Saturday, December 14, 2013

An avid Tolkien fan's take on The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug (SPOILER ALERT!!!)

As Christopher Lee said (real life friend of J.R.R.T.) in the extra DVD footage of LoTR: "You do not improve upon Tolkien." I simply think Jackson and company feel that they can..
All things being equal, why not go with the book?
All from memory, forgive if I get any book facts wrong:
An avid Tolkien fan's take on The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug
1st, things I liked about the movie:
-The river scene was well done. I loved it!
-Smaug was an incredible work of CGI. Never once did I think about the CGI. He was totally convincing.
-I like the Kung-fu-Panda Bombur. What a hoot!
-Radagast: he has been a nice addition to Jackson's movies and a nice augmentation to Gandalf as a kindred.
-Mirkwood: the scenery of this sickly forest was an artistic pleasure.
-Bilbo: Martin Freeman is an incredible Bilbo. I simply love the way he says, "Smaug."
All of these things I just listed about the movie that I like are entirely detached from my thoughts on the book which now follow:
I have read The Hobbit dozens times over the decades, and once out loud with my daughter. I have read LoTR many times over, and atm out loud with her too we are almost done. I have read The Silmarillion over and over as well, along with tertiary books such as Tolkien's letters, etc. So, here is an avid fan's take on this latest Peter Jackson movie:
This was a good movie and I do not not recommend it. As a movie, detached from its source material, it's worth seeing. Yes, I liked it. I was not bored one minute, and I'm glad I saw it, but an avid Tolkien fan over decades -- I'm an older guy.... The liberties taken in this movie were so much (compared to its source material), that I actually feared what would happen as I'm watching it. It took more liberties than any of Jackson's Tolkenesque films to date, and maybe that's the best word to describe the film: Tolkenesque, because it sure wasn't 100% Tolkien. I audibly groaned at one point so that my daughter asked what was wrong: it was the developing love affair between Kili and this fabricated-for-the-movie female elf. (Note: there would not have been a dwarf found without a beard, at all; these dwarves in Jackson's movies are just too gd pretty IMO, since when do we need to Channing-Tatum-up dwarves? /the-dwarves-are-too-damn-pretty-meme) Spider scene -- why not have the dialogue where Bilbo taunts the spiders? Where is "attercop"? Where is this (and other) wonderful examples of writing wherein, Tolkien isn't just writing a fantasy book, but introducing English speakers to ancient parts of the language, that encourage us to delve further into the past of our language? The dialogue in the book here is legendary IMO, and now masses will replace it with the vacated display of this movie. Lake town -- we have humans, dwarves, orcs and elves ... oh and a hobbit. Reality: there were just humans, dwarves and a hobbit ever in Laketown. Dol Guldor -- all to do with Dol Guldur is 100% conjecture. Bilbo and Smaug -- this is by far my biggest disappointment. Bilbo NEVER took the ring off when talking with Smaug, and this bullshit of Smaug being in cahoots with Sauron is nothing but that: bullshit.... Bilbo named Sting, not some spider. The barrel river scene -- whilst well done in the movie, my daughter and I laughing out load at one point -- was NOT a combat sequence. These orcs were NOT chasing "The Company" the entire movie, they were never in Mirkwood. They were never in Laketown. Radagast was NOT in The Hobbit, and he NEVER had bird shit running down his face. The dwarves NEVER encountered Smaug, at all, much less had a walt-disney-ride tour through Erebor -- Lonely Mtn -- that was nothing less than WoW Iron Forge. Smaug was NOT covered in gold, ever. There was not this great forge scene and Smaug never got covered in molten gold, and I guess the boat or whatever Thorin rides in, in molten gold, does a hellava job dissipating heat. There was NOT some special bow and arrow system to fight dragons -- it was just a plain bow and arrow. The way they meet Beor is fucked up. It is