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Topics - Crewe

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1
Console Gaming Discussion / MLB The Show 20
« on: March 19, 2020, 10:10:12 PM »
I normally picked this up every year, but skipped last year because my playing time waned somewhat.
However, I grabbed it this time and here's some impressions. Note that I only play RTTS.

First off, I didnt back up any of my 2018 RTTS guys in the cloud and it turns out, you cant import them in to 20 unless via the cloud.
I say that because its a guess and the reason is, it also appears you cant import anyone that isn't from the 2019 game. I could be wrong if someone else can check that. At some point, I think I can fire up my 2018 version, save a RTTS guy to the cloud and then come back to 20 and see if I can import.

I think this was setup in 18 but I cant recall so Ill go ahead and discuss:
Once I get this game, the very first thing I do is load music and set sounds, chants, yells and the like. Takes a good while, but once you do it, it's done.
I can recall that you used to have to do, say your chant sounds. You would have to go to that category, scroll through your entire library of music/sounds and pick which ones you wanted for chants.
Then do yells, then music cues...good god can you imagine how frustrating and boring that is?
Well now, you can select any category all at once.
Your music (and or sounds etc) are in column one on the left. On th right are three other columns with checkboxes; music, chants, yells (at least I think thats what they care called, doesn't matter for our purpose here)
So you only have to scroll all your music once; checking every category in which you want that music to appear all at the same time. So much more user friendly.

Enough of that, on to the game.

The good
I always always always hated how your guy would go from zero to top speed in one step. it looked foolish, wasn't realistic and was quite unnerving, especially as a fielder. one step, full speed for ten steps to the spot and stop on a dime. It played silly.
Well, no more. The animations have been updated to have a much more realistic feel and appearance and will easily lead to errors in the field if you aren't careful, which I like. Although, I'm seeing a lot of E7's right now  :o

Perks
So this has evolved over the years and I like where it is right now. You can prioritize your characteristics and thus your perks. Captain, Heart and Soul, Maverick and Lightning Rod are the choices. You can pick a few to start and gain more as you go to help develop your guy. Although, Im about three months in to my first season and I haven't progressed in the perk area at all yet so Im not sure how it works. If it's based off of challenges, well then, that makes sense because, I suck at challenges. That said...

Challenges
This too has evolved and I think its really cool. used to be, say at bat, the manager would just give you some stupid meaningless order you had to follow to gain progression points. I recall I was under a red light, no steals, ever, because I got caught a few times in a row. Well, I got on base an the manager told me to steal lol I literally got benched for trying to steal when he told me to but after the game said I didnt understand what no steals meant.
None of that shit anymore, a nd it doesn't happen often in a game, or sometimes even once every two or three games. It's very situational.
Say a man is on second; you might get something like this:
Maverick: Make contact with every swing and drive in the run (and get x points for clutch lets say)
Captain: Swing only at pitches over the plate making contact and drive in a run.

So, much much more interesting and believable situations.
Now, I could get 4 hits a game, seeing a beach ball floating to the plate, then I get a challenge and swing at three pitches out of the zone and Im done lol Challenges make me choke.

Relationships
This is another aspect that is really cool. The the opportunity arises, you can build relationships either with your teammates, or stoke a rival.
You usually get options of three rival players or teammates. You'll be able to see what stage you are at with each one and how you wish to go forward.
The three stages are unknown or unfriendly (basically, you dont know each other) friendly and bros, or rivals.
At each development stage, you get perks. Such as, if you have a bud on base, he can boost your contact for that AB.
Owning a rival, playing within a division etc all have the potential to add perks which makes it feel like games mean a bit more than wins or losses. There's meat behind your progress, rather than just wild silly meaningless challenges.

