Archive for the ‘Stuff’ Category

It’s Been Five Years …

October 4, 2017

… and I still miss City of Heroes.

I was musing on that while playing The Old Republic and creating my new character (a Jedi Consular modeled after Sabrina from Sabrina the Teenage Witch). I’m always struck when creating characters in any Bioware game just how limited the customization options are despite them seemingly being among the better studios at allowing it. And then I started looking at getting a nice outfit for her because Sabrina would be a fashion plate, and couldn’t find anything all that interesting. Perhaps it’s because I only had 2000000 credits to spend on the GTN and all the good outfits were out of my price range, and the Cartel Market options weren’t that interesting, but I found most of them somewhat interesting but far too similar for me to bother with. And I only cared about looks, not about stats, which makes it doubly depressing when I compare it to City of Heroes.

City of Heroes was probably my ideal MMORPG. Costuming was built into your character creation, so you could style everything about your character before you ever stepped into the world. The powersets were interestingly varied, both inside and outside the main divisions. The hero and villain worlds were interestingly varied. The story arcs were interesting. The task forces were amazing, and didn’t suffer from TOR’s problem where people often try to skip the cutscenes to get on with the rest of it if for no other reason than that about the only thing you got out of them was the story that linked the missions together, as the XP gain and quest rewards weren’t overwhelmingly impressive. All it lacked was TOR’s class story arcs — it actually had more area and quest story arcs than TOR does — and it was starting to build something like that at the end with Going Rogue.

I haven’t heard of any MMORPG doing anything as well. To be honest, I also haven’t heard of all that many new MMORPGs starting up either, and so maybe we have hit MMO saturation. There are supposedly a few independent studios trying to do CoH-like games, but only time will tell if any of them will be completed or be any good.

For superhero games, there aren’t that many out there. Champions Online did not seem like my type of game. I actually tried DC Universe Online, and am not interested in it. I own Freedom Force — both in original and in GOG form — but have never really been able to get into it. Replaying the Legends and Ultimate Alliance games are an option that I’ve mused about, and there’s that DC PSP Legends-type game that I keep considering playing. But other than the online Marvel stuff, I don’t even know about decent superhero type games anymore. And City of Heroes, before it died, was one of the best.

Yes, I still miss it …


Outta Touch, Outta Time …

September 27, 2017

So, as I’ve touched on, I’ve been pretty busy lately. And, of course, I’ve been pretty busy before. But this time is a little bit different. This is the first time that I can recall where I actually feel that I have no time. Always before I knew I was busy, but for the most part also felt like I a) still had some time left to do things, even if I decided to rest or take a break instead and b) would have the time to pick things up once work slowed down. But this year I haven’t really felt that.

Part of the issue is that I have not only had a lot of things to do at work and around the house, but I’ve also been trying to do a number of other things. I’ve been trying to get some programming in regularly, as well as some writing, and wanted to put them on a schedule. Which I think is what most led to the issue, because the schedule I put together is, at least technically, rather packed. As I commented, I have budgeted about an hour and a half of TV watching a day, which is what I’ll get if all of the schedule works out the way I plan, with it only being the case that I get more in if I, say, don’t work as late as I generally plan to. That leaves little time to actually watch anything, as it would take me upwards of two months to watch an hour long show. And there are a number of them that I want to watch or watch again. I have a regularly scheduled 3 – 4 hours of video game time a week, which means that it would take me five months to finish a game like Persona 5 if I stuck to the schedule. And I have something like 8 hours for project-type stuff — writing and programming — if I stick to the schedule.

Before, if I wasn’t getting anything done it was because I wasn’t sticking to the schedule. Now, it really looks like I won’t get things done even if I stick to the schedule. And I never stick to the schedule.

And I even tried to slide some other things into other sorts of spare time, like watching DVDs while I’m working weekends which might then let me actually get some of the things I want to watch watched. But there isn’t that much time those days and whether I even go in or not varies, and on top of that if I don’t go into work for a while or don’t want to have that on, then what do I do with that series that I’m watching? The whole point to trying to watch it then is that I don’t have time to watch it otherwise. I’ve thought about doing things like writing or blog posts while compiling, but I find switching between the two to be distracting, and it doesn’t take me that long to compile anymore. I’ve thought about doing stuff like that before leaving work, or even taking an hour around lunch time to read, but if I’m working on something then I don’t want to stop looking at it and if I’m not working on something then I’m usually either waiting for something — and I don’t wait well and so would be distracted by the waiting — or else I’m planning on going home early instead and doing other things. So even when I would have the time to do things there, I wouldn’t and it would be better for me not to do it. So for all of these, I can’t really put anything regular in there, and if I can’t put anything regular in there, then it won’t help me get those things done, and if it won’t help me get those things done, then it isn’t helping me all that much.