entirely fabricated from the book, and I think the book was better, with Gandalf introducing "The Company" in pairs and such, in an elegant manner. And Beor never said he disliked or hated dwarves. The way they meet the elves is fucked up -- wtf fuck with that at all?. "The vanishing party of elves" in the forest could have made for great cinema IMHO. Oh, and Legolas was NOT in The Hobbit. ffs, Jackson has a dwarf and elf falling in love with each other .. my god.... Ok, and let's be sure to imprison Gandalf again, I mean, that's always a crowd getter! Why mess with principle scenes such as Smaug/Bilbo meeting? When Biblo takes off the ring revealing himself to Smaug, my heart collapsed. The power of that scene is that Smaug is truly baffled by this Hobbit. A thread throughout TH and LoTR is that the hobbits are true mysteries, to even ancient beings such as Fangorn (Treebeard). Bilbo is able to engage Smaug in a lengthy dialogue, mostly, because Smaug is just damned curious about what Bilbo is, and the fact that Bilbo is also invisible, makes the dragon as intrigued as hell. Smaug never knows about the ring. He never makes a single, solitary statement about the ring, at all! And where is one of my all time favorite Tolkien quotes, as Bilbo taunts Smaug just a little too much, making a joke as Smaug's expense, who then tosses a line of flame up the single tunnel (yes, it was a single tunnel that the dragon had always thought he should have blocked-up) to which Bilbo makes a saying he uses from then on: "Never laugh at live dragons." <-- WHERE IS THAT PETER JACKSON!?!? It could have been worse. Aragorn coulda showed up. He woulda been like, idk, 12? Since the 1st "The Hobbit" Jackson carved down the number of dwarves. Oh, and, let's make sure to have a wounded dwarf, who has to stay behind in Laketown (and there was not a 'river gate' that closed, and bottle-necked the barrels; and btw, the barrels were sealed, this is how barrels could float down a river without sinking (you see, because the barrels were sealed -- note: open barrels would quickly fill with water and sink), but now, his brother demands to stay behind too, and then, another dwarf overslept. So now, we have 3 nice dwarfs in laketown, along with legolas and this make-believe female elf -- that was NOT in the book at all. Because -- and you can see this coming in the next movie -- like, there's gonna be all this action-jackson combat fucking shit that filled the screen. 'Sleeping Bombur is 100% done away with, replaced by 'arrow-knee Kili' Bruce Lee would watch these elves fighting and be impressed. Neo would be impressed. My god, just how many orcs are there to die? These orcs vs these 2 elves is like me vs my bag of popcorn.... I worried before I ever saw the first Peter Jackson movie covering Tolkien's work. Upon seeing it, he won me over, and I was on board. I have been great, good and ok with all his "Tolkenesque" work since, until now. This last iteration has me getting those feelings again, that I had before ever seeing the 1st move. Please, Mr. Jackson: get it right, get it tighter, and err a bit more toward the source material. I know that was acerbic, but honest. I understand a movie is tough to produce, must have rhythms, action, ebbs and flows, that books do not have to deal with. I am a Jackson fan, I just would like to leave his movies covering Tolkien with the same feeling I left after LoTR:FoTR. This one is the worst of the lot, and I feel he both can do better, and knows he can. And it was Bilbo who saw the missing scale on Smaug when he had the ring on an when he was flattering Smaug and when Smaug rolled over to show off his body not some fucking kid of Bard who didn't exist in the book. Why take this small thing away? Why not err on the side of the book?
Mr. Jackson: you are tasked (have tasked yourself) with introducing the masses who might never read these books, to the works of Tolkien. Seeing how his writings are some the greatest in English Literature, I feel you should simply err on the side of authentic words he wrote, not a script written by graduate, pressured to sell "HTDoS" cups at Taco Bell.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