The umps variability is actually reasonable now. In 18, if my check swing was appealed, it was always "no swing." Got kinda boring.
I was in a clutch sitch and was able to finally heck my swing on a two strike count. An appeal was requested and that turd rang me up! I was so surprised!
At that moment I didnt care much for it obviously, but I really like the fact they changed that horse hockey.
Also, behind the plate treats calls that could go either way just like that, either way. And some bad calls too. They've really tweaked the algorithm to make this more realistic and fun.

Real minor league rosters!

Training
Im still in a young season so I haven't seen everything yet, but it seems to be much more refined and upgraded with a few twists. Some events that would force you to take 20 actual practice balls before now just automatically gives you your progression points.
There are some activities that are quite fun and frustrating though. If you have ever played, you'd recognize the toss up drill where you see a strike zone while balls are 'tossed" in to the zone and you have to hit them to gain points, and its a lot tougher, to me anyway, than it looks.
Things like that have made it a much better and faster transition through off days.

The bad
 it is darn near impossible to check swing. I dont mean having a half swing called a strike. I mean, I cannot perform a check swing but maybe once out of 30 tries. I used to be pretty decent at it, but not now.

Just as hard or harder to draw walks. it seems that most of the time, the pitcher will start you off with something right down the middle of the plate.
hardly anything out of the zone, certainly not enough to garner a walk. Ive tweaked the sliders I normally do as this is something Ive had to do for years to draw walks, but its not working on this version yet so Ill keep tinkering.

If you round a base or try to steal and go back, just forget about it. you're dead meat. The animation pushes you too far down the line and can't recover.
This has been an issue for a few versions now.

The ugly


When trying to steal a base, stretch a single to a double, or a double to a triple, the throw is going to be on the money, 100% of the time, period. Right at the shoe tops. Every. Single. Time. never a bouncy throw, never the slightest bit offline. Never bobbled. Nothing. If you don't beat it outright, you're toast.
That sucks ass.

This game didnt take too long to download but holy crap, the install took a flipping lifetime, so, be prepared for that little inconvenience.

Finally, and this is one of my bigger complaints and always has been. You move up too damn fast in the minors. Now I know, you have to appease all the 8 year olds who want to hurry up and get there but damn. Two months in to my career and Im boosted to AAA. That's just not reasonable, at all.
Im sure, despite hitting .270 and part of a myriad of players at my position in the organization, Ill be elevated to the bigs in no time. I really really hate that.

*****

Everything else is pretty much the same as far as operation goes, that Ive seen anyway.
Many of the perks and development features make this game way more interesting than just drab binary progressions and whatnot.
Overall, still the same game, but to a more satisfying degree. I dont know what all was changed in 19 so some of these elements may not be new to you.
Whew, that's enough. let me know if you have anything to add or if Im overlooking something. Im still new to this version so that could be likely!





2
Console Gaming Discussion / Horizon Zero Dawn
« on: January 22, 2020, 08:55:29 PM »
My buddy keeps telling me I'm a fool for not playing this game.
He told me I'd like Spierman and I did, as well as Fallen Order, and I did.
I remember watching the trailer and a few game scenes and the genre just didnt seem to appeal to me, but he says just do it because I dont want to be the only guy on the planet that doesn't like that game. lol
Should I?

3
Chit Chat / Scene it
« on: January 05, 2020, 07:41:08 PM »
it's hard to keep threads moving here but lets see if we can create some legs;

I was trying for a while to narrow down an idea for a thread revolving around favorite scenes. I tried to shoehorn it in to a top five, but we've had a few iterations over there that fall in to what I was trying to put forth.
Finally, I just thought, lets keep it as general as we can.

Post any scene from any movie that reaches you on any level. Could be one you think is poignant, profound, hilarious, topical, spoke to you on a personal level or even an example storytelling, moviemaking, shot decision etc...
Probably a bit all encompassing but lets give it a go.

Ill start with a scene from Platoon released in 86. Won for best picture.
I really enjoyed history and wars in school and what I was taught and read was very different from what I and many Americans saw on screen.
It was life altering to me in how I viewed that war, its participants, the protests, the treatment of those veterans and the idea of war itself.