And that, I think, is the real key. Always before when I put together a schedule, I could pretty much fit in everything I wanted to do somewhere and get what felt like enough time to do all of them. Sure, I didn’t always or even usually do all of those things, but again it was just a matter of my actually sticking to the schedule or just getting temporarily and unexpectedly busy. But now, that’s not the case, and there are things that I really want to do that I don’t feel that I have the time to do. That makes me feel like I don’t have time anymore.

I guess the key here is to accept my time constraints and either try to be more efficient or else accept that some of the things that I want to do I just won’t be able to do. I’ve already done that for hour long shows (for the most part) and I’ll have to see what else I’ll have to accept not being able to do.

So, am I a hypocrite?

September 20, 2017

I’ve talked a few times in the past about weight loss, and talked about various approaches and the importance of exercise and the right way to go about it so that it’s sustainable. And yet, recently, after having lost a bit of weight I yo-yoed at least slightly up … no where near back to where it was at its worst, but still more than I’d like. So, was I a hypocrite, talking about others when I myself couldn’t actually do it? Or was I just a ignorant person talking about the right way to do things when I had no idea what I was talking about?

I say “Neither”, because I know exactly why I gained some of that weight back. Around May, I decided to go off of my general diet a bit and eat some things that I normally wouldn’t, since my weight and even cholesterol were seemingly under control — or, at least, under control enough to not worry about — and I was also busy and so not paying attention that much. Plus, we had a rainy summer, which took away one of my primary sources of exercise, which is walking. But a little bit of that wouldn’t be an issue, but I ran that for way too long. I also tried to rework my eating in the evenings after settling an issue with acne and made a huge mistake. I found some muffins that I liked, and looked at two things: the saturated fat and the fiber content (since when I’m eating well fiber is something I don’t get a lot of in my diet). Well, they worked for that, so I started adding them for my evenings and general snacks. And anyone who knows anything about muffins will immediately see the problem: muffins have an amazingly high amount of calories. So since I wasn’t paying attention to the calories at all, I was overeating because I was eating too many muffins.

There was also another factor. At one point in the spring as I was trying to lose my Christmas weight gain — which I will always have because I always stop watching my diet around Christmas — I was losing weight too quickly. I only want to lose about a pound a weak and I was losing two or so. Thus, I was trying to make sure that I kept eating enough and didn’t get myself into any kind of starvation mode, which then helped me to overeat a bit.

So, after shuffling my eating around a bit and getting more exercise, the weight is starting to come down. I’m hoping to be back in shape just in time for Christmas.

How Things Have Changed

September 6, 2017

So, for the longest time I refused to watch half-hour TV shows when they didn’t allow me to play the entire disk non-stop, and then stopped watching an anime since it only did “Play All”. Now, however, the flexibility of half-hour shows has become more important, and so I’ve found myself taking on half-hour shows where I can select the episodes one-by-one, like Yu-gi-oh, Sabrina the Teenage Witch, and most recently Transformers, and watching them almost exclusively while not watching any of my hour-long shows. And, in fact, I’m having a hard time finding a way to actually watch those series ever again.

The reason that half-hour shows are currently so dominant is that the time I have to just watch TV has greatly shrunk. Generally, I expect to get around 1.5 hours to watch in the evening a day (right before I go to sleep, so generally in my cool down time). But that time varies. I might wrap everything up for the day 2 hours before I want to go to sleep, or 1 hour. As noted in the previous article, hour long shows aren’t very flexible when it comes to time. An hour long show runs about 45 minutes on DVD, which means that if I have an hour left in the day I could watch one episode and then have to stop early. With half-hour shows, I could watch three and only run a little over, which works out reasonably well (my bedtime isn’t that set it stone). And if I wanted to stay up a little later, I could watch another episode without adding 45 minutes on, which is a bit long most of the time. And if I ever wanted to stay up that extra 45 minutes for some reason, I can just watch two more episodes. This also works if I start earlier, because all I need to do is add episodes 20 minutes at a time until I hit time to shut down for the day. If an hour long episode would fit, I can put two half-hour episodes there, and if an hour long episode wouldn’t fit, then I can add an extra half-hour episode and generally fill that gap. So the flexibility is really in demand for me right now.

