Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Cannabis Oil Rep Calls Again

The Cannabis Oil rep called again. Once again, I answered as the stereotypical stoner. This time, however, the rep quickly recognized it as a riff off of Cheech and Chong. Clovis then got on the line and the rep remarked "You guys are characters!". Clovis took offence and said he was a Republican, not a character. The rep seemed to get triggered and said he wanted to give Clovis an analogy. Clovis said that he doesn't want to put anything in his analogy because he poops out of that hole. The rep then went on to talk about building a five bedroom house. Clovis got bored and went to get his accountant to talk to the rep. The rep droned on for a second about building the five bedroom house and then hung up.

Monday, November 12, 2018

Medieval Times

We took our teenage daughters to see Youtube star and beauty influencer James Charles at the grand opening of Morphe in Woodfield Mall in Schaumburg. I had never heard of James Charles or Morphe, but I was familiar enough with Woodfield Mall to get everyone there and safely navigate the crowd of angsty teenagers. Back in my early post-College days, I lived within 10 minutes from Woodfield Mall and would end up there at least once a week to catch a movie, drink in one of the restaurants or shop for over-priced merchandise. Back then, Woodfield Mall was usually pretty busy. And, despite everything I have read about the impending demise of brick-and-mortar retail, Woodfield Mall seems to be bucking the trend. It even has an open Sears store!

The line to see James Charles was huge. I had never heard of James Charles since before last week, and we had no desire to stand in line with a bunch of teens, so we let our daughters fend for themselves and went off to explore on our own.

The Nopiest Nope That Ever Noped. 

After our daughters had properly basked in the presence of James Charles, we headed out for dinner at Medieval Times which is pretty close to Woodfield Mall. The last time I was there was about 4 years ago and I remember it being packed to the gills with people while we waited to get in. It really wasn't so bad this time. I'd say that the place was about 2/3 full at best. I was able to get 50% off tickets just by searching for Medieval Times coupon codes on the Internet. So, I splurged on a few upgrades and got us an early entry and seats closer to the action.

The food is still as good as it was the last time I was there. The dragon's blood (tomato bisque) was some of the best I'd ever had and the chicken was decent. I had forgotten that you have to eat like a peasant and that no utensils are provided. And the coffee is still amazing. I managed to bribe our Man-Wench to slip me the label of the coffee brand that Medieval Times uses so that I can buy some myself.

Of course, the best thing about Medieval Times is the show and tournament. I felt that the performers were a little off their game this time. I'm sure that comes with doing the last show of the night. I also found it a bit odd that they made a point of mentioning that some of the battles were to the death, yet some of the supposedly "dead" opponents came back to fight again. Maybe the Queen has a really good doctor that she put to use for the tournament. Maybe there's a necromancer on staff. I'm sure that total realism isn't a concern for Medieval Times. All in all, we had a great time and are already planning on  going again sometime soon.

Go BLUE! The Blue Knight Would Eventually Win The Tournament

Thanks to the magic of Youtube, I dug up an old commercial for the Medieval Times Schaumburg Castle:

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Red Dead Redemption 2 - Painful Screwups

Looks like I finished Marvel's Spider-Man just in time. Red Dead Redemption 2 came out last week and I'm a few hours into it now. It's a truly beautiful game with a lot of depth and a lot of things to do in the open world. After progressing through the initial "teach you how to play" chapter, I've spent most of my time exploring, hunting and raiding the occasional ranch for materials. My muscle memory must still be stuck on Marvel's Spider-Man because I keep running into things in Red Dead Redepmption 2. And, occasionally, things run into me. On purpose. Check out the video below to see my most painful screwups in Red Dead Redemption 2.

Monday, November 5, 2018

Stop IRS Debt Calls Me

A rep from a so-called tax relief company called Stop IRS Dept called me. I strung him along a little bit by pretending to look for paperwork which culminated in me flushing a toilet. I then pretended to fart and said it was "Farting Friday". I told the rep that the IRS was planning to garnish my wages, which I thought had something to do with food presentation.

I was handed off to a "Senior Tax Advisor". I said I was expecting a Mexican because of the word "Senior" and said I was disappointed. The rep said that life is filled with little disappointments. I replied "Yeah, your wife knows that very well".

He hung up on me.

