the soap opera has moved to the fore. This is what I mean when I say it's become a parody of itself.

It's still a very well-written and -acted soap opera and I don't disparage anybody for liking it. Maggie Smith alone is worth the price of admission. I just stopped caring about it.
57  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: The Walking Dead tap dances onto AMC for Season 4 on: February 10, 2014, 08:08:04 PM
If the entire series is Carl's coming-of-age story, as I often think, then this was one of the most significant episodes to date. Badass Carl wants to leave childhood behind (and Rick even told him "you are a man") but he's still confused about what that means. He hasn't reconciled the Shane and Rick role models yet...even though it looked like his Shane side was running away with it. The scene in which he almost shoots maybe-zombie Rick was extremely tense and revealing.

I think they have a pretty good overall balance of character development, plot exposition, and straight-up action.
58  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Soft drinks? on: February 10, 2014, 05:09:54 PM
I guess my beer bill works out to $40/wk. Was spending closer to $55 before I cut back last month. 

Seltzer is far cheaper in 2-liter bottles than in single-serving cans. My seltzer habit only costs me 40 cents a day.
59  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Downton Abbey on: February 10, 2014, 04:59:25 PM

Quote from: Jumangi on February 10, 2014, 04:21:56 PM

Quote from: Ironrod on February 10, 2014, 02:34:54 AM

I officially bailed on this show effective with tonight's episode. I started to lose interest -- and the show started to wander -- when WW1 ended. Then a few weeks ago they threw in a subplot that was completely gratuitous because they felt like a particular character (OK, Anna...if you're watching you know what I'm talking about) was too happy or needed some conflict. It crossed completely into soap opera territory at that point. Now that The Walking Dead is back on the same day and time, I am done with Downton.

The first two seasons were really good, I'll give it that.

You leave Downton cause of lost interest but watch the Walking Dead? That show stopped being good after the first season.

Either zombies or TARDIS guest appearances would bring me back to Downton. Make it both and the awesomeness would be off the charts.
60  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: The Walking Dead tap dances onto AMC for Season 4 on: February 10, 2014, 07:25:43 AM
So how about them zombies? I enjoyed the season 4.5 premier, especially the echoes of early episodes (burning tank, comatose Rick, reference to Shane). It's like the characters are coping with their disorientation by going back to the beginning. Enjoyed seeing bratty Carl taken down a peg, too. The diaspora is a good development if they don't spend the entire rest of the season reuniting people (as it looks like they might do).
61  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Downton Abbey on: February 10, 2014, 07:16:54 AM
I just didn't buy it. It felt forced and arbitrary, from a plot/writing standpoint. I was being manipulated to feel  icon_eek but I only felt like  Roll Eyes I hung in there for a couple more weeks but increasingly felt that Downton has become a parody of itself.

Which is not to say that I'm right and you're wrong; my wife's still thoroughly engrossed in it. They just lost me and I wasn't really their audience in the first place. They'll get over it.
62  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Downton Abbey on: February 10, 2014, 02:34:54 AM
I officially bailed on this show effective with tonight's episode. I started to lose interest -- and the show started to wander -- when WW1 ended. Then a few weeks ago they threw in a subplot that was completely gratuitous because they felt like a particular character (OK, Anna...if you're watching you know what I'm talking about) was too happy or needed some conflict. It crossed completely into soap opera territory at that point. Now that The Walking Dead is back on the same day and time, I am done with Downton.

The first two seasons were really good, I'll give it that.
63  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: The LEGO Movie - the movie of Legos on: February 09, 2014, 07:13:01 PM
I had zero interest in this movie. Legos weren't part of my childhood (plastic hadn't been invented yet; we had Lincoln Logs), I don't have kids, and I don't like kids' movies (with a few exceptions). Based on those two reviews, though, I added it to my netflix queue.
64  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Soft drinks? on: February 08, 2014, 04:14:50 PM

Quote from: Lee on February 08, 2014, 01:29:59 PM

A buck a bottle? What are you drinking?
Regional beers such as Sam Adams, Shipyard, Harpoon, Long Trail, Wachusett, and sometimes Smuttynose and Magic Hat. Sierra Nevada is often on sale as well. Between their everyday beers and their seasonals that's plenty of variety. Normal price is $15/12, sale price is $13/12. 6-packs are usually $10+ so I only buy those when I want something (such as porter or stout) that's not popular enough to be sold in 12's.

Quote
Is Sodastream big enough that it needs a killer?