The other reason, though, is the total number of hours that each series has. I can, in general, watch a disk roughly every two days. For an hour long show, that’s 2 episodes a night, while for a half-hour show that’s 4 episodes a night. If I’m watching an American/Canadian series, you’re generally getting into about 20 episodes a season, and the number of episodes is about the same for hour long and half-hour shows. Thus, I finish half-hour series about twice as fast as hourly ones. So I can finish a season of an hourly series in roughly two weeks (11 – 12 days), while for a half-hour series I can finish a season in roughly a week. So if I wanted to watch a 5 season hour long series, it would take me about 60 days or 2 months, while I can finish a half-hour series in about a month. This means that the turnover rate is faster, which keeps me from getting bored with it, lets me feel like I’m making progress, and avoids my feeling like I’m watching it more to finish it and less to actually watch it. Add in that most of my favourite hour long series are more like 7 – 10 seasons instead of 5 and this becomes even more important.

So, half-hour series are more flexible and spread out over my relatively short TV watching time better. Since I don’t have any other time to just watch TV, when can I watch those hour long series that I love so much again? When can I watch Babylon 5, TNG, DS9, Buffy, Angel and Smallville? They are too long to binge on while on vacation or slide into times when I’m, say, working or wanting something to watch while I’m eating and baseball isn’t on, but don’t fit into the flexible schedule at all. But I’m definitely going to want to watch them again.

I’ve moved from wondering when I can watch half-hour shows, and not really watching them to wondering when I can watch hour long shows and not really watching them. That’s … different.

(As an aside, I calculated how long it would take me to watch all of the Dark Shadows soap opera again with my current time allocated for watching TV. It took me about four months the first time, and this time it would take me … about 11 months, or almost a year. Yeah …)

Course Work …

August 9, 2017

I used to take university courses regularly. In fact, a number of the essays that I turned into pages are things that I did for university courses over the years. I got almost all of a Bachelor’s of Philosophy and in fact a Master’s in Philosophy part-time around work. I enjoy doing it, the tuition was tax-deductible, when I could take the courses for credit I even got something out of it, and it also worked around my immunity to artificial deadlines by, in fact, giving me an actual deadline to work with.

But I haven’t taken any courses for the past few years.

I had started a Bachelor’s degree in Cognitive Science, but since I had both Philosophy and Computer Science there wasn’t a lot more to learn. So I took a couple of graduate courses there, but that wasn’t much better. Then they changed some of the requirements so that actually getting the degree would be more difficult, so I started taking graduate level Philosophy courses at the other university. Then they said that I had hit the limit of courses that I could take as a Special Student, so I had to find something else. I started considering doing Classics or History and then things changed.

I had been working for a while on a product in maintenance mode, and so had the time to use vacation or the like to take courses. But that product was ending, and so I was going to move on. I didn’t think it would be a good idea to try to take courses while learning a new product, or to start my working relationship with a new manager by essentially talking about ways to not work at least normal hours. I then worked on the new product for about a year, and then moved to another one, although I’ve kept the same manager. And to be fair he probably would let me arrange something so that I could take courses again, but …

This product is … strange, at least in scheduling. Last year in September I was incredibly happy that I wasn’t taking courses because I was dropped into a late project that took me a massive amount of hours just to catch up with. I’d never have been able to take courses and handle that project at the same time. This year, my project was moved earlier and I need to work more just to make sure that I hit the deadlines, and also have other things going on that I need to track, and so don’t have the time for coursework again. I’m likely to have problems taking all of my vacation again this year because of that. And the fall is the time when I most want to take courses because I don’t have to worry at all about the weather in the fall, unlike in the winter. So as long as things are like this, taking university courses seems to be out of the picture.

I had mused taking courses again after I retire, but one of the benefits of retiring is not having to leave the house when we get winter weather, and if I started taking courses I wouldn’t be able to do that.

So, for now at least, taking courses seems to be off the table. I’m looking at doing reading and studying on my own for now, but this will be limited since I for now I want to focus on other things, like writing and some programming. I still like the idea and miss taking them, but it just doesn’t look like I can fit it into my life right now. Which is a shame.