I love this portion of Roger Ebert's review:
Instead of battle scenes in which lines are clearly drawn, his combat scenes involve 360 degrees: Any shot might be aimed at friend or enemy, and in the desperate rush of combat, many of his soldiers never have a clear idea of exactly who they are shooting at, or why.

Traditional movies impose a sense of order upon combat.

Identifying with the soldiers, we feel that if we duck behind this tree or jump into this ditch, we will be safe from the fire that is coming from over there.

In "Platoon," there is the constant fear that any movement offers a 50-50 chance between a safe place or an exposed one. Stone sets up his shots to deny us the feeling that combat makes sense.



This scene features Sgt. Barnes (Tom Berenger) having already murdered one civilian, threatening a child because he wanted the villager to admit they were VC. Sgt. Elias (Willem Dafoe) is appalled and takes action. Afterward, he is miffed as to why the Lt. let that assassination occur.
If you haven't seen this film, please do.



4
Chit Chat / Fan theories
« on: September 10, 2019, 01:32:35 AM »
Seems I'm in a cycle of killing threads and dead posts but let's see if this has legs.
Put forth any fan theory regarding any character(s) and/or film.

Ill start with;

Eric Stolz as Stoner bud in Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982)
He played an unnamed high school pothead friend of Jeff Spicoli. It's not clear what grade Stolz's character is in but it's safe to assume they are juniors or seniors, or at least the age of juniors or seniors.
Crowe's book that spawned the movie was in San Diego but it's never defined where exactly Ridgemont is in California. Again, safe to assume it could be in the numerous small towns or suburbs within the 2 hour travel span between San Diego and LA.

Fast forward to Pulp Fiction (1994)
12 years later and Stoner bud would be 28, 29, 30 years old which isn't a big leap at all considering Stolz was only 33 at the time.
Well within logical geographical parameters, age appropriate and most certainly within range of reasonable character growth. The fact he was unnamed in Fast Times lends itself perfectly to his Pulp Fiction character of Lance who isn't even hindered with a last name, opening the likelihood up even more.

Stoner bud is Lance.

Fun fact about Fast Times: The hot chick that laughs at Brad while at the stoplight in his fast food uniform....Nancy Wilson of Heart fame and future wife to Cameron Crowe.

5
Chit Chat / Travel thread
« on: August 25, 2019, 12:19:57 AM »
Share where you've been, where you're going, where you want to go.

This time last year, I decided to go to Boston. Id wanted to for decades, never did. There's always reasons, no money, no time, no-one else wants to go etc...but I decided I was going, if alone, so be it.

I decided I was finally going to travel, at least domestically to try and catch up a bit. Since then Ive hit Nashville and most recently San Francisco.

This past week, we flew in to LA, rented a Camaro convertible and drove up the coast to San Fran.
Pretty much checked the biggies off the list; drove across the GG bridge...didnt have time to hit the Bay Bridge though, I think that one would have been more interesting.
Alcatraz was amazing. Ill have to throw up some pics of that one. Chinatown, Oracle park, stayed on Fisherman's Wharf so was able to enjoy all it had to offer. The Haight Ashbury District was fun and is still full of weirdos, especially after dark.
Rode the cable cars, including the famous route in the Rice a roni tv ads from my youth, and made it to many tourist videos as I could see them recording us from my standing perch from the front of the car :D
So, here in Houston, its flat, if you've never been. So when I drove in to SF and met the hills, it was fun..for about a half hour, then it was, fuck these hills lol
It wouldn't be so bad if pedestrians gave a shit about right of way and following the all don't walk signs, but they dont. Therefore, you're perched at a light with your front end tilted upwards, obscuring your view, you're wondering, gee, if I take off, am I going to land on some 4 foot gramma I couldn't possibly see? lol
Seriously, I enjoyed it, but just could never endure that if I lived there. Walking through neighborhoods, Im constantly conjuring up images of these houses looking like the old Batman TV show from the 60's.