fkd the Moabite

Deep thought of the day: Blogging turns 5 minute emails into 50 minute posts -- the difference being, no body reads your blog posts....

I am a Moabite, erm, MOBAite....

^This is a Moabite

HoTS is coming!  Yes, Blizzard, who actually provided the canvas ... well, and the paint, the brush, the camera, the film for the camera and ever Bob fucking Ross to paint the picture that _is_ the genre of MOBA (oh look! a wiki on what a MOBA is!) finally releasing their MOBA:


(I've been told to stop putting pics in between all my words and/or, that I use too many images, fuck that!)


tl;dr: great page on the coming hero categories

It appears the heroes will be drawn from Blizzard's main-stays: Warcraft, Diablo and Strarcraft, and will be in 4 classes of:

Warrior – Mostly melee characters who can soak up lots of damage while also dealing it back.
Assassin – Your top damage dealers that can pick off enemies, but also tend to be more squishy.
Support – Assists other characters either by healing, buffs, or other abilities
Specialist – More specialized roles that don’t fit into the above. These include Siege and commander heroes.

Btw, the best part of writing this post is I'm listening to the Doors right now, RoTS....

It is odd, the MOBA genre.  Unless it really clicks, when I show a MOBA to another avid gamer, istg, it's like the boringest thing ever, but then again, I never got into power-card games or wtfever they are called....

Thursday, October 31, 2013

I am Galadriel....

"The world is changed. I feel it in the reddit. I feel it in the internet. I smell it in the web." --fkd

^did I get that right?

My Grandfather's father died when he was four years old.  He was the oldest of three kids with a younger sister and then youngest being a brother.  At age 10, the thick of The Great Depression hit.  He lived with his mother and two siblings in a single room shack.  Literally, a shack.  It had a stove in it, and he said snakes could crawl through the spaces between the boards.

So he's 10, and his mother tells him to go get food or they will all starve.  He begins work on a farm for 25 cents a week, walks the train tracks to pick up pieces of coal that bounced off the train cars, and once he made a big enough bag of these, he said he would get 10 cents for that.  He then also killed rats, and each rat tail he turned in would net him 1 cent.

All of this money he gave to his mother to feed the family.  He also hunted and fished and brought all of that home.  Rabbits, squirrels, fish, and one time a skunk (he said you only ever need to kill one skunk before you never tried again).

At age 17, he volunteered for the military and said he, "learned the nomenclature of the 50 caliber machine gun."  They put him in recon.  Recon had some of the highest casualties in combat, as they are usually seeking out the enemy, filling-in weak spots etc.  (I've told his story before, but doing it again as I am setting up a rant here).

On June 6, 1944, he hit Utah beach with the first surface-borne division to land: the 4th "Ivy" Division.  Needless to say, he survived the war (or I wouldn't be here).  He saw hard combat from D-Day all the way through The Battle of The Bulge wherein, his division was put there to "rest" as it was considered a place no attack would come.  Those poor guys in that division -- including my Grandfather -- having had the hell beat out of them since the beach, now faced the very last, great, German assault of the war.  He said his feet froze, and he nearly lost them, that he didn't eat for days during TBoTB, and was tossed 30 feet by a bomb.

Out of 124 men in his original troop, only he and six others survived the war.

My life with him was filled with hunting, fishing, carpentry (he had an awesome wood shop) and very manly things such as gun cleaning, honing scopes on rifles, trapping, etc.  He never saw the Internet or used a computer that I know of.  He died in 1990.

He loved to read and write.  He loved to read the Bible.  He corresponded in letters a lot too, to friends and family that lived far off.  He also wrote open letters that made it to print in the local paper.  He was a character, loved people, loved to joke.  The pastor of the local church, retired, would come visit with him just to discuss religion, politics.  He said my Grandfather had a unique way about him, but more than anything, he was nice to people.  He was nice to their face and he was nice in his letters, his writings.

I know I'm not the first to discuss this, but it is dying ... nice is dying.  The old ways are gone and "the world is changed...."

I learned in college (and my Grandfather only had a 2nd grade education, but went on to business school after the war), that in Shakespeare's day "nice" meant "retarded."  It meant someone who is slow-minded, but you see, we are not threatened by slow-minded people.  They don't play passive aggressive games, they are not typically smart-asses.  You can take them at face value.  They are honest, truthful ... they are "nice."  And so, "nice" became a word we associate with someone who doesn't threaten us, or who isn't necessarily mean to us.  But in Shakespeare's day, it meant "not so smart."

Nice simply means people like you as you have done nothing to insult or threaten them.  They like you.  You are nice.  (Try it some time).

And how did my Grandfather correspond with friends, family and even people he argued with?  (And he did argue; he loved to argue politics, religion, etc.).  He started each letter with "Dear" and it ended it with "Sincerely."

^You never see this on the Internet.  Not at all.  It is gone, as Galadriel lamented the loss of the grand-past, so I miss my Grandfather, and not just him (I surely do miss him).  I miss that he was nice to people.  I miss that people were nice to him.  I miss that people used to be nice.

I actually remember getting letters from people in the mail that still said "Dear" and "Sincerely."  Believe it or not, many of these were hand-written, with thoughtfulness, but not anymore.  It seems even close friends and family have succumbed to the zombie-hive mentality, the virus of being, well, just plain fucking mean on the Internet.  Benign emails from life-long friends quickly turn into smart-ass remarks, as we each feel like Louis C.K. or some other celebrity ("but you're not" --Tyler Durden).  And yes, I, too, am fully a participant in the batshitfuckingmeanness that is the gd motherfucking internet.  You bit me you asshole! Now iZombie!