Vintage …

July 24, 2017

So, for a long time now I’ve been looking for a channel or channels where I can have the TV on for noise when I want or need noise — like when I’m reading or playing a game or writing blog posts — but where I can also look up at times and just watch for short periods of time. I had news channels for a while for that — and still have some of them — but at times they switch over to shows which aren’t as interesting. I did end up getting the Stingray channels because my 5-CD player stopped working and you just can’t get those things anymore, and that worked pretty well, but those channels don’t work well while I’m playing a game, downloading things, or waiting for someone because when I look up all I see is an album cover.

Then, at some point recently, I saw an ad for Vintage TV. This channel plays music like the Stingray channels, but instead of having a large number of channels covering a huge number of genres, they have one channel that kinda mixes genres — but mostly focuses on rock and some country — but also plays videos while playing the music. If they have access to an actual video, they use the actual video … which includes concert or TV performances. If they don’t, they have semi-related and semi-themed video to go along with it, which sometimes at least tries to fit in a narrative.

So far, I’m quite enjoying it. Not all of the music is what I personally like, but my tastes are pretty varied so most of it is at least tolerable. The videos can be interesting, and at least are something to look at when I don’t want or need to look at my own screens for a while. Thus, at this point this seems like a good channel to fill my need for a channel that can provide easily ignorable noise and images while being interesting enough when everything else I’m looking at is more ignorable.

And the winner is …

June 7, 2017

… Dragon Age: Origins.

For a long time it really seemed like The Old Republic was going to be the game. Other than the possibility of wanting to park in a cantina when stopping for the night — and so having to travel back to it from where ever I happened to be at the time — it seemed to fit reasonably into the schedule — I’d probably be able to finish one planet each session, while having to leave the inter-planet quests for the next one — and had interesting stories to work through that I hadn’t gone through in a while. I’d be able to create new characters and do different things, which would be interesting. So it seemed a pretty good choice.

And then I remembered about the updates. Typically, updating after a long period away takes hours, and so at least one session. Updates week-on-week might not take that long, but then there might be periods where I had to put the gaming on hold for a few weeks due to other issues, and thus I’d end up spending that session updating and not playing, which isn’t fun. Or I could try updating the evening before, which I don’t have time to do. None of that really worked for me.

Dragon Age: Origins has none of that. Its biggest detriment is that I might want to play Inquisition after playing Dragon Age 2 to complete the set, and I trust myself to either not play Inquisition or resign myself to slogging through it again.

I started as a Noble Dwarf Warrior, and made it out of the intro story and through Ostagar, ending my play session when arriving at Lothering. I’m playing on Casual, and so far Alastair almost got knocked out by the ogre (troll?) in the first tower, but otherwise my health is good. We’ll see how long that lasts. I enjoyed the intro story, and so far am playing my character as an incredibly polite, loyal and dedicated person who has a dry sense of humour and is a little bitter about all the betrayals, and so comments when Alastair suggests going to Arl Eamon because Eamon is honourable that, hey, Loghain was honourable, too. But I loved the comments he can make like calling Alastair a very strange human or, when Alastair goes on about Callain getting him to wear a dress and dance some kind of dance that Alastair has a very odd idea of the king, while knowing that Alastair was being sarcastic.

He was also very polite and respectful to Morrigan and Flemeth, which they both appreciated (and I managed to surprise Morrigan with that, which makes me actually like her more than I did on my first playthrough).

So, that’s the game I chose, and the reasons for the ultimate choice.

My Thought Process on Choosing the Next Game To Play

May 31, 2017

So, as I said while talking about my second playthrough of Persona 5, I need to choose a different game to play because while I could play Persona 5 again, the time I have to play games is shrinking and I’m not convinced that I could play Persona 5 for 5 months without either getting distracted by something else or else having Persona 5 take over those times when I really should do something else. So, I’ve been musing about that off and on while things compile and install for the past days, and my thought process seemed fairly … unique. So since I’ll need a post anyway I thought it might be nice to let you guys into my head for a bit to show you my thought process on this.

Note that I very much hope to have decided this by the time you see this post, since my time to play video games is Thursday and this is set to come out on Wednesday. So comments here might or might not influence my decision.