At Alcatraz, you should opt for the self guided audio tour. You get an audio device on a lanyard you wear with headphones. Its narrated by 4 prisoners and 4 guards and is a step by step tour with amazing photos and captions you'd expect to see in a historical museum.
the audio was so well done, creating ambiance of the tour, coordinating sounds with where you were, i.e it sounded like dinner at a prison dining room if that's where you were...a cell block etc...
Seeing the cells where guards had been imprisoned and executed during an escape attempt was chilling, not to mention setting foot in the hole.
I highly recommend seeing and dont listen to folks who say its a tourist trap, I can tell you, they've probably never been.

Finally, a tip for Oracle Park:
People who take tours of baseball parks are typically genuine baseball fans, more so than your average joe, so try to have someone who, I dunno, kinda knows about baseball give the tour?
I dont give a shit about some grandma related to the PR Dept who needs a job; stick her in the back somewhere and dont make me listen to her try to convince me she understands what the hell she's showing me.

Im going to have to lay off the travel for a while now because Im so far behind with my taxes for the upcoming year, but I definitely want to go to Europe. Just not sure where. I hear Spain is wonderful, but I just dont have an idea yet.
I still want to hit Washington DC, Chicago, Tahoe and hit the Grand Canyon while in the state...Savannah is in there somewhere, Id like to go back to Cali and hang in San Diego and Im probably the only guy on the planet who hasn't been to Colorado, so I guess there's that too.
I dont have enough years left for all this ...

6
Political Ranting / Armed guards at schools
« on: August 06, 2019, 09:29:36 PM »
Re: Hannity's recent comments about armed guards at schools, someone on reddit poured some basic calculations I thought was interesting...
Bold is me.

Let's look at these number here for some sanity:
There are 132,853 K-12 schools in the U.S., according to 2015-16 data from the National Center for Education Statistics

Below, user imbignate is responding to the above quote

Let's say that each of those schools has two points of entry and exit, that's
132,853 x 2 = 265,706 posts to man.
And since you need them redundant, you have to put to guards at each post, that's
265,706 x 2 = 531,412 armed guards
And let's say you need to have extra guards, even a 20% margin of error, to account for sick days, rotation, days off, etc, that's
531,412 x 120% = 637,695 guards
And now, not forgetting logistics and support which would require a maybe 1 to 5 staffing ratio for payroll, timekeeping, maintenance, equipment, etc, that's:
637,695 x 120% = 765,234 people in this security force.
So, that's over three-quarters of a million people, over 80% of which are armed personnel, to protect our society. As a point of comparison, that's over FIVE TIMES THE SIZE OF THE UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS! We're not even willing to pay teachers to have paper and we're going to fund a sixth branch of the military to defend our students? Or are we going to contract it out to parent volunteers? Parents can't even go to soccer games without getting into fights and we're going to give them AR-14's and stand them at the playground to watch Kayden and Jayden? This is the dumbest thing I've heard in a long time, which means it will probably get massive support from the GOP base.
edit: I missed this point, but we're going to do this with volunteers working 15 hours a week, nevermind the fact that we can't adequately staff a school carnival, but let's now TRIPLE the number of guards and do our numbers again:
531,412 x 3 x 120% (guards) x 120% (logistics) = 2,295,700 personnel
That's 50% larger than the entire US army. That's. Just. Crazy.

8
Chit Chat / education scandal
« on: March 13, 2019, 12:49:42 PM »
Like most scandals, Im waiting to hear more information. But apparently Lori Loughlin, et al, paid to fake test scores and have their daughters listed or pose as athletes to gain admission to sought after universities.

I do hope this isn't seen as a Hollywood elite thing because its not, its a wealth problem.

I should add that I absolutely love it when rich folks get arrested even though they rarely face deserved consequences.