I have this one friend that I've known now for over 20 years.  I remember sending him his first email reply.  He didn't reply back.  I asked him later, and he said he was offended at the "on this date, you said this, and in reply, fkd says" body-header crap <-- get that?  He was so normal, so natural back then, so used to the "Dear" and the "Sincerely" of "normal" correspondence, that even that benign auto-header crap offended him.  Today ... today?  He is one of the most nastiest, trolling people I ever communicate with via modern text-based communication.

And whereas my Grandfather faced: starvation, poverty, war, combat, killing, national upheaval, and worrying each day, often, as to whether he would eat or not, or if his family would eat or not, today, in this 1st world country, we are greatly concerned over ... fonts and memes.  Yes.  We need to insult someone else, be no-so-nice to them over their usage of a font type or meme nuance..

Enter the Internet:
Enter 2013:

I'm going to explain this as if I'm talking to my Grandfather on his first use of the Internet/reddit/the-web/wtfever:

Dear Grandfather,

I am so very happy to see you are going to use the Internet finally.  It is truly a wonderful place.  Do make sure to visit Wikipedia and search for anything you can possibly think of.  It is an incredible site.  It is basically the greatest encyclopedia you could ever imagine.  You can read all about your Army division, your favorite president (Roosevelt of course), etc.  You can even make additions yourself!  Imagine adding your own knowledge to the page on D-Day.

By the way, a "page" on the Internet is simply the current screen you are looking at.  Some of the words will have different colors.  These are called "hyperlinks" and when you move the arrow over them, and click the mouse (left button) it will take you to another page!  You can always go back and forth between the pages you are viewing.

Google is awesome too, and I highly recommend it.  You can find places nearby to eat, or where to get your oil changed, or you can search for info on ailments/cures, etc.  You can find just about anything using google.

At some point, you are going to want to add your own 2cents.  Everyone does on the Internet (and I mean everyone..).  It is here that you need to be extra careful.

First, do not use "Dear" or "Sincerely" no one does this, and it will make you appear foreign.  When you see words such as "what's on your mind" or "comment" there is no need to say "I have nothing on my mind" or "I have no comment."  This too will not help your reputation in this global arena.

A blog is a great way to start out.  People will probably never read it, and if they do, they will not read much of it, will quickly leave it and so on.  But just maybe, someone will like what you write or they will not.  Either way, they might leave a comment (and most comments on the Internet are not nice at all).  If they are nasty, you can block them from your blog as you own it.  But if you are on a website such as reddit, then you are just like everyone else, and if they say something insulting there isn't much you can do about it.  (You can downvote them, but if other people think their put-down is funny, then your downvote won't have much impact).

You will also be able to do things such as: set the font style.  Fonts are incredible things as I know you are familiar with them from type writers and such, but with modern computers and the Internet, you can have literally endless font styles.  I know you like to be creative, but please note here that you should not try any of these fonts.  You should stick to the fonts everyone else uses.  Especially, most especially, never use a font called "comic sans."  I would rather see you not even try the Internet than to use that font.  It is the death-nail of those who use it.  It tends to drive people using the Internet nuts.

You can also add pictures to your blog or on reddit, and you can make pictures using tools on your computer or on the Internet.  You can search for pictures others have made, and you can even reuse these perhaps.  At some point, you will see pictures with words.  These are typically called "memes."  Memes are pretty much like fonts -- although you have the ability create endless types of memes, DON'T DO IT!!!  If you even slightly miss the very subtle nuance of a meme, then people will not like it.  Furthermore, they will not like you at all.

Now, Grandfather, I would like to explain to you what a troll is....

Come to think of it, why do you and I even want to use the Internet?  I say let's not today.  How about we go fishing Papaw?  I really would like to do that again with you.  I miss it.  It is very nice.


Your Grandson,


Friday, September 20, 2013

Melted Faces

My first/original title for this rant was:
fatkiddown: a novice student of evolution, science, materialism, philosophy, art, bubblegum and low carb diets that include beer's take on World of Tanks

^That sucked!  Or did it?  I think "Melted Faces" is more catching ne how....

Lemme continue (who can stop me?)

