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81  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: Sarah Palin demands...DEMANDS...impeachment. Can still see Russia from porch. on: November 22, 2014, 06:23:37 PM
The hits just keep on coming. Don't ever change, Sarah.

Sarah Palin said today that illegal immigrants from Mexico should be put on boats and sent back across the ocean to their home country.

In an interview with Fox News tonight, the former Alaskan governor was asked about President Obama’s new plan to partially legalize some of the estimated 11 million illegal immigrants in America. Palin dismissed the president's idea as “amnesty” and offered an  unconventional solution of her own.

“If I were Obama I’d put all 11 million of these folks on boats and send them back to Mexico,” she opined. “The liberal media says it’s impossible to deport that many people. But I say we can do it if we have enough ships.

“Let’s commandeer all the cruise ships, all the fishing vessels and all the yachts those fat cat Obama donors own. And then let’s pack ‘em full of illegals and send these people on a one-way cruise to Mexico City.

“The long voyage back across the Mexican Ocean should give them plenty of time to think about how they shouldn’t be coming here to America and jeopardizing our freedom and prosperity by breaking our laws.”

(OK, it was satire. Had me going though, and I'll bet it got you, too.)
82  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: [TV] The Walking Dead Season 5 on: November 18, 2014, 03:09:08 AM

Quote from: Lee on November 17, 2014, 10:38:24 PM

I enjoyed it, until the van landed on it's wheels. It was clearly going to land front end first in the real world. icon_twisted

That wasn't even filmed well. Shot of van leaving bridge, nose-down. Cut! Van lands on wheels. Bothered me more than most discontinuities do, and I'm usually pretty forgiving.

Otherwise it was an OK episode. I agree about the flashbacks-within-the-flashback, though. The smoke metaphors were heavy handed and didn't add anything. Weren't Darryl's cigarettes (Morleys) the same brand they smoked in the X-Files? I know I"ve seen that prop before. Aha, it goes deeper than I thought:

The X-Files: The Cigarette Smoking Man, played by William B. Davis, smokes this fictional brand, as does Agent Monica Reyes. The X-Files is probably the most well known use of Morley cigarettes. In "Brand X," Mulder and Scully visit Morley Tobacco's headquarters after one of the employees is murdered.
83  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Have you ever written anything substantial? on: November 15, 2014, 03:27:03 AM
I forgot all about technical writing. I wrote the manual for Caesar III (about 150 pages IIRC), all of the walker dialog, and most of the in-game text. Ditto for Children of the Nile and pretty good chunks of Pharaoh and Civil War Generals 2. Also wrote the text strings for one of the characters in Lords of the Realm II, although I forget which character it was (the Baron maybe?). A lot of that was just grind-it-out stuff but there was some creative component in imbuing feedback with character and humor. I was credited as Writer on C3 and CotN.
84  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Have you ever written anything substantial? on: November 13, 2014, 01:49:57 AM
I kept a journal from age 18 to about age 35, writing a couple of pages a few times a week. Old school longhand in notebooks, baby. I used to have great penmanship. Stopped doing that when I went on antidepressants and lost the compulsion to write.

Got 3/4 of the way through a sf novel when I was a teenager. It was a long-distance collaboration with another, older writer whom I met through fan publications -- we mailed manuscripts back and forth; mine were typed, his were handwritten. Lost my motivation after he committed suicide. It was a post-apocalyptic Ultimate Computer kind of story. It wasn't very good, except that we did predict the Internet (which we called Monolith) back in 1976. Computers in every home connected by telephone lines was his crazy idea.

I blog about my business every Friday. Nobody reads it. The link is in my sig if you want to see why. Been doing that for the better part of 10 years and I have something like 400 entries. I guess it's what remains of my compulsion.

85  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: [TV] The Walking Dead Season 5 on: November 10, 2014, 10:58:48 PM

Quote from: Bullwinkle on November 10, 2014, 08:13:51 PM

  It's already pretty well established that the zombie heads are near mush in this world anyway. 