Anyway, I have a block of about 3 – 4 hours once a week to play video games. I really don’t want to extend or be terribly tempted to extend those hours for at least the next 3 – 5 months or so, because there are many, many other things that I want and need to do that I’ve put off for too long. I should have started this back in January, but as usual got distracted and was aware that Persona 5 was going to show up in April which, well, was going to throw everything out of whack. So I definitely don’t want to distract myself again with something else that will take up that time, especially since I’m facing work pressures and won’t have the time to waste. Which ironically means that I probably don’t want the game to be too good, since I’ll want to play it when I shouldn’t be.

Because I have so limited a time to play during the week, I also don’t really want to play a really, really long game either, because it will take too long for me to finish at that rate. Persona 5 fails both this and the “too good a game” criteria, because at 4 hours a session for a roughly 80 hour game it would take me 20 sessions or 5 months to finish, which is a long time for me. I’ve been musing that three months is probably the limit, and even that is shaky (but I’m willing to give it a try).

But another consideration is that if I can only play for 3 – 4 hours a week, I have to be able to feel like I did something in each session. It’s fine to only grind to get to the next couple of levels or open up missions if I’m going to play it again tomorrow, but if I’m going to stop for a week I really want to have had a lot of fun doing it and/or have really accomplished something. Plus, since that 3 – 4 hour time span is both a bit variable — I may have slightly less time one week and slightly more the next, depending on work and what I need to do when I get home — and is a fairly hard limit — I have to stop at a certain point to do other things like going to sleep — the game has to both get somewhere in that time period and can’t have really long sections where I won’t be able to save the game and stop for the night … or, at least, it has to let me know what those are so that I can prepare and, well, stop for the night before getting into it and leave the long section for the next week.

Another factor is that I’m going to go home, eat, and then play the game, because that’s already my Thursday schedule and the gaming is going there mostly because right after eating a large meal I usually don’t want to do anything that requires walking around. And since I tend to pace while writing, that includes writing on the blog. Thus, console games work well in that slot because I can — and have, with Persona 5 — eat and then immediately sit down and play the game, gaining anywhere from a half-hour to an hour in the process. This also means that console games are slightly preferred because I game on my sofa and that’s a really good place to be right after eating. But that’s not that major a factor.

Another minor factor is that I keep thinking that if I’m going to pick a game to play here, it should be one of the games that I have lying around that I want to finish. Like one of the games on the “List of Games to Finish”. This is counter-balanced by my whims and distractions, which I’ll get to in a minute when I go through some of the games I’m thinking about. These are minor, but ultimately will have an impact on how I feel about the game and so how long I manage to stick to that game.

So, I considered starting over with Persona, which I played for a while but never finished. It’s a bit more reasonable in terms of length — 50 hours average main story plus extras — and then I could go on and replay all of the games again, which I really do want to do. But to do all of them would take me over a year to finish, probably even if I cheated. Even with there being five different games to play, that’s probably too big a commitment to make right now, and Persona itself doesn’t interest me enough to just play it for itself. If I was going to do that, I’d just play Persona 3 or 4 … but those are 80 hour games as well.

I’ve mused about playing Shadow Hearts or Shadow Hearts: Covenant again. They fit neatly into the time frame and are games that I really liked playing. I’m a bit worried about some sections and not being able to either stop in time or get something done, though, and I’ve already played both, so it’s not a game that I would be finishing.

From the list, I’m definitely thinking about playing Fatal Frame and then the two that I didn’t finish. The biggest problem with this is that I’ve very walkthrough dependent with these games, which means I’d have to run the computer, too, and I’m not sure that I’ll always be able to save when I want to. The same thing applies to the Silent Hill games.

Record of Agarest War and Conception II are games that, are. of course, ruled out for being too grindy.

I was originally thinking about playing Saint’s Row The Third, but I’ve never played it before, don’t know how long the missions take, and am not good at more FPS and action-focused games. There’s just too much risk of this being a disaster, so I think I’ll save it for some time when I’m on vacation.

I’m considering Bloodlines again, although it gets a slight knock for being a PC game. But it has “Save anywhere”, which is good … but I haven’t played it in so long that I’m thinking of starting over, which means that I’d have to do the warehouse again, which is very, very bad.

I also recently re-watched a lot of the video game videos at SF Debris, which has gotten me feeling like I want to play some of those games again. I’ve considered Knights of the Old Republic, but I recently replayed the first one and when I tried playing Sith Lords right after I found that it dragged. So I’m considering resubscribing to TOR and going through one of the story missions again, as I can finish a planet — or at least a few areas of one — in about the right time now and it would only take me about three months to finish one run through Corellia. I’ve also been tempted to play Dragon Age: Origins again, but if I did I’d want to play Dragon Age 2 again, and then maybe Inquisition again to finish out the series … and, as you all know, I definitely don’t want to do that. Fortunately, I feel no real reason to play Mass Effect again, at least not yet.