I am writing this to the aliens what will find a spent-earth 1.2 billion years from now, after all of humanity is gone, and all life is gone from the planet (they will find only an android-boy and his stuffed/robotic bear, submerged in a vehicle, frozen in the solid-ice-ocean):

In World of Warcraft there was this famous (well, it _was_ famous) meme-thing called: "melting faces."  It went like this: "You will melt faces as a shadow priest in pvp."  (Aaaaand comes through)

faces, melt, will, you -yoda

Playing off of that WoW meme, lemme make (try to make) -- by changing just one letter in WoW -- a WoT meme:

"You will melt stats as a unicorn in wot."

ugh, again:

"You will pad stats as an M7 Priest in pvp."

I'm blowin' it aren't I?

"You will learn to pad stats to put down baddies in WoT, maybe in a priest, not really. You cannot really pad stats in artillery and/or, artillery kills your stats, forgetting the fact that the big-mouthed goodies [shouldn't that be the antithesis to 'baddies'] will hate you for playing artillery ... anyhow, no way this will become a meme, but, see, you will simply go for stats, eventually, no matter how bad or good you are, stats will drive you, in wot, in a tank, melting tanks, and faces, etc...."

Time for: Deep Thoughts with fkd:

Reality is non-existent and/or, simply a matter of how an entity (us) approaches it.  A dog would look at the keyboard/mouse of our computers, logged into wot in a new account we made for them, and not a single fuck would be given.  A dinosaur would crush the computer.  A moth would beat itself fuckless against the monitor.

(How does one beat oneself fuckless?)

The vast majority of the 7 billion+ people on the planet wouldn't bother to touch the keyboard, but would go outside to find food.  A small minority would take interest.  Of that minority, an even smaller set would really play it.

(Just in case you're paying attention, this video game -- _any_ fucking video game -- is a 1st world problem)

Of this set (vastly male and young -- and more likely virgin), a very, very tiny set would try to "beat" the game.  Since the game has no goal, this would evolve (or devolve?) into: those who think "winning" is getting all the tanks and those who "see stats!!!!"

Of the first set, a small minority of those would google/find out about bots, and load those (I saw a guy with 57k games this week), and they might indeed complete all tanks (until next patch -- higher chance of virginity here), but their stats would be utter shit (30s / bright red).

Of the latter set, some would try hard to win in all the tanks they play -- not building 'situational awareness' that some tanks simply suck, and that trying to complete all trees/get all tanks is not practical to stats at all.  They might, finally, after thousands of battles realize that: it's time to pad/focus on tanks that win, and get my stats up! (/Charlies Sheen "WINNING!!!"). <-- it's around this time that seal-clubbing comes-into-play (nuh uh, we don't! unicorns never seal club! none do! liar!!!)

But a very, very small set of this latter set would realize very early, very very early: A. do not chase trees. (fkd idiot! I know this unicorn who _did_ do all the tree! fkd! u r the worst blogger evar!!!)  B. pad with tanks that win/have edge. C. form-up with others who can carry you (and this is the part where the trolls said "win rate is the best measure of skill" -- they've been carried by 'friends' <-- not real friends, just other people on the internet, fact is, they have no friends ["you have no friends, nobody likes you" Gollum-to-Smeagol] tl;dr: win rate is the least measure of the major attributes IMO ... I'll take higher eff/wn7/tiers over win rate any day (but idiot-fkd! you cannot have high those things without high w/r!!!) I know this Mr. Self.  I know this, but within variables.  Stop being so gd black and white and throw some gd gray/grey into your life!!!  I.e., yes, you _can_ find those folks with lower w/r but higher eff/wn7.  It is not huge, and it will be players who are near 100% solo-pub!

And an even tinier set of this latter, latter, latter set (I've lost count/track) would then troll blast others/develop a following of those who also wish to shine with stats, regardless of just how much fun they're really not having anyhow....

tl;dr: it's all about stats....

But regarding events on the forums this summer (and I quit the forums long ago).  I can only offer this:

I'll be got dam if someone didn't get Gollum tatted on they leg..

