Jul 262021
 

First off I would like to begin by apologizing for my gender. If you’ve been paying attention to the various World of Warcraft media sources I’m sure you are aware of the lawsuit that has been filed against Activision Blizzard. I don’t really want to get into the details because male chauvinism is disgusting and embarrassing. I’ll be honest, I haven’t read all of the allegations because I had to stop reading. It’s so gross and uncouth that I couldn’t bring myself to finish. That kind of sophomoric behavior does NOT belong in the workplace.

I’ll admit that I can have a pretty sophomoric mind at times. I will make rather off-color remarks to my guy friends. Emphasis on guy. I may make some pretty immature statements to guys I’ve known for almost 30 years but I would never make those same comments to a female. I would never say it, think it or type it. NEVER! I don’t think its ever appropriate in ANY context. “Boys will be boys” but we should know when to be gentlemen too. If I see or hear any guy making an inappropriate comment to a female co-worker, friend, gamer, even a stranger, I’ll record you and report you.

Will I Cancel My Sub?

The short answer is No, but I thought about it. I gave it some very serious consideration. Cancelling my sub could stick it to them where it hurts. On the other hand, if we all stopped buying their games and paying their subs, then hundreds of thousands of people would be out of a job. The gaming industry and gaming community has been a male dominated culture for years so it still wouldn’t stop this kind of thing from happening.

Then I saw this tweet from former Blizzard Developer Cher Scarlett:

Cher is spearheading an effort to collect witnesses for this lawsuit. You can read more about her and other devs in this Massively OP article.

I’m one of the good guys. I don’t treat women poorly. If I leave the game; if every guy like me leaves the game, then who is left? All that remains are the toxic, disgusting male pigs and the victims. I would essentially be abandoning the victims. My wife plays this game with me. Thankfully she has not been harassed, however if she had been, I would want someone to report it and stop it. If I leave, then I’m just turning a blind eye to it.

There is the old adage “If You See Something, Say Something”. While I have not witnessed any harassment in the game you can bet I’m going to be a lot more vigilant. I will have my Alt + Print Screen fingers ready. If I see or hear any player say something remotely offensive to a female player, you will be reported. Keyboard anonymity cannot protect you. Your avatar is tied to an account. Your account has a name and that name has a credit card number. Credit Card numbers have addresses.

You. Are. Not. As. Anonymous. As. You. Think!

What Do I Expect From Blizzard?

I’m expecting Blizzard to do something to make this right. They need to take some public action. Now! It’s time to clean house. The current president, J Alan Brack, needs to step down. I think it would be a great statement if he is replaced by a female. However it would need to be a qualified, zero tolerance female; not some token female just for appearances.

Also, any Blizzard employee mentioned as part of this lawsuit needs to be fired. Any former Blizzard employee needs to be prosecuted. Any of these employees that have been immortalized as an NPC (ex: Alex Afrasiabi) in the game, needs to be replaced/removed. This can be done with a hot fix or tomorrows maintenance.

To all the victims out there, I’m sorry this is happening to you and I am praying for you. I have been a developer for 20+ years and I have never seen this kind of behavior at any of the places where I have worked. If I did, I assure you I would have reported it. This makes me sick to my stomach.

Jul 132021
 

About a month ago I wrote a mid-year review of my 2021 intentions. In that time I have made some changes to my workouts and running goals. As I said in that post, I have a strategy for improving my daily run distance to 6 miles a day. I am officially running that distance. Granted it’s not quite 6.2 (i.e. a 10k), however adding two-tenths of a mile is a very minor adjustment.

I have not run 9 miles on my push day, yet. I am still calculating how I can achieve that distance given the geography of my location. My hope is to try to hit that goal by mid-to-late August.

Beast Mode Engaged

So this brings me to the pre-workout. There are two areas I focus on as part of my pre-workout; core and strength training. Three days a week my pre-workout focuses on strengthening my core. I tried a few exercises while attempting to keep the reps and sets within 15-30 minutes.

Core Strengthening Exercises

This is the pre-workout Core exercise routine that is working well for me:

  • 30 sec planks x 3
  • 10 squats x 3
  • 10 doorway rows x 3
  • 1 minute farmer’s carry x 2
  • 10 kettle bell swings (with a dumb bell) x 2

Strength Training Exercises

Then, two days a week, I focus on strength training. This is where I get a little intense. I initially started with doing push-ups, which I hate doing. Then I saw my sister and her husband doing burpees and I thought, well if they can do burpees then so can I. So I changed my push-ups to burpees.

