Dude’s Chronicles 9-13-2018: Summer’s Almost Gone

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Technically we have about a week of summer left but let’s face it, it’s over. My was a rain soaked mess how about everybody else’s?

Entertainment

  • College Football – Penn State ain’t great but Pitt looked like a bad high school team. Really wanted the game to be more competitive.
  • It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia – Since I have Hulu I have access to this show again. I’ve watched the first six seasons or so and that is about where I trailed off of the series. This should be a good point to see what the show has been up to for the last few years.

Games

  • Marvel’s Spider-Man – I plowed through the game since I was sick all weekend and had nothing else to do. My take is that it is a good game but not a great game. The good times were good, the bad times were bad but nothing made it pop into that ‘great’ category. I may work up a review for the game if I get to it.

News

  • EA holds the strings to Kingdoms of Amalur – Apparently THQ Nordic owns the rights to the IP but EA still owns the publishing rights. It doesn’t rule out a remaster but does add a layer of difficulty.
  • Nintendo online – The service goes live 9/18 but is only $20/per year. This is a third of Sony and Microsoft. The assumption is that Nintendo wants to wade into the water rather than jump off the deep end but it is good to see them taking some strides, even though they involve money, to stay in a modern gaming environment.
  • Dr. Disrespect’s home shot at, again – It doesn’t matter that it was only a BB gun. This type of behaviour is beyond disgusting. I don’t care for the guy but I handle it by not partaking in his content. Acts of violence and intent to harm are not a way to protest his brand.

Closing Arguments

Here we are, nearing the official end of summer. Since I have Marvel’s Spider-Man wrapped up I may tinker with a review but I want to get into Shadow of the Tomb Raider. We’ll see which one I decide to spend more time with.

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Paul Novak

Owner, Proprietor, Typer of Words, Gamer, Jester

A self described Polish ninja toiling away as an IT professional but more into gaming and writing. Physically existing on the western side of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania yet existentially flowing with the ether of the Internet.

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Dude’s Chronicles 9-6-2018: Follow Up, Comcast

Image via grammarly.com

Not that we need more reasons to hate big companies but I have one.

Entertainment

  • College Football – There were good and bad games. Early in the season these will both happen but it was just great to see the game again.

Games

  • XCOM 2 – I give up, the game is broken at this point. There is a rescue mission that the game keeps trying to get me to do but every time I load it the game crashes. Sometimes I have to power off my computer and other times it re-downloads the complete game. I’ve tried to use different saves and have gone so far as to load a save from before the prior mission, replay that mission, only to have the game still crash when loading the rescue mission. As frustrated as I have been with this franchise this is by far the worst and most disappointing.
  • Overwatch – After the XCOM 2 issues I just needed to play something else.
  • Donut County – Never would have even known about the game until the Giant Bomb staff talked about it and did a quicklook. It was a great change of pace after my thorough disappoint with XCOM 2. It was short and fun, would recommend it for other and if you want it on the cheap, the iOS version is only $5.

News

  • Japan Earthquake – Thoughts are with all of those effected by the most recent earthquake. Nintendo shows a lot of class by cancelling their direct, unfortunately there are probably other companies that would not have done the same.
  • PAX West – I didn’t get to watch or take in much if anything that happened other than it seems like The Quiet Man is getting panned pretty good. Kind of feels like it is the next Detroit: Become Human in that some will be into while others, well… won’t.
  • THQ Nordic acquires Kingdoms of Amalur – I never finished the game but it had something going for it but with 38 Studios going under I stopped paying attention to it much less playing it. Hopefully THQ Nordic will do something interesting with the IP but that is likely years away. The most optimistic thing I can think would happen would be a port to Xbox One and PS4 but is that really worth it given that we are close to the end of this console generation? Certainly some account will crunch these numbers.

Closing Arguments

So I un-bent the knee to Comcast. Initially I had added television service back onto my account so that I could watch professional and college football. What a disastrous decision. One mistake was working with an online agent via chat. That was a challenge in and of itself but I thought I had gotten through it. The main issue was that the plan they were signing me up for had voice service. I didn’t want the voice service but it was the better package. When the activation for E911 didn’t work online I should have hit the brakes on the entire plan. The online agent gave me a number to call for the E911 enrollment and I thought we had gotten passed the issue. Again, should have known better when the online agent did think the code I gave them was correct. This was a Thursday.