And yet their jaws and teeth rip through healthy flesh like tissue paper. Never fails to bug me.  saywhat
86  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Amazon Echo on: November 07, 2014, 12:32:38 AM

Quote from: Lee on November 06, 2014, 10:27:21 PM

Quote from: farley2k on November 06, 2014, 09:53:47 PM

I like the idea of a device not tethered to my phone personally but I know I am not in the majority.  

So you think this sounds useful? Especially for that price point? I am really curious about who would want this and why. What does it offer that you think you might use daily, while not annoying everyone else you live with?

I don't want one; my phone periodically tries to convince me to talk to it (say "hey google") and I want no part of that. Hypothetically, though, I can see the appeal of a standalone device that doesn't need recharging and -- most important -- doesn't require a subscription or a monthly payment. You pays your $200 and you're done. But yeah, not being a whole-house integrated thing makes it little more than a toy.
87  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Doctor Who 8th Series - Goodbye Matt, Hello Peter! on: November 06, 2014, 06:24:44 AM
Tough crowd.

The relationship between Clara and the Dr came into sharp focus with one line: Did you really think that I care so little for you that betraying me would make a difference?
88  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: GOP Storms Congress: FulL Control of Senate and House on: November 05, 2014, 11:35:42 PM
It's pretty clear that Republicans didn't win so much as Democrats lost, and they lost primarily because people deeply dislike Obama. So this Republican wave has a mandate be Obama? Or something like that.

This fellow's take on it is interesting: It was a victory for the Left.
89  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Doctor Who 8th Series - Goodbye Matt, Hello Peter! on: November 05, 2014, 04:10:56 AM
No love for last week's "Dark Water" episode? I thought that was one of the best-written hours of Dr Who ever.
90  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: [TV] The Walking Dead Season 5 on: October 14, 2014, 05:32:16 PM

Quote from: Bullwinkle on October 14, 2014, 11:27:02 AM

As for post credits, my DVR cut it off early (just as the person started turning around).  Did they reveal who that was?

The character's name was Morgan Jones. I didn't recognize him and had to have it explained. Pretty cool that they're going to tie up an old loose thread.
91  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: [TV] The Walking Dead Season 5 on: October 14, 2014, 12:03:49 AM
They are bringing back a character from S1.
92  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: [TV] The Walking Dead Season 5 on: October 13, 2014, 09:47:15 PM
Agree that the episode was firing on all cylinders. Glad to have TWD back, and equally glad that they didn't stretch out the Terminus story arc any farther. The whole cannibal culture conceit was a bit of a stretch IMO, in spite of the "Then" scenes that tried to justify it. It was OK, just glad they didn't dwell on it any longer than they did.
93  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Money pit so it seems. on: October 10, 2014, 11:02:07 PM
We've only ever owned one house. We bought it 25 years ago for $148,500 and we still owe about $76,000 on it. In its current condition it's probably worth around $225,000; it will be worth closer to $300,000 if we can fix and improve a few key things -- obviously, I don't want to put more than $75,000 into doing that since that's what I figure the improvements will be worth. That's not a great return strictly as an investment, but we were housed for 25 years and our mortgage payment is less than half of what rent would cost nowadays. We didn't spend much on maintenance in all those years, and that's catching up with us now.

The house is 102 years old and we're only its 4th owners, so people do tend to live here a long time. Its location is nearly ideal for our lifestyle.

Our tentative plan is to sell in 10 years. We will be at full social security retirement age and (bonus!) our mortgage will be paid off, so we can use the proceeds to buy another, more elder-friendly house in cash. Housing prices are lower where we plan to retire.
94  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Money pit so it seems. on: October 10, 2014, 04:05:24 PM
There's no access to the attic so who knows? At least the roofers discovered that it's well-insulated. I didn't know if there was any insulation up there at all.
95  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Money pit so it seems. on: October 09, 2014, 10:55:57 PM
Wiring is on our maybe-eventually-someday list. They told us when we bought the house 25 years ago that it needed to be updated. We have an old-school fuse box with some knob & tube wiring still in place. The house is 102 years old.