Coca-cola would like to own that market. The regular soda business has been in decline for years. Their secondary bottled-water business is under assault from environmentalists. The make-your-own niche has potential, but the expense and inconvenience of CO2 cartridges holds sodastream back; Coke figures they can take the category mainstream if they can solve the CO2 drawback. Which Green Mountain has apparently done. 
65  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Soft drinks? on: February 08, 2014, 02:49:54 AM

Quote from: Lee on February 07, 2014, 07:18:10 PM

I would love something heartier in the evening as well, but after years of drinking, I figured it was time to cut that crap out if I want to be live into my old age (had a health scare a few months back but it was all in my head/stress). Plus, drinking good beer get's really expensive. I limit myself to $40 a month for beer, so about 4 6-packs. I won't say how much I used to spend. icon_confused

Most of my income goes to beer, but I don't buy anything else so that's OK. It's a wee bit more than a buck a bottle in 12-packs.

My parents gave up beer when they were around 60. I once told my mom "I suppose someday some doctor will tell me I have to quit, too." She said "No, your body will tell you that." It's been 57 years and it hasn't balked yet.  thumbsup But I am cutting back a little to save on calories, hence my search for a satisfying low- or no-cal Sober Sundays beverage. 

Plain store-brand seltzer is 77 cents for a 2-liter bottle. Coca-cola just bought 10% of Green Mountain Coffee, the people who brought the Keurig machines to market, because they're working on a single-dispenser cold drink machine that somehow doesn't need CO2 cylinders. It's supposed to be the Soda Stream killer -- the gas refills are what holds its market penetration to 2-3% of American households.
66  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Soft drinks? on: February 07, 2014, 06:55:29 PM
I drink seltzer all afternoon so I need something heartier in the evenings. Hadn't thought about herbal teas. Do those have the same diuretic quality as decaf coffee? Getting up in the middle of the night ruled that one out.

Waist Watchers is the only soda I know of that uses sucralose ("Splenda"), but there are probably others. The taste is (to me) indistinguishable from sugar and sucralose isn't as carcinogenic as aspartame, although a recent study says heavy consumption might eventually lead to lukemia. (shrug) I only drink a liter a week, so not worried about it.
67  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Soft drinks? on: February 07, 2014, 07:23:32 AM
I have the same problem. There's nothing I like as much as beer. I drink seltzer all day and beer all night. But Sunday night is sober night and I need something else.

I've settled on Waist Watchers soda, which uses sucralose so it's zero calories without the nasty aspartame aftertaste. The chocolate fudge and cherry flavors aren't bad as sweet stuff goes.

I'm still looking for a good Not-Beer with no calories, no caffeine, no alcohol, and no sugar, and that isn't water. Doesn't seem to be such a thing except maybe for near-beer, and that shit's just nasty. Tried decaf coffee but that always made me get up in the middle of the night to pee.

68  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Suggestions for a great mattress on: February 04, 2014, 03:13:00 AM

Quote from: wonderpug on February 03, 2014, 02:05:51 PM

I have no idea which one you should buy, but I just wanted to make sure you were aware that mattress prices are like car prices.  You are entirely expected to haggle to an extreme degree.

Yes. And oddly enough the mattress industry is even sleazier than the car industry. For example, did you know that the major manufacturers give the exact same product different names and model numbers in each retail outlet to prevent price-matching? Unlike car dealers, it's very hard to play one store against another.

We bought our last one at Sleepy's, which we started calling Sleazy's when we realized how negotiable their prices are.

One thing I learned is that pillow-top mattresses are designed to prevent you from extending its life by flipping it over. Put a pad on a normal mattress instead.
69  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Re: RIP Phillip Seymour Hoffman on: February 03, 2014, 03:19:49 AM

Quote from: Canuck on February 03, 2014, 02:39:28 AM

Oh no, the butler dude!? Now that's sad. Strange that that is the only movie I can ever remember seeing him in.

He was also one of the storm chasers in Twister, which you might have seen. Although he often played sidekicks and supporting roles, he had greatness in him and his best work might well have been ahead of him. What really makes me sad is thinking about all the characters he might have played over the next 20 or 30 years.
70  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Re: RIP Phillip Seymour Hoffman on: February 03, 2014, 02:00:10 AM

Quote from: Canuck on February 03, 2014, 12:43:50 AM

I hate to be the guy who says "who?" but, who?
I've seriously never heard of this guy before. What movies was he in that I would have most likely watched?

The Big Lebowski?
71  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: RIP Phillip Seymour Hoffman on: February 02, 2014, 08:39:41 PM
That's sad. At age 46 he might have had another 30 movies ahead of him.
72  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Bitcoin explained on: January 30, 2014, 11:41:17 PM

Quote from: Punisher on January 30, 2014, 06:51:26 PM

I still don't "get" what a bitcoin is or how it has value.

