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Topics - Crewe

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Political Ranting / Washington Redskins
« on: July 03, 2020, 12:23:08 PM »
I thought this might be rough for a chit chat topic so I put it here, even though it probably doesn't belong here either.

So, first off, Im not Native American so I dont feel oppression first hand with regard to this team name.
Is this too much? Changing the team name? How about the Aunt Jemima rebranding?
Pro teams change names so it's not a big deal except the reasoning here is what's stoking the fire. I always thought the mascot Redskins was used not in a pejorative, but honorable context, however that is long lost by now.
I really don't have an issue one way or the other. If you pressed me, I'd say leave it alone because that would give reason to rename and rebrand other schools, teams and who knows what else, ... street names? I dont know.
Id like to hear from someone affected and or offended by the name because while I can read and learn about it, just like I can read and learn about slavery, I can't live it.

What negatives does "Redskin" actually infer? Is it that everything thinks "Redskins" are a bunch of whooping yelling scalping murderers? When I was a kid, that was normal because that's how they were portrayed on every show and movie I watched, not because of a football team. And once I was educated I learned and moved on from my 6 year old self.
Nowadays, you dont find those negative connotations with the Native Americans, at least not ubiquitously.

So the fun part of this thread is, if a new name is forthcoming, what should the team mascot be now?

Console Gaming Discussion / PS4 controller
« on: June 18, 2020, 08:42:25 PM »
Ok, so as long as Ive had this PS4 (for ev er) Ive had zero controller issues.
Recently, I had the R2 button stick, so I bought a new one. Things were fine until the battery needed charging.
And btw, I leave my PS4 on constantly, and even the game too. Sometimes, ill leave it on the pause screen and just kill the tv. Sometimes Ill just hit the "PS" button to back out to the main screen but leaving the game open, then shut off the tv.
Suddenly, my controller was consistently low and wouldn't charge. Then I started reading, turns out when actively charging, your controller light should be amber.
Well, mine is forever blue.
I fucked around, did the controller reset and even bought yet another controller. It wouldn't charge either.
And by the bye...on the main screen, when you hit the PS button to bring up the charging status? I gt the battery flashing icon, meaning it is charging, but we all know it isn't.

So now I shut off the console and all that jazz, plug in the controller, and I get the amber light, which apparently means, charging. The icon is flashing charging and it works on both the brand new and still new controllers.
So I leave it connected for the night per the norm.
Come back this evening, and ... "battery low"
Same blue light, no amber, but still have the flashing battery icon going, telling me all is right with the world.
I have a new cable arriving tomorrow, but I dont see how that could be the issue but Ill try anyway.
If I have a controller, PS4 works fine in all aspects as far as I know.
So, wtf? Over.

Chit Chat / So where is everybody?
« on: June 08, 2020, 01:07:38 PM »
You fellas ever read about the Fermi paradox?
I discovered everal years ago and come back to it once I a while just because it's so fascinating to me.
This paradox revolves around the vastness of the universe and that there must be other life and if so, where are they?

It's an involved theory but essentially the idea is there's a great filter that no civilization in the universe has progressed beyond.
Regarding Earth then, the options are, we are rare. one of the very few to make it beyond the filter. Another is, we are the first civilization to surprise the great filter. Or, we're fucked because the great filter is ahead of us.
If you have time, give that a look and chime in.

Tech Talk / Portable charging for MacBook
« on: June 01, 2020, 04:00:24 PM »
The power cable that comes with the laptop is totaled. I dont want to spend an ungodly amount of money on another.
I have a good size portable charger....I actually think it's this Anker one in this package.

Could I buy a USB to USB-C and run from that portable charger to my MacBook or would I need a setup like the one in the link? Or should I just buy that stupid replacement?

Tech Talk / MP3 tagging
« on: May 23, 2020, 12:03:17 PM »
Never tagged before. Wanted to clean up songs and sounds, some I created, some I didnt, in order to use in MLB The Show.
Im using Tag Editor for Mac. I tried Picard but it was way too convoluted.
Let's say, I have a folder on my desktop with 300 files called MLB 20.
I add that folder to the Tag Editor. I have gone through a few files, some manually, but stopped because I am wondering, how do I get that info to appear in my desktop folder?
I checked the songs I had already updated and they are still the same, no new info, no art, nada.
So how do I get the info to the files? I thought it was just refresh everything but I guess not.
I see there is an export option to .csv and "Music" what ever the hell that might be, but I dont use iTunes or any of that other shit, I just want the files in my desktop folder to reflect the changes Im making in the software so I can transfer to a USB stick and in to the PS4.
Seems simple enough right?

Political Ranting / Im just so tired
« on: May 14, 2020, 09:37:15 PM »
of the political landscape.
I've tuned out almost completely. Twitter has become almost as bad as FB was when I left.
Ok, not that bad, but still. I skim over most things now, searching out just fun posts, and I do read news articles that I need to, but I try to avoid comments.
Sometimes, Ill find myself sifting through the vapid, hateful, ignorant posts, getting more and more frustrated at our so called fellow man, and then I realize and ask myself, what the fuck am I doing? This is not productive for me.
Now, I just try to stay in my lane an avoid the orange stormtroopers, including those in my family.
It just amazes, and I mean, amazes me the shit I hear for supporting this clown.
So I just try to tune it out.

There, I feel a little better.

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

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...

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.

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!

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!

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?

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.

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.

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 ...

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.

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.

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)

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