Five years of un- and underemployment set us back a long way on home maintenance as we cannibalized all of our short-term savings and most of our home equity line. Finally bought a new $8,000 roof last week -- I can take the bucket out of my office, hooray! Now saving aggressively for a paint job next year because the house looks like hell. After that, we can start to think about some of the cosmetic improvements that we've wanted for years, maybe even a kitchen or bathroom makeover. My wife is a year and a half away from the magical age of 59-1/2 when she can access a long-stagnant Roth that's got home improvements written all over it.

Wiring? Yeah, wiring comes sometime after that unless a renovator simply can't work with what we have.
96  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Random Youtube Links Part 1: This time it's random Youtube Links (NSFW) on: October 08, 2014, 01:11:25 AM

Quote from: EngineNo9 on October 07, 2014, 10:12:55 PM

That was cool. I would pay money to see that movie.
97  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: Crisis of faith or is it over? on: September 27, 2014, 09:39:30 PM

Quote from: Gratch on September 27, 2014, 07:40:35 PM

Quote from: Knightshade Dragon on September 27, 2014, 03:20:01 PM

I think it's more important to be as good a person as I can rather than ascribe to a religious dogma. 

That's pretty much the manta I live my life by.  If it means I can't get into some sort of exclusive afterlife club because I didn't happen to do it "in the name of Jesus", then so be it.

I don't know if there are gods or souls or an afterlife or any of that. Probably not, but could be. I'm confident, though, that those things will get along fine regardless of what I do or don't believe. If it turns out that my eternal fate (if any) depended on observing particular rituals or saying magic words during my brief time on earth then I'm going to demand to see the management, because that's a petty way to run a cosmos.
98  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: Crisis of faith or is it over? on: September 27, 2014, 07:17:01 PM
Well, it's quite possible to be spiritual without being religious. I'd even call that normal among my circle of acquaintances.
99  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: Crisis of faith or is it over? on: September 26, 2014, 10:36:10 PM
It sounds like you are trending toward a generic spirituality or mysticism -- deism, animism, or some other paganism -- rather than a religion. Religion is about answers based on revealed truth, not questions. That makes it the opposite of science. Science thrives on "unanswered things" and does not ask you to believe in it except as a powerful method of investigating and understanding the material world.

While I think all religions can be philosophically illuminating, none of them are as "true" as they think they are, and none are worth joining or following unless you crave the social inclusion.

I don't believe in any religion (obviously) nor am I very spiritual, so this probably isn't the perspective you're looking for.
100  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Cholesterol Blues (Paging Pete Rock) on: September 25, 2014, 05:45:49 AM

Quote from: EngineNo9 on September 25, 2014, 02:36:22 AM

Man, you guys are really making me look forward to the next few years when my 30's turn into my 40's.   frown thumbsdown

Or you can just ignore it. Mine was kind of high when I had it checked 6 or 8 years ago. They wanted me to come back and do a fasting test. Bzzt! I'll pass. I'm 57 and I've already outlived my usefulness anyway.
101  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Apple Watch on: September 13, 2014, 09:56:58 PM
4 signs Apple has completely given up on being cool (from

so far, the Apple Watch seems tailor-made for old people.

#4. Old People Love Wearing Gadgets
#3. It's Made for People Who Are Falling Apart
#2. It Caters to the Stores Where Older People Shop
#1. The Emojis Are Great for Wizened Eyes

If you're still not convinced Apple is now the company of high-wader khakis and nostalgia for Barry Goldwater, check your iPhone's music. Apple surreptitiously just gave you a new U2 album most of the population never wanted. It's basically Apple's version of a birthday present you never asked for, only they got confused and snuck it in the drywall of your house.

Being a bona fide old person myself, all I can say is I already have a watch.

Seriously, the whole "wearable tech" paradigm feels like something marketing people keep trying to convince techies is the Next Big Thing.
102  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: My awesome/awful Friday on: September 07, 2014, 04:07:17 PM
I've had to euthanize two cats. Looking into their eyes as the life goes out is heartbreaking.