On Sunday, I had a call from Comcast. I was busy so I didn’t answer. Yep, it was about the E911 not processing. Didn’t have time to call so they called back on Monday. I was also busy then and didn’t take the call. Tuesday comes and I finally called them back. Apparently that was too late because they already cancelled my order. So the new modem I was supposed to get not only would not be there when they said, it wasn’t even ordered at this point. Fine. I can persevere. Again, against what should have been better judgement I redid the order with the agent on the phone. Oddly enough this isn’t even the end of my problems.

On Friday the new modem shows up so I hook it up. The new modem works and it is actually faster. It even had enough ports on it so I could eliminate some other pieces of equipment. This was the first, and soon to be only time, I was happy in this entire process. That’s because at this point my tv service no longer worked. The set top box was the same that I’ve had for years but the updates to my service messed everything up. Any station you tune to just produces an error. Having had enough for the evening, I didn’t call tech support until Saturday. That was were Saturday went wrong as well.

The good news was that the tech agent was able to get my tv service working again. That is the second agent I talked to in a three hour span was able to get my tv service to work again. Which was great until I tried to tune to one of the stations I know I need to watch college football which greeted me with the “Subscription Required” message. I asked the agent about this and it seems that the package I was sold did not have the stations I was told it did. This lead down a dark path of talking to a customer service agent, who to her credit was very nice, helpful, and patient, and going through the options to get the proper channels.

What a conversation this was. I had a standard package but one of the stations I wanted was only in the select package. Another station I wanted was only in the sports package and no the select package doesn’t include the sports package. The sports package is an additional add on at an additional cost. What started out, over a week ago, as a $14/month increase to my bill was turning into a $35/month increase. This may have been fine had I not gone through the bullshit process that lead me to this point on a Saturday.

What did I end up doing? Well, I don’t have television service. I’ve sent my old modem and my old tv set top box back. I now only have Internet service via Comcast. Turns out that Hulu with Live TV has all the stations I need. So, when it’s all said and done, my monthly bill with Comcast went down about $16 and I now pay Hulu $40+/month, a net increase of about $25/month. I can cancel Hulu as soon as football season is over without involving Comcast in any way shape or form. Yes, I know Comcast is at least part owner of Hulu and they in effect are still getting my money. No, I’m still not entirely happy with this situation but I feel like I’ve gone with the lesser evil.

If you read this far, thanks for letting me vent. I hope you never have to go through anything like this.

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Paul Novak

Owner, Proprietor, Typer of Words, Gamer, Jester

A self described Polish ninja toiling away as an IT professional but more into gaming and writing. Physically existing on the western side of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania yet existentially flowing with the ether of the Internet.

Dude’s Chronicles 8-30-2018: To The Holiday

Image via someecards.com

It’s labor, summer is over!

Entertainment

  • Deadwood – Saw it in Amazon Prime and watched about three episodes of it. Still damn good.
  • Watchmen: The Ultimate Cut – It is like The Director’s Cut but with a cartoon woven into it. The cartoon is completely disjointed from Watchmen story but it seems to be trying to hit some of the same themes. I can see why this was left out of a theatrical release since is felt jarring to go from live action, to cartoon, and back especially since the stories were not necessarily related.

Games

  • XCOM 2 – It is as frustrating and infuriating as ever yet I keep playing it. There have been multiple time when my soldier has had a better than 80% hit chance only to miss but another soldier, on the same turn mind you, with a less than 40% to hit will not only hit but the shot will be a critical hit. I don’t know how this game calculates its RNG but I think it starts counting from the middle finger every time.
  • Overwatch – I keep hopping in when I just can’t bear XCOM 2’s bullshit and I need something as a cleanser. Even at that, I only play a handful of rounds and quit.

News

  • Jacksonville – These types of things used to be a rarity but nowadays they are a regularity. Thoughts and prayers go out to the victims and their families but this type of stuff needs to stop. Be good to each other. Try to help others as much as you can. Be a decent person and encourage others to be.
  • Battlefield V delayed – It is only a month but it does give them time to address some issues and not be release near Read Dead Redemption 2 but surely that second part is just a coincidence.
  • Xbox All Access – Confirmed but as limited time offer. On would wonder if it is limited so that its term may coincide with the release of a new console perhaps???

Closing Arguments

The unofficial end of summer is at hand. We finally get some hot, muggy weather and of course people are complaining. You know, just like when they complained when it was cold and wet or when they complained when it was cool and dry.

