Tuesday, May 24, 2016

The Woman of My Dreams

Dear gentle readers, last night was an experience I'll never forget, for it was when I met the woman of my dreams. It sounds fanciful, I know, but what I say is absolutely true!

I don't recall where we were or even what we were doing, but somehow we just clicked. She was gorgeous. She had a face that smote every man upon his heart and none could hope to resist. Her laugh was like the ringing of a bell. Looking into her eyes you could feel yourself swept up in bliss. For reasons I'll never know, she chose me as the object of her affections. Under her gentle caresses I melted like butter. Her smile tamed my wild heart and at a gesture I was a slave to her every whim. I was adrift on a sea of euphoria without a single worry imaginable. It was a wonderful time which words can never fully capture.

But then Reality stepped in and I woke up. If I weren't a God fearing man I can only imagine the profanity that would have spilled from my mouth when I realized that my subconscious had been screwing with me. Sadistic p***k. Sigh. Well, time for me to Declare War on my own brain.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Nile Crocs in Florida? This will be interesting

According to this article several potent Nile crocodiles have been found snooping around in the lovely Everglades of Florida. http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/breaking-news/os-crocodiles-everglades-20160519-story.html

Apparently regular American alligators, American crocodiles, snakeheads, invasive Burmese pythons and other critters aren't enough already. As a good rule of thumb, for every croc you do see, there are probably a passel more than you are not seeing. Ecologically these things coming over here will be pretty disastrous. Good luck getting rid of them if they get a foothold here. For reasons I've never been able to fathom American crocs are very timid animals and are almost never aggressive towards humans. I'd be surprised if none of them ever tried taking a snap at someone way back in the day when people walked in leather boots and tri-corner hats, but in general these critters aren't too bad.

Gators can be mighty snippy though and have taken a few humans in the years, but these are nothing like the Nile croc. The article states that around 200 humans are taken each year in Africa by Nile crocs. Ha! At best that's a conservative estimate. Believe it or not, most of the countries throughout the southern half of Africa don't send bureau census takers out into every village and niche in the scrub to find out who gets killed by what for proper records. In reality dozens of people are taken every month throughout the continent. So there are tons of attacks that go unreported. Also they tend to not like to advertise that sort of thing. Bad for tourism you see. Peter Capstick, who spent years in the 70's as a professional hunter in Zambia and Bostwana, mostly the Okavango Delta, became intimately familiar with the habits of crocs and supposed that ten people were taken per day total!

I know for a fact in one region one person was being killed per day, even outside the water. Nile crocs are nothing if not determined buggers. So what will happen if they establish themselves here? Expect hippies to start getting eaten. See, us Americans are spoiled when it comes to game. Our snakes are less venomous and aggressive than in any other country barring Canada and Iceland. American wolves are pacifists unlike European wolves which have killed hundreds of people. Mountain lions don't do jack in comparison to  African lions or Asian leopards. Only twelve confirmed kills? You lazy jerks. No native big constrictors, even though even Australia has a few. Even our sharks are underachievers. Sure, there were a few attacks in New Jersey. In the nineteen aughts. We don't get cool things like the Nicaraguan river shark, Ganges shark, or Zambezi river shark. At least we have some bears that occasionally get off their lazy arses and get their man-eater on. Have fun with that Timothy Treadwell! Ha!

But this relatively tame landscape is part of what has led many Americans to believe animals are rarely dangerous. You'll notice that there aren't many members of PETA in the depths of Brazil or Papua New Guinea. We really haven't had to deal all that much with the idea of animals eating us. But if Nile crocs branch out here? Well, that's going to change things. You can bet your boots that just because they are in the land of freedom that they'll change their culinary habits. At best we can expect a lot of cattle and house pets vanishing at a greater rate. I'd love to see PETA or the ALF try to humanize crocodiles with them nabbing a kid's dog right off of the side of a lake. Which will happen.

Personally, I think most Americans need to harden up. Now this is just wishful thinking on my part. I don't think Niles are going to get too well established here. At least not right now. Maybe in a few decades we'll have a few notable man-eaters, but you can count on that news being pretty well repressed. Ah well. Think we can import any other dangerous wildlife here? I heard jaguars are making a slow come back, but they are underachievers too. Think we could import some African leopards?