9
Baseball / 2019 Season
« on: February 28, 2019, 11:07:55 AM »
I have really high hopes for the Astros this year. We have a boatload of solid prospects, including pitchers in AA but I don't think they will make the big jump so the rotation isn't quite as strong as Id like right now, but who knows what spring will bring.

And to start my season, I fired up Bull Durham the other day  8)

10
Political Ranting / Sen Michael Bennet on shutdown and Cruz
« on: January 25, 2019, 02:53:00 AM »
its 24 minutes but worth every minute to me.


Ill just add, Im deeply ashamed rednecks in this state outnumber rational folks to such a degree that an asshat like Ted Cruz could be elected, again.

11
Political Ranting / Straight ticket
« on: October 23, 2018, 12:43:41 PM »
Some tie ago, my dad had been appointed Judge to a vacant seat by our governor. He then ran for re election against someone who was astonishingly under qualified without the proper temperament for the job all the while making himself available to answer any and all questions from potential voters.
He lost.
He lost to a bevy of straight ticket pullers who ushered in Reagan and his era.
Once the public began presenting cases to the new judge, it was an immediate shit show. They complained loudly. The local news got involved because it was so bad. Clearly unqualified to be a judge the news would report.
No shit? Imagine that. Wonder who voted for that idiot?
As a young man who couldn't vote yet, I was broken by this instance.
When I was able to vote, I swore I would never pul a straight ticket, ever.

Fast forward to today. In my mind, if there ever was a time that legitimately endorsed voting down one line, this is certainly it.
But I still can't go straight ticket because I remember that feeling, still, and Id hate to be responsible for someone else having that same experience.
Is it better than not voting at all? Im not so sure it is, but that's another debate.
The point here? Please research the candidates on your ballot with as much as an open mind as you can muster because it matters.
Its painstaking and monotonous but its necessary.
I just completed my ballot of over 100 candidates and I hope you do too.

12
Console Gaming Discussion / Red Dead Redemption 2
« on: October 01, 2018, 02:48:30 PM »
2nd gameplay trailer (4:23)
https://www.rockstargames.com/videos/video/12103

Looks like my games for the year are here, with this, and considering SM....

13
Political Ranting / Entitlements
« on: June 28, 2018, 11:59:53 PM »
I didn't know what else to call it and its probably not what you think, but Id like opinions here.
So, I have this buddy of mine who was in the military, reserves I think, but not sure.
In any event, he is God country guns and all that jazz.

So while serving his country, he fell off of a bulldozer in Kansas and hurt his ankle. So while the VA misdiagnosis and procrastinates, his other ankle and knee gets worse for two reasons, he's a big fella and you compensate when you have an injury. Totally on board with that.
So now, he gets 50k a year, for nothin. He waves around his "disabled vet" moniker like he did a tour in Iraq and will speak out to any who will listen and to those that wont.
Now, all of this I can chalk up to personality. Ive known the guy most of my life so it isnt new to me.
On the other hand, I have cousin who served, little bit younger than this guy, was dangerously close to being sent over to the Gulf and he never utters a word about it, and not like it was a bad experience, know what I mean?
On Veterans Day, he buys a round for all military in the bar but wont acknowledge that he ever served. Big difference in these two in my eyes, and not better or worse as a person, just, personality, right?
But in my life, with all of the vets Ive known, and keep in mind, I never served, so I don't know, but a vast majority of them don't want accolades or acknowledgments, especially those who have been in combat.
I know, where is this going?

Im trying to paint a picture of what I see and how what I think might be unfair.