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Hands down one of the most thought provoking expositions on religion I've read

"The predisposition to religious belief is an ineradicable part of human behavior. Mankind has produced 100,000 religions. It is an illusion to think that scientific humanism and learning will dispel religious belief. Men would rather believe than know... A kind of Darwinistic survival of the fittest has occurred with religions... The ecological principle called Gause's law holds that competition is maximal between species with identical needs... Even submission to secular religions such as Communism and guru cults involve willing subordination of the individual to the group. Religious practices confer biological advantage. The mechanisms of religion include (1) objectification (the reduction of reality to images and definitions that are easily understood and cannot be refuted), (2) commitment through faith (a kind of tribalism enacted through self-surrender), (3) and myth (the narratives that explain the tribe's favored position on the earth, often incorporating supernatural forces struggling for control, apocalypse, and millennium). The three great religion categories of today are Marxism, traditional religion, and scientific materialism... Though theology is not likely to survive as an independent intellectual discipline, religion will endure for a long time to come and will not be replaced by scientific materialism." --E. O. Wilson

E. O. Wilson is a world renown entomologist, considered _the_ authority on ants, and has studied them for a life-time, drawing comparisons between them and human behavior.

E. O. Wilson, Father of Sociobiology.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

World of Tanks: Tier V Heavies and Sprem

I made this!

Basically, I went through all tier 5 heavies and compared their highest tier guns and then what loading sprem will do to: penetration and damage.

The biggest factor or noticeable change is penetration of course, with only the T1 Heavy showing any change to damage when loading sprem.

Of course, this does not show DPM or any other factor.

The UK Churchill I pens the most at 202, with the T14 being least, with darn near close to half the penetration of the Church1.  The premium Churchill III (lend/lease) enjoys the most boost to penetration when loading sprem:

And finally, for some odd reason, the T1 Heavy loses 5 dmg when loading sprem.

Sorted by total/most penetration with sprem

Sorted by most boost to penetration with sprem

Sorted by least changes to damage due to sprem

Monday, July 29, 2013

World of Tanks: More El Halluf Gold

"A [tank] Chorus Line"
A real chorus line

The entry for El Halluf reads thusly:

A large valley filled with rocks, vegetation, and a small village surrounding a dried out river bed separate the two teams. The large hills on either side of the valley offer many firing positions, and very little cover in the valley will protect a large tank completely against all positions. Regardless of approach, attackers will face a long climb into the enemy's camp, and effective use of the cover en route is essential. The northern approach offers plentiful protection to attack either hill, but the southern approach makes up for lack of protection with shorter distances and better concealment. 

Camo Type: Desert

I offer the following edits:

A large valley filled with dead tanks, dead tanks, and small dead tanks with bigger dead tanks. The large dead tanks on either side of other dead tanks offer many firing positions, and very little cover in the valley will _not_ protect a large tank completely against all positions. Regardless of approach, attackers will face a long climb into the enemy's camp (emphasis, "camp"), and effective use of the cover en route is essential useless. The northern approach offers plentiful no protection to attack either hill, but the southern approach makes up for has a total lack of protection with shorter distances and better concealment. 

Camp Type: Desert

[Note: that edit is _not_ serious; I'm joking; calm down Francis]

Btw, whilst composing this and visiting, I see some put a "Hi" at the top of the El Halluf entry.  I did _not_ do this, but I'm thinking I'll get, "yes you did fkd!!!"  I promise, did not.  Someone fix.  I'm too lazy....

Stop writing on our bathroom walls!!!

Sunday, July 28, 2013

World of Tanks: The Tank Graveyard: El Halluf

A3 ... bad tings man .. bad tings
A3 on El Halluf _has_ to be the most/best place for tanks to pile up and die.  I think it holds the record for the most dead tanks.  Show me a better place where everyone goes to die?

This screen I took tonight inspired me to post this:

Here's more of the Bermuda Triangle of tank death, El Halluf's A3:

Friday, July 26, 2013

Guy On A Buffalo

I finally finished the "Guy On  A Buffalo" series.  That's one more thing off my bucket list.  Next up: complete all the works of Tolstoy and Melville.

Episode I

The "Guy On  A Buffalo" series is a documentary based on the real life events of Amos Smith: buffalo rider and outdoorsman of the untamed west, circa the early part of the 19th century.

This series has many layers to it, as we see the struggles of a man escaping pain, reshaping his life, taming the wild, taming a buffalo.  He starts life a greenhorn, surely to be expected to die in the unforgiving harsh climate and wild of the world of uncivilized North America.  At several key points, when surely death will take him, and the earth will consume his remains, Amos emerges victorious.

