The Caffeinated Penguin

musings of a crackpot hacker

Black Review PS2

| February 28, 2006

(The title is an attempt to get Google to index it)

I bought Black today for PS2. I paid full price. This is the day that it came out.

I am on the second mission. I have been playing this same mission for 2 hours. I'm hungry. I want to have dinner. I CAN'T SAVE MY GAME.

Apparently, you can't save your game in the middle of a mission without losing all your progress and starting the whole thing over (despite clearly defined checkpoints).

It has a mature rating, which means that it's only for people 17+.

What people, 17+, do you know who can sit there for that long and not have to stop to take care of something?

I'm currently fighting with the store to take it back. Unfortunately, the return policy doesn't work for opened games. If you have opened it, the best you can do is sell it back used.

Should have bought it with my Amex card (they'll refund your money if you are unsatisfied and the company won't take it back).

Just tossing this out there so as to hopefully save someone else the $40 I just lost.

I'm going to call their corporate customer service number and see what I can do.

For right now, don't buy Black. We'll see what satisfaction I can get from the Game Crazy people. If they won't give me my money back, then I'll say not to do business with them either.

Book stack update

| February 23, 2006

Edit: Somehow, things got a little SNAFU-ed between this post and the one I loaded and edited to make this post (here). The comments attached to this post actually belong to the other one. I think because I updated the old one, changed the date, then submitted it, rather than creating a new ID, it used the old ID, to which the comments are linked in the DB. So, sorry about that.

I haven't updated this in awhile, so here it is. Also, I'll be omitting periodicals from here on out. Suffice to say that, interleaved with all this, I'm reading American Rifleman and Game Informer.

Just Finished: Finding Serenity : Anti-Heroes, Lost Shepherds and Space Hookers in Joss Whedon's Firefly, Jane Espensen

Mini Review: This was a good read for any FireFly fan. Some of the essays are thought-provoking, some of them amusing, and others are just a bunch of circle jerking praising Joss Whedon for having strong female roles because it inspires and motivates women, and that is sorely lacking in our culture.

(Uhm, no it's not, and is it fair to call someone a feminist if they're merely writing characters who reflect real life? Maybe in your strange world, it's full of weak women, but mine isn't. But then again, maybe that's because the women I know are all scientists and engineers, and not whiney, insecure, superficial, fashion design majors).

Additionally, there was a very good essay (which the editor hated, of course) about the nature of chivalry in FireFly, and how it's an unsustainable system (the typical “if you put women in harm's way, then society will crumble because there will not be anyone to have babies” argument). This presents a well written, but completely incorrect thought, and I want to respond to it more fully, posting my response here, and emailing it to the author as well – just not right now.

Currently reading: How to Talk to a Liberal (If You Must), Ann Coulter

Added to the stack since my last book post: We Were Soldiers Once… and Young, Lt. Gen. Harold G. Moore (Ret.) and Joseph L. Galloway Great Issues in American History, Volume II – From the Revolution to the Civil War, 1765-1865, Richard Hofstadter. Great Issues in American History, Volume III – From Reconstruction to the Present Day, 1864-1981, Richard Hofstadter and Beatrice K. Hofstadter

Currently on the stack: (the above stuff that was added) Dark Tower VII: The Dark Tower, Stephen King SAS Survival Handbook, John “Lofty” Wiseman The Underground History of American Education, John Taylor Gatto People's History of the United States : 1492 to Present, Howard Zinn On Killing : The Psychological Cost of Learning to Kill in War and Society, Dave Grossman On Combat, Dave Grossman Serenity: The Official Visual Companion, Joss Whedon; Paperback Serenity Role Playing Game, Jamie Chambers

Gun Pron

| February 18, 2006

(crossposted to )

Now, this is what happens when you have a “Tactical Cat”. See, you order ammo from Cabela’s and it comes in a box. You take out the ammo, and the cat, Mikey, sensing the opportunity to establish a defensive position, claims the box as his own. Mikey in a gun box Anyway, I figured I’d post some pics of my own, given that everyone else has been posting stuff, and I was taking these for a little piece I wanted to write in the ZS forums. AK and 1911 My AKM (an SAR-1), 1911 (Kimber Classic), and a pile o’ mags. These next two are my attempt at compositing a shot and being a bit artsy. Not quite the caliber (!) of , but hopefully not too bad. AK and a rucksack AKM, some mags, a ruck, and the obligatory boonie hat. 1911 and a gunbelt My holster for the 1911. It’s a modular design, so I have a drop strap to convert it to a leg holster, and there’s a removable spare mag pouch on the holster itself, plus a double mag pouch.