Enjoy the holiday weekend as much as you can but think of those that won’t.

dudewantshisrug-profile
Paul Novak

Owner, Proprietor, Typer of Words, Gamer, Jester

A self described Polish ninja toiling away as an IT professional but more into gaming and writing. Physically existing on the western side of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania yet existentially flowing with the ether of the Internet.

Dude’s Chronicles 8-23-2018: They Return

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Over my long weekend I took the time to watch a bunch of stuff.

Entertainment

  • Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and Voltron: Legendary Defender: Season 7 – These were both re-watches but I still enjoyed them.
  • The Informant – Matt Damon movies are usually good and this one was but it was uncomfortable in a way. The entire way through the character felt disingenuous but in the end it makes sense. I would try to explain better but you can’t without major spoilers.
  • Party Monster: Scratching the Surface – This is just a short of material used in The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. It was still funny as a standalone but I would have liked to have seen more material added to it.
  • Like Father – It was an endearing movie about a father and daughter that have not seen each other for over a quarter century. It differs in how it brings the two back together with an odd adventure aboard a cruise ship but it the end was kind of a feel good movie.
  • Masterminds – What can you say about Zach Galifianakis playing a dimwitted Southerner that gets conned into robbing an armored truck company from the inside? It’s funny, that’s what you say. The cast is solid with Kristen Wig and Owen Wilson but the character interaction is what sells the movie.
  • The Boss Baby – Alec Baldwin is a funny guy no matter what he does apparently. It was some lighthearted entertainment that I would recommend.
  • NOVA: Arctic Ghost Ship – The tale of scientist looking for a lost excursion that was trying to find  the fabled Northwest Passage. The documentary reveals what was in 2014 new information about the fate of the crew. Makes me wonder how much brass people had in the balls back in the day to be an explorer.
  • Righteous Kill – I like Robert De Niro. I like Al Pacino. This movie was a solid combination of the two actor’s skills. Plus, it kept you guessing until the end.
  • The Memoirs of an International Assassin – Not expecting much from Kevin James seems like the right approach. This movie provided some cheap laughs but in the end wasn’t very good.
  • Evan Almighty – Morgan Freeman is the most believable casting for God. Steve Carell was pretty good too as he becomes Noah. Worth watching for the laughs.
  • Young Guns – Classic movie from my childhood. Not one of the most iconic westerns but entertaining nonetheless.

Games

  • XCOM – Finished it!… again.
  • Trails of the Blood Dragon – For taking a break from XCOM I chose this game. It was an appreciated change of pace. Didn’t manage to complete it and I’m not sure I will since I don’t seem to have much skill at these games.
  • XCOM 2 – As predicted, started a new play through.

News

  • Hitman 2 will have Hitman: Season 1 maps – I just want Giant Bomb to do another Hitsmas special.
  • The Division 2 pre-order packages – I still want to see more of this game but I’ll probably end up with the Gold edition, the same as I did with the first game.
  • Amazon Prime changes – The 20% off pre-order bonus seemed like it would never last but taking ad free away from Twitch hurts. I get that streamers make money that way but didn’t I already pay for a service from Amazon? Kind of brings the value of Amazon Prime down, which seems even worse since they are raising the price.
  • PUBG goes 1.0 on 9/4 – Nice to see it hit a full release version but I haven’t played it in weeks and it still seemed choppy. I’ll keep my hopes up that it has been improved and I will play to check it out.
  • PUBG playground – The game will add more than a shooting range but the announcement I read didn’t say if it were PC only or would come to Xbox One as well.
  • Steam vs. Linux – Can’t get developers to develop on Linux? Well then just mod a Windows emulator on Linux to run Windows games. I clap at this solution. Not that I have a Linux box that can run anything but I really like the idea of playing Windows based games without Windows. It’s not every game yet but it is a start.
  • Xbox All Access – A report is going about a much talked about and rumored Microsoft deal of bundling Game Pass and Gold but the rumor now includes a rent-to-own console. Hmmmm…. that is a very, very interesting service model.

Closing Arguments

It is move in weekend for the local college. This is one of several weekends where I lock myself in the apartment and don’t leave until it’s over. The town has been nearly silent without all the students here but soon it will be too loud. Feast or famine I guess.