So, guy A, with his handicap placard and 50k a year for life, wanders around his big ranch property, works it, mowing the brush and fields, tasks that need to be done etc but, and here's the problem, despite his physical ailments, which are legit mind you, he can still get around, can function as well as many others. Parks in a handicap spot because he can, but then walks into the restaurant, no cane, no hobble, no nothin...that grates on me.
Yells at the top of his lungs about handouts and welfare and people spending his money, which is our money btw, but more on that later, and at the same time begs and boasts about everything free because he is a "disabled vet"
hey, I got some tix to the ballgame, wanna go, they were free. No, they weren't actually, they were handouts, you know, what you are vehemently against?
But, as the response goes, I served my country!
And this is where I admittedly take a potentially unfair stance, but, did you? Really? I mean serve the country? you fell off of a fucking tractor in the midwest during peace time.
And see...here, I think to myself, that argument counters what I truly believe, which is, that anyone who enlists, is courageous. For they do not know what they may be in for; sure, they join for college but they may wind up in a desert taking enemy fire, so yea, in my book, that deserves respect.
But here I go against that belief with this guy because I know, I know the truth and it pisses me off.

So, this is murky, I know.
I feel guilty when I go to games on his free tickets, but he says, its for the military, its free and I think, yea, but guys like you aren't the intended recipients I don't think. id much rather see a vet who has seen trauma get benefits instead of you.
This was touched on earlier, but back to the handouts. Rant and rave, welfare sucks, get a job you bum.
Oh, you mean like you could?
Im a disabled vet!
Fuck you.
Then it goes, I earned this money serving my country.
50k a year, for life? You're an uneducated war monger and you get more a year than I make busting my ass?
I don't see this guy too often because we know where each other stand and its ok for a while but after about three or four hours he just wont be able to contain himself and go off, and then thats that.

Im not even sure what Im asking here. I guess, am I an asshole?

14
Tech Talk / Streaming platforms
« on: May 28, 2018, 03:52:03 PM »
So, I see a deal where Apple TV 4K is free with 3 months up front @ $35 per for Direct TV Now.
I currently have Direct TV Now on a trial basis and it just introduced the cloud DVR, which YouTube TV already has featured for a while now.
Currently, Im on Amazon Fire TV stick. I did that because I cut the cord and it was cheap.
Ive looked around and the Roku Stick plus seems to be the one of choice as the ATV 4K can be quite expensive at close to two bills.
However, the reviewers say, if you have the cash, the drop it on ATV as it is the better product but, most people wont have that kind of scratch and the Roku is not a big drop off from ATV, i.e., you wont miss much, and will actually have more 4K content if that's your thing.
However, if I could obtain ATV for $105, and a Roku for about $80 I think, well, I might just jump on that deal.
I did have prior ATV 2 and liked it and of course it gels with my Mac as I assume this would too.
Anyone have a thought, experience on either product yet?
Btw, Fire stick is ok, Im not overwhelmed by it, but then, I pretty much have all I need via the HBO Go which I have for free via my phone deal, Netflix and Amazon Prime. So not a lot to make me happy, although having a service like YT TV or DTVN is nice in that I get to watch the Stanley Cup Finals and NBA finals without streaming from some off hand website. Which btw, ATV would be better for as well.

15
Tech Talk / NAS
« on: May 25, 2018, 06:23:09 PM »
Ive been backing up to portable 1 TB drives attached to my laptop which is a pain for two reasons. One is, wear and tear on the ports because Im not always using the laptop in am optimal position, i.e. tabletop. And two is, having this thing attached via velcro to my laptop which is an extension of the first complaint.
I didn't really want to dive in deep on a NAS, but the more I look, I figure Im going to get a device for a backup, I might as well discard the portables for ev er.
Plus, I thought, if Im going to get one, I might as well get one that will allow me to convert my library of DVD's as well as use my current digital files to stream.
So, for starters, on this device, I see a LAN connection. Does that mean this ruling device will have to connect to my router via cable? That would kinda suck.
Secondly, I assume that once I use all of the space here, I would have to either, off load it somehow, delete it, or add another drive, somehow.
Can anyone enlighten me?

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B076G1G2ZT/?tag=wpcentralb-20&ascsubtag=UUwpUdUnU46345YYwYg&th=1

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