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

World of Tanks mania!

Good grief is this game addicting. I'm not sure what it is, but a game where tank and artillery shells come whizzing past your turret or explode with enough volume to make your speakers crackle amidst a shower of shrapnel and flame is something that never really gets old. Or maybe I answered my question right there.

Anyway World of Tanks is perhaps the best tank game ever made. I'm actually glad that this MMO doesn't have a timer on it, because I can only imagine how many hours I've wasted playing it. I've focused the majority of my efforts on the German line, cuz the Germans really know how to build good guns. Early on in the game I became frustrated with not being able to penetrate enemies from the front, cuz some boast some excellent armor. I decided I wanted to go down the tech trees that had the best penetrating guns, and those are most often ze German gunz! Although if you hide low enough, you'll be safe from them, because these tanks don't have jack for gun depression.

Lately I've made some major headway in unlocking some REAL high tier warmachines such as the armored monster, the E-75 German heavy tank and the E-50 medium tank. The latter has all the attributes I love in a medium tank: Fast, maneuverable, decent armor, high penetrating gun and enough moxie to go head to head with quite a few other armored vehicles. Soon I'll have access to the deadly E-100 which is a solid block of angled steel that happens to house a gun and crew, and the E-50M, which has a laser-accurate gun that can penetrate mountains as well as outrun most other tanks.

The downside at playing at these high tiers is that you're facing other guys with high tier tanks. Some of those American heavies are just plain unfair to shoot at, especially when they will deflect even meteors if you hit them at the wrong angle, which is all of the time. Word of advice high-tier players: Look up weak points! Even with really high-penetrating guns you'll need to know where to hit them to make it actually hurt.

The Japanese heavies are actually pretty fun too. Well, the medium tier ones anyway. I'm extremely amused by them, since they look uncannily like tanks I drew fighting kaiju back in school when I was supposed to be paying attention to whatever the teachers were blathering on about at the time. No specialized angles or sloping here! Nope! Just slap on another five inches of flat steel plate and these things are good to go. They are basically houses disguised as vehicles. So if you like the idea of driving a mountain with a gun on it, then the Japanese heavy line is the one for you! Be careful about tier 4 tanks though. Tier 4 tends to be the dumping ground for piece of crap tanks. After that they get good, but it feels like the game is saying "Yeah, you can play the good tanks, but you've gotta earn it first."

I love playing artillery. Being a Finger of God can earn the ire of enemy players like nothing else. I think they're actually one of the hardest vehicle types to play just because you have to be so patient and you deal with the least accurate guns in the game. Even with the most accurate guns, German guns again of course, you can end up missing what look like sure shots. I always enjoy scoring a kill and having enemy guys swearing at me with religions I never heard of. I've actually never been mad at dying from artillery because every time I knew it was my fault for getting caught out in the open. But the loathing held for these things is pretty awe inspiring. Once I got killed by an American M37 and complimented the guy on making the difficult shot, telling him it was a tank that took skill to use. His own team mates began yelling at me for being a good sport!

I also wouldn't qualify this as a "Free to play, Pay to win" game. You can get almost any vehicle in this game as long as you have patience and time. But what you can pay for really makes a difference. See, I'm an extremely cheap gamer. I will wait years for the price on a game to go down. I can outlast them. I can use that extra ten dollars for something else now! So in free to play games I'll almost always suck it up and grind whatever I have to in order to avoid spending money. But after blowing perhaps a thousand hours on this game I realized something. This was so much fun, offered so much entertainment and was overall just so good, that these guys deserved my money. If you're spending more time on a game than you are with family and having even more fun because of it, then it's something worthy of your monetary investment.

I like how just because you pay money though it doesn't give you an unfair advantage. It doesn't mean you don't have to grind or are given overpowered equipment. You still have to play, play with skill and earn your way up to get the good tanks. This just happens to ease the burden.

Well, back to the old grindstone! As one of my favorite authors once said: Keeping your nose to the grindstone with either produce a very callused nose or a bloody grindstone. Words of inspiration to be sure.