What I feel worst about this week though is bending the knee to Comcast again for another two years. My current service was Internet and basic tv for about $100/month. I was all ready to add Hulu or the like for $40/month to stream football games but I called Comcast first and they got me. I’ll get the networks I need to watch college and pro football and my bill goes to about $116/month. I feel dirty and cheap.

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Paul Novak

Owner, Proprietor, Typer of Words, Gamer, Jester

A self described Polish ninja toiling away as an IT professional but more into gaming and writing. Physically existing on the western side of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania yet existentially flowing with the ether of the Internet.

Dude’s Chronicles 8-16-2018: Daze Like These

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Looking to take a day or two off just to unwind and forget about work for a bit. As rough as it has been it won’t be letting up any time soon.

Entertainment

  • Giant Bomb – I haven’t watched or listened to much of anything other than their content. It’s entertaining and makes me laugh consistently. Watching Alex Navarro play Mass Effect makes me want to play it again but I know what kind of a time sink that will be since I’ll end up trying to play through all of them again.

Games

  • XCOM – Just about finished with my play through on normal. As many times as I’ve said it, I really need a break from this game, I think now is the time I finally do it. I would hold true to that if I had anything else to play and had not just bought XCOM 2 on Steam.
  • Overwatch – Confirmed: Still good. Confirmed: Done after two rounds.

News

  • RIP Aretha Franklin – A tremendous talent and possibly one of the best voices of all time.
  • Bethesda sales policy – The company made some take down the sale of copy of The Evil Within 2 claiming that, even though it was unopened, cannot be sold as new. Counterpoint, a store would take it back as new if you have the receipt. This seems a litte too big brother of Bethesda.
  • Halo Infinite is Halo 6 – 343 Industries clarified that the game is in fact the sequel to Halo 5. I blame Apple for all these other companies that drop the numbers on names. It’s a functional way to inform people were it occurs in the series! Ugh, marketing.

Closing Arguments

Looking ahead we are about to get hit with a ton of games. I’ll have XCOM finished very soon and I’m not sure what I will move on to. I do have an extended weekend in the works so anything is fair game. So……….. more XCOM, right???

dudewantshisrug-profile
Paul Novak

Owner, Proprietor, Typer of Words, Gamer, Jester

A self described Polish ninja toiling away as an IT professional but more into gaming and writing. Physically existing on the western side of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania yet existentially flowing with the ether of the Internet.

Dude’s Chronicles 8-9-2018: Has Summer?

Image via fixmyslide.com

We had about three days of sun and no rain. I was on call for two of them. Perfect summer.

Entertainment

  • Shameless – Having finished the eighth season I have to stick with the conclusion that it is trying too hard. The early seasons were edgy because of the situations the people were in, this season tried putting people in situations to make it feel edgy. Not the same effect and not nearly as entertaining. I still enjoyed the season but not as much as others. Spoiler – I did not like the toe scene, yuck.
  • Superbad – I can’t believe this movie is over ten years old. It still cracks me up. It was a good watch when I was feeling a bit down during my call time. Helped give me a laugh and pass some time.
  • Watchmen – This movie is entertaining still and leaves me with the feeling of missed potential every time I watch it.
  • Ex Machina – Having just watched it for the first time I feel like I’m missing something. The film made a big splash and had a huge buzz when it released but I found it middling at best. The themes were thoughtful and the production was well done but in the end it felt hollow.
  • Iliza Shlesinger: Elder Millennial – Funny but flawed. She had poignant things to say about women and men alike but I felt like she made a few large brush stroke comments that weren’t necessarily accurate. Saying that “every man knows…” can be funny but it can also be false. Speaking as a man, there are many things I don’t know and several of them were things she was stating that I do. Just my opinion though, I respect and embrace that there are two sides to every story.

Games

  • XCOM 2 – It’s over, I’ve completed the last mission of my second play through. The Chosen DLC adds a lot to the game but I’m disappointed that I never got to defeat the third Chosen. He kept attacking me during missions, including the finale, but the mission to finally defeat him never popped. I’m not sure if that is a glitch or I just didn’t hit the steps to get the mission.
  • Black Ops 3 – This campaign is directly the reason why Black Ops 4 doesn’t have a campaign. It was all over the place and in the end had nothing to offer. They are better off concentrating the on the things the game does good, which is not the story.
  • No Man’s Sky NEXT – I played this game at release and this update does nothing to get me back into it. I like that other people like it but it just doesn’t do anything for me.
  • Red Dead Redemption – I’ve never played this game but I own a PS3 copy and wanted to try it. Very quickly I see that this game doesn’t age well but what damned it for me was the technical issues. In less than two hours of game play it crashed four times. There are plenty of frustration points I have in life, I don’t need this game to be another one. Even with that said, I contemplate buying an Xbox 360 copy to play on my Xbox One via backwards compatibility.
  • XCOM – Failing at enjoying the games I just mentioned, I went back to a new old favorite.