Two Party System

| February 13, 2006

Essentially, this bill will establish public funding for candidates running for the House of Representatives, so that they cannot be bankrolled by private donations. Now, the Republicans and the Democrats both automatically get funding, but no one else does, unless they got enough votes in the previous election, or can get a petition with a number of signatures equal to something like 20% of the number of people who voted in that district in the last election.

So, what does this mean? Well, it means that if you donate money to the Green Party, the Libertatian Party, or any other non-big-two party, they CANNOT use their money to campaign to try and get a candidate into the House of Representatives.

I call Bullshit.

I have no problem if someone bankrolls a candidate to try and get them in to office. Why? Because it doesn't work unless he can get enough support – remember Steve Forbes and H. Ross Perot. However, if you don't have any money, you can't run, because you can't get the word out.


| February 12, 2006

In case anyone is curious, we've got about 2 feet (it's up to my kneecaps) and it's still coming down. It's pretty out there, but that's some serious snow.

More reading

| February 9, 2006

(Stolen from )

Illogical positions related to gun control:

Scotland setting up a knife turn in program. See, they banned handguns, so people carry knives instead. This leads to an increase in stabbings, so they're banning pointy knives.

More political commentary

| February 5, 2006

Sabin sent me some links, and I figured I'd post my response. His original email is the >'ed one.

I assume everyone knows about this…enjoy:

Actually, I did not – I've been busy.

Muslims urge new cartoon protests

Funny that Jewish tradition prohibits actually writing the name of God on anything transient (hence constructions such as G-d, Y-w-h, J-h-v-h, etc.), but they don't seem to riot when THE WHOLE REST OF THE WORLD DOES IT.

Can you imagine Jewish Riots on Manhattan? Yeesh!

A Danish perspective on the “Cartoon Crisis”

See, even this little shit is basically justifying their actions:

“Suddenly a display of free speech had turned into blasphemous slander, which naturally enraged all of the Muslim world.”

The key word here is “naturally”. Since the cartoons were altered to become even more offensive, it is, all of a sudden, a natural reaction, and therefore justifiable. I call bullshit!

Cartoon row: Danish embassy ablaze

And this is where it gets out of control. You want to protest, fine, fair ball. However, the first window that gets broken, the first rock which is thrown, or the first bystander who gets punched, the protest loses free speech protection and becomes merely a criminal enterprise. I completely and 100% support their right to protest those cartoons. However, they're storming a building and lighting it on fire. NOT FREE SPEECH. Pull that in my neck of the woods, and I'll fucking shoot you. Remember – the second amendment protects the rest, and every citizen is responsible for the whole ball of wax. WE are the government, and the sooner we wake up and realize that, the sooner we may be able to effect a little change.

The Atlanta Declaration:

Edit: 12:10pm – added more commentary on the CNN article.

The article goes on to state:

In its first official comments on the caricatures, the Vatican, while deploring violent protests, said certain forms of criticism represent an “unacceptable provocation.”

Oh, so now we can't criticize things, because they might hurt someone's feelings? Well, guess what – politically and religiously inflammatory speech is protected, so eat me, Kaiser Benedict! Your predecessor would have called a spade a spade and told the muslims that “we understand that your feelings are hurt, but you can't go around dealing with it like this”.

CNN has chosen to not show the cartoons out of respect for Islam.”


“We're a bunch of liberal apologists who think that muslims can do no wrong.”

  • or –

“We're afraid of having our buildings torched and our entrenched reporters beaten and raped”.

Of course, if the reason is the second, then good on ya! Hell of a way to show them that freedom of speech can't be limited by their threats of illegal violence.

What has the world come to? A bunch of fucking savages and their leftist apologists, if you ask me.