The greenhorn becomes a veteran of the wild.  He tames all he sees.  Then, he becomes hero, to then become legend.

A seemingly Marshall of the wild, this man is both Robin Hood and Davy Crocket.  Good and evil collide at the nexus that is "Guy On A Buffalo."

The music is haunting and carries the atmosphere, the very weather patterns that mark the backdrop to the travels of Amos.

With his trusty Buffalo, Stewy, the rider is always underestimated, always struggling to tackle the obstacles nature throws at him -- and sometimes, things thrown at him from his fellow man.

I highly recommend this series.


Monday, July 15, 2013

The Kee Bird

The Boeing B-29 Superfortress

Although some 4,000 B29s were built, they were all destroyed/scraped but a handful.  There is now only one flying B29 in existence, and precious few that exist at all.  This made the fabled, "Kee Bird" B29 that had to emergency land in the harsh, abominable middle-of-no-where Greenland, all the more desirable.  Thus, it attracted the elite of the flying world, who attempted to save it:

The Kee Bird, pre-1994/95 Rescue Attempt

I watched the Nova documentary on this attempted rescue/restoration of The Kee Bird B29 years ago.  It was one of the most tragic and haunting documentaries in my memory.  I revisit the status of this plane every so often to see if there are any new attempts at getting it, but it appears the answer is: no.

Spoiler alert!!!

A mechanic died during the 2 trips that spanned 1994/95 rescue attempt of a blod clot, and after millions were spent in 4 new engines and other parts installed, an entire specialized crew being sent to the site along with a bulldozer, the plane largely burned-up due to the simple over-sight of not checking a jury-rigged fuel system in the rear.  This caused a fire upon taxing that marked the end of, "The Kee Bird."

I can't but help to find synchronicity in the drama and tragedy of both the plane that dropped the 1st atomic weapon in human history, forever changing the world, and the tragedy that is the rescue attempt of The Kee Bird.

Here are two 2009 discussion threads on the plane along with 'recent' pictures.

Recent articles even as of May, 2013, claim that it has sunk the bottom of the lake, but not knowing about the lake, I believe this only means a few feet of water, and the plane has remained largely above the lake, with the landing gear submerged and the lower part of the fuselage.

A picture (seen below) was snapped in 2011 of the B29 wreckage by the crew of a P-3 during "Operation Icebridge".

Here is a tinyurl link to the GPS coordinates to the Kee Bird, near Petermann Glacier, Greenland.

Just enable photos and it will show a thumbnail of the Kee Bird's location.  The picture is pre-1994/95 restoration and disaster.

I do love wise and witty quotes, of which, I came across this one from the forum links above:

"There are more planes at the bottom of the ocean than there are submarines at the top of the sky." --Old Naval Aviator

A picture snapped in 2011 of the B29 wreckage by the crew of a P-3 during "Operation Icebridge."
The half-fuselage is seen covered in snow, still atop the surface of the lake.

Saturday, July 6, 2013


camping  present participle of camp (Verb)
Live for a time in a camp, tent, or camper, as when on vacation.
(of a man) Behave in an ostentatiously effeminate way: "he camped it up a bit for the cameras".

Friday, July 5, 2013

fkd Visits the Nation World War II Museum in New Orleans

For the 4th of July, my wonderful wife took me to the National World War II Museum in New Orleans (ok ok, we also hit Bourbon Street!).  I walk in, and I'm like a kid in a candy shop as I see:

A Rolls-Royce Merlin Engine.  I tell the wife, "...that's a Merlin!"  An elderly guide hears me and goes, "look up."  I do, and see a Perfect Spitfire hovering above me.  I start taking pics of both like a paparazzi photographing Bradjolina....

Not far away ... omg! I see it!  The legendary German 88mm.  Beneath it, two MG-34s!  I begin rattling off history to my wife, as I had over the Merlin and Spitfire!  (She's a good wife, she smiles at me).  A hipster walks up to the area containing the 88 and the MG-34s, looks at the German motorcycle and begins telling his girlfriend how he could fix that up!  Dude, you're standing feet from the gun that made history in North Africa, and to the ancestor to the MG-42.  I continue to snap pictures as he explains to her how he would fit her on the bike.  He doesn't once acknowledege the 88 or the MG-34.  /facepalm

The museum did an incredible job of laying-out the entire war, from it's gestation in Asia circa early 1930s, through until the end, and in both theaters.  As we toured, I watched my wife go off on her own reading the descriptions, watching the mini-videos.  She would come to me and ask questions, asked about my Grandfather on my Dad's side who fought in the Pacific, and my Mother's Dad who fought in the 4th "Ivy" Division -- which was featured in the Western theater section, with an entire billboard of pictures and descriptions.  She said many times: "it's amazing you're here."