News

  • Fortnite on Android – EPIC will be bypassing the Google Play store by only making the game available directly via an APK which makes sense at first but I wonder how many people will see that it is not in the store and just decide it is too much of a hassle to get it directly thus passing on the game? Probably won’t be significant but I think it will happen.
  • No Fallout 76 on Steam – When you know you are going to sell millions of copies of a game why share the revenue, right? Look for it to show up on Steam later after the initial release window because Steam has such a market share on pc game sales it seems foolish not to.
  • God of War Game+ – The mode will release later this month, meaning I will have a good excuse for telling people I’m playing this game again.
  • Let’s face it… it’s the calm before the storm in video games.

Closing Arguments

It has been an exhausting week at work. After being on call for the weekend it is even more exaggerated. At this point I just want to sit down, melt off the bad stuff, relax, and sleep. In a perfect world that would happen, this world ain’t perfect.

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Paul Novak

Owner, Proprietor, Typer of Words, Gamer, Jester

A self described Polish ninja toiling away as an IT professional but more into gaming and writing. Physically existing on the western side of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania yet existentially flowing with the ether of the Internet.

Dude’s Chronicles 8-2-2018: Where Are Sun?

Image via youtube.com.

Guess what it’s still doing? That’s right, it’s raining! But don’t work, the weekend will be nice since I’m on-call and can’t enjoy it.

Entertainment

  • Death Wish(2018) – I went into this not expecting much and I think it delivered on my expectations. Having seen the original and generally not liking remakes that is a good rating for me. The hardest part of the movie was to accept Bruce Willis as a doctor. He’s a great actor but a doctor is just not what comes to mind when I think of him.
  • Super Troopers 2 – Much like Anchorman 2, this was a sequel that I thought never should have been done… until I watched it. It was essentially a redo of the first one but it was still highly funny and entertaining.
  • Enemy – If I could give Jake Gyllenhaal any life and/or career advise it would be to make some more main stream movies and move away from these dark, moody, bizarre experience films. I just feel like he may not be in a good place personally and professionally if he continues to make these movies. This film was well produced but just came off as baffling in an uncomfortable way.
  • Supergirl – I really enjoy this somewhat campy show for reasons I can’t explain. Odd how I unexpectedly miss Calista Flockhart though.
  • Seth Rogen’s Hilarity for Charity – Funny guy and good to see him using it for charity. Some of the guest comedians weren’t so great but you can’t go against them too much if they are helping support a charity.
  • Shameless – I was immensely excited to see that Netflix had the eight season of the show. The excitement died down once I started watching. There is the sense that it is trying too hard to do the things that made it unique. I’ll definitely finish watching it but I hope it gets better but I’m not saying it’s bad.

Games

  • XCOM 2 – It’s over, I’ve completed the last mission of my second play through. The Chosen DLC adds a lot to the game but I’m disappointed that I never got to defeat the third Chosen. He kept attacking me during missions, including the finale, but the mission to finally defeat him never popped. I’m not sure if that is a glitch or I just didn’t hit the steps to get the mission.

News

  • EA Origin Access Premier – I subscribe to EA Access on Xbox One and I wish they would add this to Xbox. Even with that I am tempted to get it on PC. The only thing I question is that it is supposed to grant access to EA’s new games but the article I read stated that it will offer a 10% discount on digital purchases. Will this discount apply to in-game purchases? Will it apply to the non-EA games available in Origin?
  • Nintendo Switch sales – The system has sold 19.67 million units, which is about 6 million more than the Wii U. That is impressive since that Switch hasn’t been out that long.

Closing Arguments

Have a good Friday and enjoy the weekend!

dudewantshisrug-profile
Paul Novak

Owner, Proprietor, Typer of Words, Gamer, Jester

A self described Polish ninja toiling away as an IT professional but more into gaming and writing. Physically existing on the western side of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania yet existentially flowing with the ether of the Internet.