I’ve also recently re-watched .hack//Sign and Liminality, which then gets me wanting to play the games again (I managed to get part-way into the fourth game). It’d be a console game and each game is about 20 hours if I recall correctly so it fits into the timeline, so it’s definitely a possibility. I’m just not all that fond of its gameplay.

I’ve considered playing another full season of baseball again, but the season is so long that it falls into another 5 month plus commitment.

I’ve considered just playing Pinball Arcade again for a while, but that’s more a time waster than an actual game. It thus risks grabbing me too much so I don’t quit in time, and also I really want to, well, actually kinda play something where I make progress, which doesn’t happen that much with that game.

I’ve thought about playing Star Wars: Rebellion again, but that is a game that definitely and absolutely makes me forget about time, so I’d waver between not feeling like playing it and getting so caught up in it that I don’t go to sleep on time.

I’ve considered the Hearts of Iron games, but there seems to be a lot to learn with them from what little I’ve played with them and I’m not really up for that at the moment, especially for a game that I’m mostly interested in seeing how things might change rather than in playing out the strategic parts.

I’ve actually thought about playing the Gold Box D&D games again, as they should be short enough and I should get somewhere in a couple of hours.

There are also a number of other games that I’ve bought from that I think might work, like some of the Star Trek adventure games. And probably a few on consoles or the Vita to consider. I hope to decide very, very soon, and will tell you when I do.

Phantom Thieves in Cincinnati …

May 19, 2017

So, at one point in Persona 5 they ask you to enter a name, and point out that this name is what people will see online. I had no intention of going online, and so didn’t really care about it, and didn’t have any idea that this would come up, and so didn’t have any name prepared. But I was musing about watching the show WKRP in Cincinnati, and so decided that, meh, that would do. So I entered “WKRP”, and went on with the game.

What I didn’t realize at the time was that that would also be what your team was named. And thus, when sending the calling cards, I would get things like “We are going to change your heart and reveal your horrible crimes! Signed, WKRP” and on the TV I would get things like “The police are being asked to pushed to deal with the terrible criminal organization WKRP!”. Which, of course, I found rather hilarious knowing what WKRP really was (a small time radio station full of utterly bizarre characters). So, on my second playthrough, I decided to keep that name.

And since I have indeed been watching the show — I plan to post about my impressions of it once I finish it — I was musing about whether I could actually map the characters from the game onto the characters in the show. This sounded amusing to me, but there’s an issue: there are nine Phantom Thieves — not counting Akechi — and only eight employees of WKRP. And Herb is too unsympathetic to fit with a lot of the characters. But I still kinda wanted to try it, and noticed that for some of the Phantom Thieves there’s more than one character that fits, and some WKRP characters fit more than one person. So I then thought that maybe if I did two WKRP characters per Phantom Thief, I could reuse characters and so could fill out all nine Phantom Thieves and even include Akechi. So, I’m going to try that. I make no promises that these will actually work out in any real interesting way, but it might be kinda fun.

So lets start:

Joker: 1 – Andy Travis: If play Joker as the one who is cool, confident, and who generally knows what’s going on, then Andy fits. Andy is also known as quite the ladies man but isn’t incredibly aggressive about it, which also fits the vast number of Confidants Joker can date. About the only difference here is that Joker is pretty much the official leader of the Phantom Thieves, while that role technically belongs to Arthur Carlson at WKRP. And speaking of which …

2 – Arthur Carlson: On the other hand, if you play Joker as generally well-meaning but mostly clueless — and since you get to choose your reactions, you can — then Arthur Carlson, the nice, well-meaning, but somewhat clueless leader who wants things to succeed but doesn’t really know how to do that fits. And as he was very happily married throughout the series, he best fits a Joker that is a one-woman man.

Skull: 1 – Dr. Johnny Fever: Brash and loud, marches to the beat of his own drummer, but generally a good guy at heart. Can be abrasive and rub people the wrong way, but is generally entertaining enough that most people like him.