Burpees suck as much as everyone says they do. They. Are. Hard. I changed my push-ups to burpees and I was doing that for about a week. Then someone told me about a similar exercise called the devils press, which is aptly named. It’s basically a burpee with dumbbells. Watch this short video to see how to do this exercise.

I changed my burpee to this exercise starting at 15 lb. dumbbells because my upper body is still a little weak. So this is my strength training routine:

  • 6 Devils Press (burpee) x 3
  • 10 Dumbbell Dead Lift x 3
  • 10 Dumbbell Row x 3
  • 8 Dumbbell Standing Curls x 2
  • 8 Seated Dumbbell Tricep Extensions x 2

By the end of the week, assuming I complete all of these routines and my 6 miles each day, I feel pretty good. My body feels like I’ve had a decent workout and I’m not too sore or too tired. My goal is to stick to this routine for a couple months and see how I’m feeling by the fall.

/cheers

minions_icon

I could accomplish so much more if I only had minions!

 

Jul 102021
 

The Tomorrow WarThe Tomorrow War IMDB Link

Directed By: Chris McKay
Starring: Chris Pratt, Yvonne Strahovski, J.K. Simmons

My Rating:

I heard different things about this movie, but I generally avoid most reviews. Since the days of Siskel and Ebert nobody has come close to their caliber of movie analysis. Granted, I rarely agreed with Ebert who once said that a comic book movie wasn’t “realistic enough” … because comic book characters are real. Anyway, enough soapboxing about those guys, may they rest in peace.

This is a time travel movie and we all know how I feel about time travel movies, it’s rarely done right. However I really like Chris Pratt and I was very curious about this movie so why not check it out.

Quick Synopsis and My Review

A wormhole opens suddenly and armed soldiers come through. They say they are from the year 2050 and the humans are losing a war with an alien race. The population of the planet has been decimated to the point of extinction so they need to draft people from the past to fight a war in the future. The entire human race is at stake.

spoiler alert!!!

The following content contains spoilers for The Tomorrow War.

My father-in-law said this is “definitely a Matt movie” and I can’t argue with that. I did enjoy this movie and I may even watch it again some time. It does rely heavily on the suspension of disbelief and I will get to that in a bit. I cannot recall very many (if any) dramatic roles for Chris Pratt. I know the Jurassic World movies had their dramatic moments but those are more adventure driven than drama. However he’s always been Andy Dwyer and Starlord so this movie is definitely outside his typical range. In all honesty I think he did a pretty good job.

Also, J.K. Simmons is jacked in this. I mean, for 66 years old the dude looks like he could arm wrestle a grizzly bear. You may also recognize Hanna from the Dexter series.

A Paradox On Both Your Timelines

This is where the spoiler comes in so if you want to see the movie first, then stop reading. When Chris Pratt’s character is drafted and he’s sent into the future to fight the aliens his team is receiving their orders from a Colonel. It turns out that this Colonel is Pratt’s characters daughter, now an adult. In fact, not only is she a Colonel, she’s also an MIT trained bioengineer and she’s working on a toxin to kill the aliens.

When she creates the toxin she asks her dad (Pratt) to return to the past and synthesize the toxin and return to the future to eradicate the aliens. Things happen and he can’t return to the future, however they discover that the aliens have been on the planet for 1,000 years buried in ice in Russia.

This is where that suspension of disbelief comes into play. This movie creates a time paradox. Chris Pratt gets the toxin from biological material extracted from the alien in the future. Then he returns to the past and kills the alien using the toxin. So if he kills the alien in the past, how does it exist in the future to create the toxin in the first place? It’s a paradox but I think it’s just subtle enough that the suspension of disbelief works here.

Did you see it? What did you think of The Tomorrow War?

film_reel“The screen is a magic medium. It has such power that it can retain interest as it conveys emotions and moods that no other art form can hope to tackle.”
– Stanley Kubrick

 

Jul 042021
 

I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

I know we all believe different things. We all want what’s right and just for everyone, regardless of which side of the aisle you stand on.

We all love Star Wars, regardless of whether you are an old school OT fan, a PT fan, an ST fan or a fan of it all (like me).

It doesn’t matter whether your For the (filthy) Horde or For the Alliance!

This country gives us the freedom to do so. After a very difficult year last year, let’s try to put our differences aside and just stand together, united to celebrate our nations birthday!

This is the way.