Our current cat is 16.5 years old and mostly healthy, but I know that the euthanasia scene is likely to be repeated before very much longer. I'm dreading that day, whether it's months away or a year. None of our previous cats ever lived past 17.

So I understand how you feel about Vader, and I'm sorry to hear about it. Eventually the happy memories will crowd out the sad.   

103  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: [Ukraine] Crimea River on: August 29, 2014, 04:13:31 PM
I had thought that Putin would stop at Crimea. It looks like I was wrong. Having determined that there won't be any military consequences, he is going for the land corridor to his new province.
104  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: One of my dogs died suddenly today. on: August 24, 2014, 09:02:42 PM

Quote from: Eel Snave on August 24, 2014, 02:52:17 AM

Quote from: Lee on August 23, 2014, 11:28:13 PM

That's horrible. Does the vet have any idea what it could have been?

No, we didn't even take him to the vet. He died at home, and he died so quickly we didn't have time to take him. Just a few breaths and he was gone.

That's got to be especially hard if you had no warning. At least he didn't suffer a long illness. Sorry to hear about it, though.
105  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: [movie] Guardians of the Galaxy on: August 24, 2014, 09:00:09 PM

Quote from: forgeforsaken on August 24, 2014, 06:21:20 PM

Quote from: Ironrod on August 24, 2014, 05:52:20 PM

Looks like this movie has already left one of the two multiplexes that are convenient for us. Tuesday is its last day at the other one. I hope to be able to see it next Tuesday before it's gone.

It's still the seconds highest grossing movie out right now, doesn't really make sense to pull it.

I'm guessing most places are turning over for Labor Day weekend. It will still be showing through next weekend in some more distant theaters. Realistically, though, those aren't convenient so we won't see it if we don't go by Tuesday. Wife will be home that day so it should be doable. On the plus side ticket prices have fallen to $7.50 so we'll get out of it for $20 with popcorn.

Back when I used to go to movies regularly they stayed in theaters for months. Nowadays even the top movies seldom run for more than 4-6 weeks. Maybe Hollywood is just turning out too much product.
106  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: [movie] Guardians of the Galaxy on: August 24, 2014, 05:52:20 PM
Looks like this movie has already left one of the two multiplexes that are convenient for us. Tuesday is its last day at the other one. I hope to be able to see it next Tuesday before it's gone.
107  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: Should Police Departments Have Military Gear? Obama says "Let's look into it." on: August 24, 2014, 02:37:33 AM

Quote from: ATB on August 23, 2014, 10:00:34 PM

Besides, the army will need the equipment when we invade Iraq again.

We'll make more. The economy depends on it.

While I'm not dead-set against urban police departments having heavy weaponry to counter extreme threats, I do believe that its use should be strictly constrained.
108  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: {Movie]Automata on: August 22, 2014, 03:30:07 AM
Looks like somebody is playing fast and loose with Asimov's 3 Laws. Regardless, count me in. (Especially since I just finished watching Robot and Frank a few minutes ago.)
109  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Do you buy DVDs anymore? on: August 19, 2014, 09:38:49 PM
I bought a few movies right after we got our first DVD player, and then gave my wife a few more as xmas gifts. We probably own 12 or 15 altogether. Haven't bought any since we got netflix. No desire to own movies.

110  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: Sarah Palin demands...DEMANDS...impeachment. Can still see Russia from porch. on: August 18, 2014, 11:09:23 PM
I wonder if she had a stroke or got botox or a facelift or something. Her face looks half-frozen.
111  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Where do you stand on the crucial topic of hotdogs? on: August 18, 2014, 02:50:11 AM

Quote from: hitbyambulance on August 17, 2014, 08:33:49 PM

tofu dogs; Yves' are pretty good. i'll eat two or three in a sitting. i'll have anything for toppings, as long as it's not real meat.