This. If it can't be converted to US dollars or euros or some other common currency, how is it ultimately worth anything? Can a bitcoin billionaire pay the rent with them?
73  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Amazon To Start Charging Tax In My State on: January 30, 2014, 04:14:49 AM
I thought that states without income tax make their money on property taxes. I know that's the story in NH, at least.

In MA our income tax is 5.2%, sales tax is 6.25% (with most towns adding a 0.75% meals tax), and property taxes are strictly local.
74  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: Signing up for Obamacare on: January 29, 2014, 03:57:21 AM

Quote from: Alefroth on January 29, 2014, 01:23:53 AM

Quote from: brettmcd on January 27, 2014, 09:54:43 PM

I hope you are wrong with that, single payer government run health care would be an absolute disaster for most americans.   The insurance I have now is excellent insurance and costs far less then the massive taxes that would be needed to pay for single payer coverage.   It would be the same for a majority of americans.   And if you try to tell me that we will get pay increases from not having employers paying for coverage that will make up for that I will have to laugh for about 3 days at the absurdity of such a statement.   Companies will cut the coverage and keep the savings for profit, that is what companies do.

I don't think you understand single payer. Single payer does not equal government run health care, nor does it mean free health care. To boil it down, it basically means government run health insurance. Think Medicare for everyone.

Brett has an unusually sweet employer-provided plan. He does not want to hear about anything that threatens it. Which is understandable, but doesn't leave much room for agreement.
75  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Amazon To Start Charging Tax In My State on: January 29, 2014, 03:49:37 AM

Quote from: rittchard on January 28, 2014, 06:28:22 PM

Yeah when we got it last year (CA) I was pretty bummed but what can you do.  The fact is it does make the competition more fair for companies like Best Buy and Target, not to mention the last remaining traditional book stores. 

It's also a little boon for small online retailers (like, oh, me for instance) who can't afford to offer free shipping. Companies that ship 100,000 packages a year get sweetheart pricing from the carriers. The rest of us have to pay the same retail shipping rates that you do so we have to pass that cost along. But at least my store is still tax-free in 49 states.
76  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: So I watched a horror movie tonight on: January 26, 2014, 04:13:57 PM

Quote from: Teggy on January 26, 2014, 04:18:34 AM

Whenever my wife goes away on business, I'll usually take the opportunity to watch a bunch of movies she's not interested in,

I do that, too. That's when I catch up on superhero movies (more for pop cultural literacy than because I actually want to see them) and sometimes horror (last time she went away I watched all the formative zombie movies to learn about the genre's origins and evolution).

This particular one won't make my list, though. I don't like gore/murder/slasher type horror.
77  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: Signing up for Obamacare on: January 25, 2014, 11:04:13 PM
We will ultimately get to a single-payer Medicare-for-all type of system, but the road there is long and perilous. Obamacare seems like a detour, although some pundits see it leading there indirectly.

I must say that I expected Obamacare rollout to go better than it did, based on our experience with Romneycare here in MA. The critical difference is that everybody here pulled together to make it work. The ACA will eventually find its groove because there is no alternative...but it's going to be a long, contentious process.   
78  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: So it's been a few yrs so I have to ask again.. on: January 24, 2014, 09:15:13 PM
Every morning with a cup of coffee and the newspaper. It's my quality time and has been this way for decades.

Sometimes, depending on my diet, I need a brief return visit after lunch.

If I'm ever deprived of my morning quality time (such as when I'm traveling), I'm irregular for days afterwards.
79  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: Court affirms Mass. murderer's right to get sex change in prison on: January 24, 2014, 02:19:53 AM

Quote from: TiLT on January 22, 2014, 11:13:21 PM

Quote from: Teggy on January 22, 2014, 06:09:43 PM

I would think "medically necessary" = "life threatening".

In this case "medically necessary" means "necessary to preserve the person's human rights". There's room for debate in this area,

Indeed, and we don't know the court's reasoning from that link. I presume it's "medically necessary" for the prisoner's mental health, which is being given equal status with physical health.

Incidentally, the thread title misled me to think that s/he was a "mass murderer."
80  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: Court affirms Mass. murderer's right to get sex change in prison on: January 22, 2014, 03:54:12 AM
Speaking as a Masshole whose tax dollars will pay for this...I'm all for treating prisoners humanely and I favor rehabilitation over punishment, but this one's a head-scratcher.
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