May 272020
 

So we’re at day … I don’t know, 70-something. Honestly, I’ve stopped counting. In fact, I’ve turned a deaf ear to nearly everything covid related mentioned in the news. I do appreciate that the local news station is now calling the update segment “The Recovery” after so many weeks of “The Coronavirus”. I keep scrolling past anything that appears doom and gloom on social media. There are too many people out there that are suddenly virologists and biology pundits. It’s sickening (pun intended). I hate to break it to you, but …

A MEME IS NOT AN ACCURATE SOURCE OF VIRUS INFORMATION!!!!

There are memes that I see often stating that less than 0.1% of the population has been infected. This is why you can’t trust memes. I am not a biologist nor a virologist but I do know how to do basic math (and a Google search). As of May 23rd:

  • There are approximately 1.8 million confirmed cases in the US (I saw this number on a local FOX affiliate station).
  • As of 2019, there are approximately 328 million Americans (Google search).
  • BY THE NUMBERS that’s 0.54% (1.8 / 328 x 100)! Granted that is still less than 1% but keep in mind, that’s confirmed cases.

Unless every single person is getting tested (which is impossible) then the only number you can use is the approximate confirmed cases. It wouldn’t surprise me if there are asymptomatic people walking around. Statistically speaking, there are probably 100’s of thousands more people with the virus that are not showing signs. My wild ass guess is that we’re probably closer to about 1% of the population with the virus. Thus enters the mask debate.

The Masks We Wear

Am I advocating that we should all be wearing masks? Not really. In the spirit of full disclosure, I’ve only worn a mask twice during all of lockdown (as of the date of this post). My reason for not wearing a mask is simply that I didn’t want to. If a place, such as CostCo, requires patrons to wear a mask, then I will wear one in compliance with store policy. When I finally get my hair cut, I’ll wear a mask in compliance with store policy. However, I’ve never worn one when I’ve gone to Kroger. I’ve only worn it once when I’ve gone to Target.

On the other hand, I rarely leave the house without a mask. I carry it with me. If the place looks rather crowded or I know I’ll be going somewhere that requires it, then I have a mask to put on. Mask, or no mask, I will practice proper distancing and try not to touch my face (or sneeze, or cough). I’m not sick nor have I ever felt sick the entire time we’ve been locked down. The same goes for everyone living in my house. I rarely left the house (other than to go jogging) for about 6 weeks of the lockdown so I doubt I was ever near sick people. I have a fairly robust immune system so the biggest threat I pose is that I could be one of those asymptomatic people. Then again, nobody I’ve been around has shown symptoms after the fact.

If I’m an insensitive prick because I don’t wear one 100% of the time, I’m OK with that. I’ll still sleep at night. The opinions of other people mean very little to me (after all opinions are like assholes, everyone has one and they all stink). If only 1% of the population actually has the virus, I’m willing to play the odds. So wear a mask or don’t wear a mask, it doesn’t matter to me. I’m not going to scoff those that wear a mask nor am I going to make a fuss if someplace requires it.

Maybe this rant is just the cabin fever talking.

Be that as it may. One thing I will make abundantly clear. THIS WILL NOT BE THE NEW NORM! All of this is just temporary, preventative measures. A year or two from now we will romanticize how we all survived the “Pandemic of 2020” (while shaking hands and hugging).

/MTFBWY

duke-nukem-sm If zombies attack the world, everyone will run and hide. Except for us gamers, of course. We’ve been waiting for this all our lives!

 

May 252020
 

Geeks everywhere salute those that paid the ultimate price for our freedom

Geek Pride Day (also known as Towel Day) is the closing bookend for this geek filled holiday month. This is the second biggest geek holiday in May. Geek Pride Day is the anniversary of the release of the first Star Wars film (A New Hope) and Towel Day (in honor of Douglas Adams, author of the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy). However this day has become more meaningful than the coinciding of those two events.