Friday, November 2, 2018

Marvel's Spider-Man Screwball Combat Challenge Gold

The Screwball Challenges are the scourge of Marvel's Spider-Man DLC: "The Heist". Getting the bronze level is tough enough. Getting gold on the challenge seems impossible when you first start out. Here's a video I made of me getting gold on a Screwball combat challenge. What you need to do is try not to engage the enemies until you get into a photobomb area. Once you do, start jamming on your gadgets, favoring the impact webs, tripwire webs and web bombs. Also, make sure you have the regeneration power enabled plus the add-on that gives you a gadget refill whenever you do a finisher.

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Cannabis Oil Rep Calls

A Cannabis Oil rep called looking for someone named Bryant. I pretended to hand the phone off to my dad. I was trying to sound like a stereotypical stoner. At one point, I said "Dave is not here!" trying to ape Cheech and Chong, which I figured that the rep would know about. Guess not.

Monday, October 29, 2018

Played Through The Heist

I played through the first part of the "City That Never Sleeps" DLC for Marvel's Spider-Man game for the PS4. Part 1, subtitled "The Heist" is all about Spider-Man trying to stop the Black Cat from her quest to steal data drives from the various Maggia crime families across New York. Purchasing the season pass for $25 will save you nearly $5 as each pack costs $9.99 individually. I downloaded the DLC update early last week and spend Sunday afternoon playing through it. Here are my thoughts:

  1. It's pretty short. I played through it to 100% completion in about 3 hours. 
  2. For the money, I don't mind it being so short
  3. FUCK those mini-gun brutes
  4. Screwball Challenges suck hard. The only 2 things I hate about the main game are Screwball, and the Drone Challenges. So, of course, the two have been combined into the ultimate annoying challenge in the DLC. 
  5. I wish that the three new unlockable costumes, The Resilient Suit, Scarlet Spider (Kane) Suit, and SpiderUK suit, had new powers associated with them. But they're just cosmetic. 
  6. There's great story content and the characters and their motivations seemed authentic and believable. 
  7. They're heavily teasing a Miles team-up and I hope we get that in the next DLC
  8. Since installing The Heist, the game has been locking up every few hours. 
  9. I especially love JJJs commentary tracks on this one. "JOIN THE NAVY!"
  10. The "Pizza Time" side-quest was pretty random. 

Me Playing Through The NG+ Content With The New Scarlet Spider Suit

Friday, October 26, 2018

Credit Card Services Rep Doesn't Want To Talk

A credit card debt relief rep called me. I was in the middle of microwaving my lunch back to life, so I didn't have much time to suffer this guy. When he asked if I pressed "1" in order to get a lower rate, I said that I did indeed press "1" but that I did it because I was lonely and wanted someone to talk to. At first, he seemed to want to play along and asked what I wanted to talk about. When I asked his name and where he was from, he got indignant and hung up.

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Spider-Man PS4 Combat Challenges Gold

On the eve of starting Part 1 of the three part DLC for Spider-Man PS4, I decided to try and upgrade Spidey as much as possible. In order to do that, I needed to get as many challenge coins as possible. The best way to do that is to get Gold status on the Taskmaster challenges. Here are some videos of me doing that. Maybe they'll help you get Gold status too. I'll say right off that I used web bombs where I probably should have used impact webs instead. But, you can't argue with results, right?

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Bible Museum Says Five Of Its Dead Sea Scrolls Are Fake

Having grown in a Catholic home, I often take interest in biblical exhibits. So, when kiddo and I were in Washington DC back in July, I looked into visiting the Museum of the Bible. After all, it was just kitty-corner to the hotel we were staying at, and admission was free. Then, I found out that the place was founded and run by the nutcases who own Hobby Lobby and figured that there wouldn't be anything worth looking at there. And it appears that I was correct.

The museum recently announced that five of its most valuable artifacts, once thought to be part of the historic Dead Sea Scrolls, are fake and will not be displayed anymore. Tests were ordered on the fragments after biblical scholars, who had examined 13 of the museum's previously unstudied fragments, said there was a "high probability" that a number of them were modern forgeries. Steve Green, the Bible museum's evangelical founder and chairman, would not say how much his family spent for the 16 Dead Sea Scrolls fragments in its collection. But scholars say even small fragments with little text can fetch millions in the antiquities market. And it's not the first time that the Steve Green and his family have caused controversy with their artifacts collection. In 2017, the Green family's company, Hobby Lobby, agreed to pay $3 million and return artifacts smuggled out of Iraq as part of a settlement with the Justice Department.