It's generous to consider regular hot dogs "real meat."
112  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: I'm a former Jehovah's Witness, AMA! on: August 15, 2014, 11:09:17 PM

Quote from: Isgrimnur on August 15, 2014, 09:25:13 PM

Starting with a conclusion and cherry-picking evidence to support it is neither science nor research, no matter how many letters you can string after your name. But I assume we all know that just as well as the ICR "researchers" do not.
113  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: How rough is your family on their phones? on: August 15, 2014, 02:20:14 AM
My wife called me from work this morning because she had left her cell phone home and didn't know where it was. I called it and could just barely hear it ringing. It was coming from outside. No, it was coming from the garage; she must have left it in my car last night. No, it was coming from the driveway. Where it was laying face-down. Oopsie! It's a good thing I found it before I drove anywhere...I would've squashed that sucker flat.

I'm impressed that it still works after spending a night on the ground in the rain.
114  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Robin Williams found dead on: August 13, 2014, 05:33:51 AM
Let's not forget his turn as the mime king in Shakes the Clown.
115  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: Obama seeking 1/2 Billion for Syrian Opposition on: August 12, 2014, 10:29:16 PM

Quote from: hepcat on August 12, 2014, 01:02:22 PM

But we're discussing the current situation in Iraq, not the broader topic of violence and unrest in the Middle East.  In particular, the breakdown of Iraq due to sectarian violence and their inability to work together in any meaningful capacity.  That, I truly believe, can be laid at the feet of Bush Jr..  Even his father knew not to play kingmaker and backed off before doing so.

Obama's decision to withdraw completely is partly to blame for the current breakdown in order and marginalization of US influence. The administration could have twisted arms harder for a favorable agreement to keep a US presence. I supported full withdrawal and I'm glad that we don't have a trigger force there that would draw us back into another buildup...but I also believe that it's partially to blame for the current deterioration.

There is plenty of blame to go around for everybody. Might as well blame Saddam for being dickish enough to bring the US hammer down, too (although he might well have been deposed during the Arab Spring anyway, leading to the same power vacuum that exists today). 
116  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: The Better Life Index Tool Tells You Which Country Is Best For You on: August 12, 2014, 10:20:02 PM

Quote from: farley2k on August 12, 2014, 07:38:57 PM


So where should you live?  I seem to be geared for Scandinavian countries.  Too bad they are so cold!

Climate should certainly be a factor in the ratings. Otherwise Scandinavia is always going to come out on top (as it did for me, too). I could probably handle the Danish (ranked #5) or Dutch (#7) climate, and there are parts of Canada (#3) that aren't too bad, but the only warm place in my list is Australia (#6) and Caribbean countries aren't even considered.
117  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Robin Williams found dead on: August 11, 2014, 11:30:54 PM
Dueling threads, oh no!

Depression is a bitch, even for the rich and successful. I wonder if he had physical medical issues as well or if it's a "tears of a clown" situation. Sad, regardless.
118  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Hypochondriac on: August 11, 2014, 09:06:34 PM
I guess I'm the opposite of a hypochondriac. I don't worry about my health or go to doctors.
119  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: How rough is your family on their phones? on: August 09, 2014, 04:59:04 PM
My wife is harder on electronics than I am, but I'm abnormally careful. My laptop virtually never leaves my desk, for example, whereas she carries hers to work every day. I've never dumped a beverage into a computer or dropped one (as she has done). I won't say that she's careless, just that her machines are subjected to more risks and more wear.

Neither of us has ever damaged a phone but we aren't heavy users either. They seem pretty rugged to me.
120  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Where do you stand on the crucial topic of hotdogs? on: August 09, 2014, 02:07:12 AM

Quote from: hepcat on August 08, 2014, 12:57:08 PM

Quote from: Ironrod on August 08, 2014, 03:04:55 AM

Quote from: Caine on August 07, 2014, 02:10:47 PM

You've graduated from hot dogs to bratwurst.  Johnsonville on the grill, get some hoagie rolls and some ketchup.  That's all you need.

Or Italian sausage. Hot dogs are for children.

The only way I can imagine eating a hot dog nowadays is the way I used to like them when I was young: Burned black on a stick in a campfire. In the dark. Half starved and drunk.

Jesus, what kind of Scout leader did you have as a kid???

It was the '60s.
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