An important reminder, that today is also Memorial Day and the celebration of Memorial Day should be paramount. After all, if it weren’t for those that made the ultimate sacrifice we wouldn’t have the freedom to express our “geekery”.

After remembering the fallen, this day can also be a reminder to all of us that we shouldn’t be ashamed of being a geek. If Stan Lee taught us anything its that we should be proud and embrace it. I know most of us were probably picked on in school. We were probably often labeled a geek or nerd because we were smarter than most. It was a moniker of shame, a negative connotation for those that were studious and socially inclined. But not anymore.

The meaning has changed.

Now geek is a moniker held in high esteem. In some way or another, we are all geeks about something. You could use geek interchangeably with enthusiast or expert. It doesn’t have to be Star Wars, or comic books, or video games. You could be a geek about cars, a fishing geek, sports geek, fitness geek. It isn’t just about intellectual pursuits anymore. It’s just about loving something that makes you happy.

So today we salute:

  • First and foremost, the fallen! (Many of them were geeks too)
  • The Star Wars fans
  • The Trekkies
  • The book worms
  • The comic book nerds
  • The computer geeks
  • The gamers
  • The whatever-your-hobby-is geeks
  • The whatever-interests-you geeks

Never be ashamed of your heart or your mind!

/MTFBWY


When I was a kid, it was a huge insult to be a geek. Now it’s a point of pride in a weird way.” – J.J. Abrams

May 212020
 

Today is the 40th Anniversary of Empire Strikes Back in the US. One could argue that the 20th is the official anniversary since that’s the day it was released in the UK. Regardless, The Empire Strikes Back is widely considered the most popular fan favorite. To be honest I don’t entirely know why.

It does have one of the biggest bombshells in cinematic history (at the time) when it’s revealed Darth Vader is Luke’s father. I always like to point out that the most quoted line from Star Wars is actually misquoted. Vader never actually says “Luke, I am your father”; he says “No! I am your father!”. To be fair it’s also my favorite movie for reasons I can’t fully explain. It is the movie when the Imperial March is introduced, probably the most iconic track in all of cinema.

It Parallel’s The Last Jedi

I’m going to catch a lot of flak for that statement. The Last Jedi caught a lot of undeserving negative press. Be that as it may, during my 11-film re-watch I noticed some similarities. In each the to-be Jedi are trained by an old, cantankerous, disillusioned or eccentric Jedi Master. Including sage Yoda advice we can all use in our everyday lives (“The greatest teacher, failure is”). There is also the shocking parentage revelations. Granted Rey’s perceived lineage isn’t as surprising as Luke’s (although the Rise of Skywalker makes up for that).

In both movies the good guys don’t really win, in fact the bad guys dominate the narrative of the whole movie; and in the end the good guys barely escape. The bad guy still bargains with the good guy to join forces to “rule the galaxy”. I think the biggest coincidence is that the “bland” review The Last Jedi received is the same review the New York Times gave The Empire Strikes Back back in 1980. In a few years it will be everyone’s favorite too.

So if you’re not watching all the movies this month, at least pop in Empire Strikes Back for its 40th anniversary.

/MTFBWY

Breathe. Just breathe. Now reach out.

May 192020
 

This is going to be a surprising announcement for some of you folks. In about a month my WoW subscription is scheduled to renew for six months. After nearly 15 years of consecutively renewing, I’m thinking about letting it lapse. My amazing raid team has completed the final Ahead of the Curve achievement for this expansion. Blizzard’s recent earnings call suggests that the next expansion isn’t due out until quarter four of 2020. So we are at an impasse.

What Are We Going To Do Now?

Anth Resting at the Garrison

We don’t have the numbers (nor the spirit) to attempt the Mythic raids in the current expansion. We’re working on raid achievements for the current content (and even a couple from previous expansion). However that isn’t 3+ months worth of work. I know I have my weekly mount farming and reputation grinding, which are my common end-of-expansion tasks. All of my base alts are at max level, I have a new one that is nearly there. I could probably finish the Rajani and Uldum Accord reputations in a week or two, if I diligently complete the daily quests.