2 – Herb Tarlek: However, if you find Ryuji annoying and someone who too many people don’t like very much, Herb fits well. And the fact that Herb would hit on every woman he encountered in a pretty sleazy way fits Ryuji a lot of the time.

Panther: Jennifer Marlowe: Jennifer is very attractive, is treated as such by everyone, and has access to a fairly luxurious lifestyle, like Ann. She’s also, however, very kind and cares about everyone, and is willing to help everyone out whenever she can. She also almost had a “nude incident” as well.

2 – Jennifer Marlowe: Okay, this is kinda cheating, but Jennifer and Ann really are a pretty much perfect mapping.

Morgana: 1 – Venus Flytrap: Because they’re both cool cats! And both were often used to explain things that someone needed to know but that it didn’t make sense for anyone else to know, like the episode where Venus reveals that he was a teacher and explains atoms to the cleaning lady’s son, or financial planning to Johnny.

2 – Andy Travis: He can also be seen as the competent and informed member of the party who knows things and does the planning if Joker doesn’t step up to the line. Also, he often tells Joker what to do and what not to do which is what Andy tried to do for the DJs as programming directory.

Fox: 1 – Les Nessman: Exceptionally serious and naive, eccentric, and excessively passionately attached to their chosen field (art for Yusuke, news for Les). Yusuke is just in general actually good at art, but Les, when he gets past his own peculiarities, can pull off the news, too.

2 – Venus Flytrap: This fits mostly because Venus is serious, has a unique — and yet culturally appropriate — wardrobe, and is generally popular with the ladies, like Yusuke.

Queen: Bailey Quarters: Bailey is smart, responsible, dedicated, ambitious, attractive, knowledgeable, generally and genuinely cares for the others, and although she’s shy and often slow to speak up for herself she has quite the temper when she finally gets riled up.

2 – Andy Travis: You can also see her as the competent and intelligent one who turns the team around once she joins by supposedly making them actually have plans.

Oracle: 1 – Les Nessman: You can go with the extreme eccentricity that Futaba and Les both display, with incredibly odd thoughts and fixations that permeate pretty much every interaction with them …

2 – Bailey Quarters: … or you can go with the extreme social awkwardness coupled with being very good at what they do, and better than anyone would expect them to be, at least originally.

Noir: 1 – Bailey Quarters: A shy and sweet girl who when she can escape that role has deep passions that she can let run wild.

2 – Jennifer Marlowe: Or the classy, wealthy woman who despite all that genuinely cares for other people.

Crow: Herb Tarlek: When he joins the team, no one really likes him at all, but they kinda warm up to him as things go long. He aims for flash over substance most of the time, and wants to prove himself and succeed almost no matter who it hurts. Herb’s quite a bit less of a villain, but they have both the same underlying desires and similar methods for achieving them, which leads to very similar reactions from everyone else.

2 – Mother Carlson: Going off the main board here, just for the fact that both of them provide critical aid and support to the team supposedly to help them, while in reality they were hoping and planning for the team to fail in the end.

No More Wii …

March 20, 2017

So, over six years ago I bought a Wii. And recently, I took it off of my main TV and stuff it into a closet, where it likely will never be used again.

I mostly used it for Wii Fit, and that was the main reason why it stuck around so long. But the problem was that right now I was looking to get exercise other than walking due to the weather, which would have been the place where Wii Fit really shined … and it faltered because, at least for me, trying to use Wii Fit after dark never worked. If I left my lights off, then it couldn’t detect my movements, but if I turned my lights on, my shadow fell across the detectors and, again, it couldn’t detect my movements properly. So I pondered it, and thought that it might do well once we got back into spring and summer … but, then, if I was going to exercise I’d likely be able to get a walk in, which is what I preferred.

And I never really used it for anything else. I briefly played the golf game that came with it, and a game of carnival games that was kinda fun, and I picked up a couple of adventure games that I never played — including one based on an Agatha Christie novel (“And Then There Were None”) that had been read to us in class in grade school that I really enjoyed — but for the most part I never played games on it and when I was looking for games to buy for it never really found any. I have PS2, PS3, PS4 and even PS1 — played on the PS2 — games that I still want to play, but there’s just not much on the Wii that I’d really want to play, even if I wasn’t overloaded with games that I want to play at some point.

So, with Wii Fit not working for me and there being no games I really want to play, it was time to pack it in. The best things I can say for it is that it had Wii Fit Plus on it and it was cheap, so it was ultimately worth the money despite how little I actually used it.