 

Jul 012021
 

Normally these posts are about actors in the films but recent events has me inclined to do something different. A new Lego set is causing minor ripples on the Internet. Disney approached Lego and specifically asked them not to use the name “Slave 1” on the newest Lego set of Boba Fett’s ship. I will go into an unbiased discussion of this topic later. In the meantime, how much do you know about Slave 1?

Slave 1 is a Firespray-31 class patrol and attack craft manufactured on Kuat. The ship was commandeered (stolen) from the prison moon of Oovo IV during a job. There were only six of this model, all of which were patrol vessels at Oovo IV. Slave 1 is the last of its kind. There is a long history of this ship over the course of subsequent films, books and television series. Its unique design and ominous role in the franchise makes it a fan favorite. I’ll never forget seeing it pop up in The Mandalorian. I think all the fans were squealing with excitement.

Seismic Charges – The Greatest Sound Effect Ever!

I know you can hear this gif

Once the ship was in possession by the Fett’s, the weapons system was upgraded. In the original trilogy we never saw Slave 1 in a dog fight. It wasn’t until Attack of the Clones when we got to see one of the coolest weapons in its arsenal; the Seismic_charge (click the link to hear the satisfying audio). It is still one of my favorite sound effects from the franchise.

Here is another interesting, behind-the-scenes, fact about the seismic charge. Ben Burtt is the genius behind the Star Wars sound effects. He’s usually very forthcoming about how he came up with all the different sound effects, but he won’t talk about this one. In fact, to this day he still hasn’t told us the secret of its origin.

What’s In A Name?

This ship is one of the most beloved ships among Star Wars fans, aside from the Millennium Falcon. What makes this ship unique is that the actual name is only ever spoken once in an episode of Clone Wars (Season 2, episode 21 Aurra Sing says “Bossk! Fire up Slave 1“). It stands to reason that there might be a reaction when Disney is trying to skirt around the name. As I said before, I’m going to try to remain unbiased. I’m only writing to inform and not to persuade.

There have been a couple of Lego sets for the Slave 1, all of which are now retired. These previous sets are branded with the “Slave 1” name on the box. However, it’s not uncommon for Lego to leave the formal name of a ship off the box. An example is the Night Buzzard a transport ship used by the Knights of Ren; the Lego set simply calls it “Knights of Ren Transport Ship”. Perhaps there is a marketing metric that indicates sales are often better using less esoteric branding.

One more point and then I’ll let sleeping dogs lie. While Disney’s request is to rebrand the name on the box, they are not canonically changing the name. In fact “Slave 1” is still the name of the ship on the Wookiepedia page and in the databank on the official Star Wars web site. Whether they ultimately change it or not, the fact of the matter is you can’t rewrite the past by simply rebranding. All the fans will still remember it, and refer to it, as “Slave 1”.

/MTFBWY

I’ll do it, on one condition – if I die, you have to build a statue in my honor. An Expensive one.

Jun 282021
 

How long have we been waiting for the 9.1 patch? Shadowlands released on October 13th and the patch comes out tomorrow. So that’s approximately 260 days! I’ll admit, if I didn’t have alts I like to level, I would have suspended my account again and played something else. Yea, yea, “but the pandemic!”. I work as a developer too in an enterprise environment and we work just fine remotely. In fact we haven’t pushed a deadline or missed a deadline during the whole pandemic. Using the pandemic as an excuse isn’t valid to me.

A Month Ago Or A Week Later

Then Blizzard finally announces the release date of 9.1; which is tomorrow. However the new mythic dungeon and the raid won’t be available until the week of the 4th of July holiday in the U.S. In general I don’t think Blizzard should be releasing patches in the summer because that is the most popular time people take vacations. I know, that’s selfish. I’m frustrated because I swear Blizzard knows my vacation schedule. It never fails they always release a raid at the worst possible time for me.

When would I have liked to have seen the patch? A month ago! At least! Granted I was trying to level as many alts as I could before 9.1; but I would have rather gotten a decent start on the content before a vacation. I would have been content if they released the patch next week (with the raid starting the following week). Since even Tazavesh isn’t available until the same week, the only content to work on is flying and furthering Covenant Renown.

And no, I refuse to play Classic. I’ve already done that and I never wanted to go back and do that shit again. Maybe if you hadn’t wasted all those developers are this Classic crap, 9.1 could have been finished sooner. It’s called “prioritizing!”

This is really frustrating, Blizzard. I’m mildly unhappy.

“git gud!”

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!