It doesn’t make economical sense to spend $15 a month for 3 months simply to grind four raids and handful of world bosses for mounts with a < 1% drop rate. It’s a lot of monotonous work for very little to gain. So I think Anth is going to hang up his sword a shield and take a little rest in his garrison. He deserves it after saving Azeroth (again) from an olde god (again).

It’s Just Temporary

I pre-ordered Shadowlands so I am, by no means, leaving the game permanently. In fact as soon as the pre-patch goes live, I plan to activate my subscription again. The only uncertainty is the date of the pre-patch. My estimation, which is just a wild ass guess, is somewhere around August or September. Obviously I need something to do to pass the time between the expiration and the pre-patch. So I’m trading my sword in for a lightsaber.

Darth Haruun

My Sith Juggernaut – Darth Haruun

I started playing Star Wars The Old Republic (SWTOR) way back in the beta. I continued playing it for a few months after it went live. I had to turn off my subscription because it wasn’t economical to have both a WoW subscription and SWTOR subscription (it’s always about the $$$). Most of my friends were still playing WoW so that’s the subscription I chose to keep.

I’m basking in the glory that, for the moment, my daughter likes Star Wars. We’ve also been introducing her to video games, including WoW and we thought she would like SWTOR where she can make her own Jedi. She enjoys the fact that she can make a character that looks like Ahsoka. Therefore I’m temporarily returning to SWTOR for a couple of months during the summer.

So rest assured, Azeroth, Anth will pick up his sword and shield again to defend her, again, against the Jailer. Until then I am literally and figuratively “going to the Dark Side”.

/MTFBWY

You don’t know the power of the dark side.

May 192020
 

It’s been a year since Peter Mayhew passed away. Today would have been his 76th birthday, perhaps now it should be known as “Chewbacca Day”. There’s not much more I can say about Peter that I haven’t already said. The man is as legendary as the character he brought to life. Joonas is doing amazing work keeping the legacy alive, but then again he was coached from the man himself.

Happy Birthday Peter. Thank you for your amazing work and give the Princess and R2 our best.

/MTFBWY

Breathe. Just breathe. Now reach out.

May 142020
 

The Maker's BirthdayOn this day, in Star Wars month, we celebrate the maker’s birthday. George Lucas, the man, the myth, the legend, was born this day. Whether you are a fair weather fan or a loyal fan, we owe it all to this man. If you’ve ever seen the movie THX 1138, that was originally going to be George’s style of sci-fi. Instead he went the route of a space opera with western themes and the world of cinema was changed forever.

This man had to endure a lot, especially during the late 90’s and early 2000’s. I admit that the prequel’s weren’t perfect. The Anakin and Padme dialog was poorly written and many struggled accepting that. Regardless the prequels are here to stay and that’s perfectly all right with me; they remain part of my annual re-watch.

Lucasfilm Sale to Disney

In 2012 Lucas sold Lucasfilm and all the intellectual rights of Star Wars to Disney. There were rumors that so called “fans” were so toxic he became disillusioned with making more Star Wars films. Honestly, I think he was just ready to retire. Initially I was less optimistic about the acquisition but now, 8 years later, it was the right thing to do. Disney was the right company to take the franchise in a new direction.

While my wallet doesn’t like more Star Wars, my inner geek loves it. Furthermore, the Disney era of Star Wars has given me and my daughter something to bond over. It isn’t just the sequel trilogy but the Star Wars Story movies, the animated series and Forces of Destiny. Before, Star Wars was a male dominated fan base, but Disney removed the gender barrier and now Star Wars is for everyone.

I’m excited for future series and future films and it’s all thanks to one man.

As C-3PO once said “Thank the Maker” and in this case, the maker is George.

Happy Birthday George. MTFBWY!

Confronting fear is the destiny of the Jedi.