Scamming evangelicals out of money is practically a sport with criminals and unscrupulous artifacts dealers. This is what happens when you buy antiquities that have been illegally excavated or looted. There's no documenting chain to back up their authenticity. This sort of thing happens in every conflict area. People want to make a quick buck by looting antiquities and selling them to collectors abroad, and decide to up their income by throwing in a few extra fakes.

Monday, October 22, 2018

Gone Platinum On Marvel's Spider-Man

Marvel's Spider-Man is the greatest game I have ever played on the PS4, or even the PS3. I like it better than any of the Fallout games and any of the Elder Scrolls games. My dedication to the game paid off last night when I finally achieved platinum status, which means that I collected every trophy available with the game. And just in time for the latest game update, too! I've never gotten a platinum trophy on a PlayStation system before, so I was pretty damned excited to finally get one.

 And that The plot to Marvel's Spider-Man is better than any Spider-Man movie and the ending was truly amazing. Spactacular, even. Possibly even Web Of! I can hardly wait to download the new DLC next week. Meanwhile, I'll be playing Marvel's Spider-Man in Game Plus mode which came out as part of the patch on Friday. Game Plus (or New Game+ or NG+) is an unlockable video game mode available in some video games that allows the player to start a new game after they finish it at least once, where certain features in NG+ not normally available in a first playthrough are added, and where certain aspects of the finished game affect the newly started game, such as keeping in the new game items or experience gained in the first playthrough.

Gone Platinum On Marvel's Spider-Man. 

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Finally Saw Venom

I took my daughter to see Venom this afternoon. It is hard for me to think about a Venom movie set in a universe where Spider-Man doesn't exist. After all, in the comic book Marvel 616 Universe, Venom is the fusion of journalist Eddie Brock and Spidey's old alien costume. Brock hates Spider-Man for exposing the true identity of the Sin-Eater, thus disproving Brock's front-page exclusive story false. And Spider-Man's alien costume, which he picked up on the Beyonder's Battle World, hates Spidey for rejecting it after Spider found out it wasn't merely a cool costume, it was an alien symbiote that wanted to permanently bond with him.

Sony's Venom movie makes a plausible enough origin story for both Brock and the symbiote. Thankfully, the movie doesn't dwell too long on it and soon gets down to the action. The real disappointment is the PG-13 rating. I was hoping for an R-rated version on the level of Logan or Deadpool. Venom's goofy humor is present, though this time it's a result of Brock being a total loser rather than him having been driven craze by his hatred for Spider-Man.

Overall, it was an entertaining movie, and I think it was worth the price of admission. I'll be interested to see what they do with the inevitable sequel which almost certainly will involve Carnage. My daughter, who has had no exposure to the comic book version of Venom, really liked the movie.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Marvel's Spider-Man Disappearing Boxes

While playing a sneak mission as Miles Morales, your job is to escape the area without the Rhino seeing you. Rhino charges through a few areas and disturbs a number of boxes here and there. Those boxes eventually disappear. You can see it happen at 18 seconds in, 26 seconds, and 58 seconds. I normally would not care about such a little detail, but avoiding knocking over boxes is a pretty large part of these sneak missions. It sort of knocks the immersion off.

Monday, October 15, 2018

Debt Consolidation Rep Calls Hank Hill

A rep from a debt consolidation company called looking for Hank Hill. I put on my best Hank Hill (from the TV show King of the Hill) impression and went along with the scam. The rep asked how I was doing and I lauded the recent accomplishments of the Trump administration which got an uncomfortable laugh out of the rep. The rep then asked me about unsecured debt, which I compared to a dog on the loose.

Randomly, I asked the rep if he was the boy who had been "whackin' in my toolshed" which was a callback to Mr. Anderson from Beavis and Butthead which is the same voice as Hank Hill. I then proceeded to confuse the word "debt" with "dog" and talked a bit about my dog, Ladybird. The rep eventually had enough and decided to hang up

Friday, October 12, 2018

Marvel's Spider-Man PS4: Taking Out A Sable Base With Stealth

I'm still getting quite a kick out of playing Marvel's Spider-Man on the PS4. I'm far enough into the game where Silver Sable's agents have taken over various parts of the city. As part of the game's progression, the Sable Bases must be taken out in every section of the city. I uploaded a video of me taking out the first wave of Sable agents at a Sable Base using stealth techniques like the web take down, the perch takedown and the generic stealth takedown.