Thanks to those men, I am.

And yes, I stood feet from the almost mythical Sturmgewehr 44 -- the first, ever, assault rifle in history.  I have to say, it moved me even more than the Merlin or the 88.

As we left, two elderly guides were near the end of the tour.  My wife went over and talked to them on her own -- now fully knowing my Grandfather's Division -- the 4th "Ivy."  She calls me over.  They tell me, "he would've landed on Utah."  "Yes." I said, "That's what I've read."  "Well, go out this door, see that?"  And they pointed at this hunk of concrete.  "You're Grandfather and that slab of concrete met on 6/6/1944.  That was brought over from Utah beach.  If you look on the top of it, you can see a German Soldier's boot print, and the hobnails too.  He walked on it before it finally hardened, the imprint is forever set in it now."

So, in the end, I got to see a piece of the beach defenses my Grandfather stormed, along with his troop -- most of whom died on D-Day.

Wife in foreground, German 88 in background

Front of 88

88 description and info

The incredible Rolls-Royce Merlin

Two MG-34s

Supermarine Spitfire

The Sturmgewehr 44 ... legendary drop

Steel-reinforced concrete from Utah beach, Normandy

The bootprint of an unknown German soldier, circa early 1940s, on the slab of concrete above

The full album along with pictures of a fully restore B-17 can be found here.

Friday, June 28, 2013

World of Tanks & Playing Old Replays

PTwr has produced the next iteration of RCP for World of Tanks.

In short, this allows you to watch old replays of World of Tanks from an earlier version of the game.

My best all time game was in my Lion (Lowe for the unwashed) and it is an old version of WoT.  I love the thought that I can watch it due to the work of PTwr.

Battle: Erlenberg Wednesday, April 04, 2012 4:53:14 PM
Vehicle: Löwe
Experience received: 2,850
Credits received: 177,891
Battle Achievements: Mastery Badge: Ace Tanker, Boelter's Medal, Steel
Wall, Top Gun

^the game wherein, I pwnz3r3d <-- copyright

 RCpack for 8.6 on the World of Tanks Forums

^You will find all you need to know here along with download links.

As PTwr puts it:

RCpack - the thing that lets you watch old replays with minimal overweight.

this is just a cool pic, clicking it does nothing....

A satisfied RCpack customer; clicking this will make the pic bigger and, yes, you should click it

Rome Total War

In prep for Rome Total War II, I've been playing some good ol' RTW.  Got DAmn! I love this game!

Anyhow, came across this trait recently ¬_¬

I think my attempt to update to World of Tanks 8.6 did not go well

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Hitler vs Stalin

I made this a long time ago, and forgot all about it

Anyhow, idk if this is a repost on my own blog and not gonna peruse to see, but I think not....

Here it is:

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Best Friends

We're the Best Dota2 Friends
That Anyone Could Have
We're the Best Dota2 Friends
That Anyone Could Have

We're the Best Dota2 Friends
That Anyone Could Have
And We'll Never ever ever ever
Leave Each other

I've been doing so bad at DoTA2 that I honestly thought about giving real cash to a charity to make recompense, sorta like Sam Kinison everytime he fucked up.


And in the midst of some of the worst video gaming of my life (and that's a very low bar), I get a friend invite from this awesome guy named:

Dovakhiin | CL

^I guess "CL" is his clan.  It must mean:

Cool League or Crazy Lassies or Can Laydownforbuttjob....

I thought, "what the hell" and accept it.

Upon doing so, this guy, this Dovakhiin, he says to me:

"You're awesome at DoTA2!!!"

Me: "no I'm not.  I'm honestly horrific."

Dova: "Nah, you're good."

Me: "Well, thx I guess."

... a few minutes go buy.

Dova: "You wanna trade?"

Me: "For what?"

Dova: "You mythical Axe axe."

Dova: "i give you another good mythical."

Me: "not gonna trade that" [my nephew gave it to me]


Dova: "FUCK YOU"

Then, he leaves.  I love my friends....