Tag: Blog

[BLOG] PCR talks about The Demise of Physical Media

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Hey Somethings, Podcast Rob here…
There’s been a disturbing trend as of late of physical media. Going away. From retailers no longer carrying DVDs, to the video game industry openly embracing cloud gaming and downloadable games, it seems like the days of physically owning your gaming and movie content are going by the wayside.  Personally, I’ve never been a quote” collector… Sure. I’ve owned DVDs, but never with the intent. Purpose of collecting them. As far as gaming goes, whenever I had my consoles, I never had more than two to three games per console… Mostly due to cost…. And now that I’m a PC gamer, all of my games are downloadable. Anyway, either steam or epic games or Xbox Game pass.
That said, it’s fairly disturbing to hear. Video game companies say that gamers are going to have to get used to buying games but not really owning them. When a company can just turn off access to a game that you’ve paid 50, 60, $70 or more for, that just sounds unconscionable.  I can understand paying a monthly fee to Netflix or Max or Paramount Plus and one month the streaming service says well. We’re no longer carrying this movie. But for a company to say this thing that you have explicitly bought access to you no longer have access to just seems like theft.

[BLOG] Hatton Talks Royal Rumble 2024

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Oh it’s Royal Rumble time – and I don’t wax poetic about wrestling a lot on here. Hell, I don’t even watch a lot of wrestling anymore. I do, though, keep up with the goings on of the men who fight in underwear for the right to wear a belt.

This weekend is the best event of the year – the Royal Rumble. 30 people go in the ring and at the end one person stands tall and goes to Wrestlemania to fight one of the champs. So let’s break down the expectations vs. who I want.

The Men’s Rumble

FAVORITES: The favorites of the Rumble are CM Punk and Cody Rhodes, two men who, not long ago, were in a different company. I give WWE all the credit in the world for accepting that these two guys have remade their names elsewhere and – as any big monolith does – swept in with big money to use them before their heat is down.

Cody – The problem I have with Cody winning is that I honestly just don’t like him. I think he comes across as smug and ‘I know I’m amazing’ and it bugs me.
Punk – My problem with Punk is that I loathe big name people coming in and sweeping the spots away from the performers that have been sweating in that ring for the last few years. How long has Chad Gable been in WWE? Damien Priest? Finn Balor? They get to constantly wait in a line that never gets any shorter as old guard shows back up.

WHO I WANT: There is one man that has been the VIP of wrestling for the last couple of years. His presentation, his style, his intensity, and even his promo work. That man is Gunther. He has earned his spot at the top of the pile.. and you can say ‘His time is coming’ – I say, no. His time should be now.

The Women’s Rumble

FAVORITES: There is a lot of wiggle room for some surprise in the Women’s Rumble, as there are mainstay favorites and very little chance that someone is going to come out of nowhere. The Bellas are gone and Charlotte is injured. There is one name that could swoop in..

Jade Cargill – She’s been waiting in the wings for her moment to shine, and there is every chance in the world she will be the surprise #30 to introduce her to the WWE world. I don’t want her for the exact same reasons I don’t want Punk. She just got there…
Becky Lynch – I love Becky, but she has won it already. She can make her way to Wrestlemania and pick her opponent without a problem. There is a bigger set of fireworks for her at the end, but the fact is she is going to be in the title picture no matter what, so why not tell a different story.

WHO I WANT: Fact is, the person I want is in the top considerations. Bayley. She has dealt through injury, the Rhonda years, and has simply been the workhorse of the women’s division. In one swoop you can give one of the Four Horsewomen their flowers, turn her face again, and say thank you to a woman who loves wrestling more than most.

So that’s it. Who’s your pick? Let us know in all the places.

[BLOG] Hatton Talks Cults…

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Happy New Year Somethings, it’s Hatton!

What is your go to television type? Do you cuddle up with horror? Dive into police procedurals? Well, my wife and I, when they are available, will watch anything possible about cults… because watching people dedicate their time, money, and sometimes lives to a guy who says he’s figured it all out sounds like an interesting case study in ‘OMG WHAAAA’ which is a legitimate science. So here are a few of the recent ones we’ve picked up that you can dive into if you are looking for a 101 on how to make money and influence nations.

THE VOW & SEDUCED – First, let’s talk NXIVM. Both The Vow and Seduced are interesting looks into a multi-tier marketing wannabe cult that ends in a man having a legion of branded slaves he has blackmail over. Both of these two together give you a real bite into how people fell into it, what they were doing, and why they were doing it. From baiting influencers and selling them snake oil to building a labyrinth the followers can’t find their way out of.. it is the template of what a modern internet culture cult is going to look like.

THE CULT OF MOTHERGOD – If you think of cults as things that are either dangerous (NXIVM, Scientology, Cutco) or less-dangerous (Peloton users, Rennies) – The Cult of Mothergod sits on the side of less dangerous, but still strange. A bunch of hippies get together, smoke, and build a business around homeopathic garbage while worshipping a woman who babbles about her astral alien journeys and Robin Williams. It is a tale that gets weirder and weirder as it goes, as you watch a strange entitled woman slowly turn blue. I can’t recommend this higher.

BORN IN SYNANON – I was surprised to hear that there was a cult from the ‘era of cults and serial killers’ of the 70s and 80s that I had missed. Synanon started as a rehab facility and turned itself into a self-appointed city of people trying to make the world a better place.  I mean, that was the original intention. No other doc that I’ve seen shows a collective of people who still believe in the ideals of what started and why it all fell down better than this story.

ESCAPING TWIN FLAMES – Lastly these bunch of assholes. Sometimes, when you are watching cult docs, you understand how people got there. Charisma, charm, and a better life are almost always the way. Twin Flames did it with dating… literally cultifying ‘Plenty of Fish’ and not caring one ounce as to what that may do to their impressionable clientele. Multi-tier marketing is back in this one, but now it is about training people how to love and how to connect with their soul mate, whether or not that person wants to be involved. The doc is good, but you will loathe the people involved.

So what cults are you involved in.. statistically one of you is. Sound off in all our places!

[BLOG] PCR talks Hogwarts Meh-gacy!

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Hey Somethings!

New Year, New Us, Same Blog!

We have some things in the works that we’re excited for coming in March, and we hope you end up excited for it too!

So, over the holidays, thanks to Steam’s sale (=shakes fist at clouds=), I ended up buying Hogwarts Legacy because… well.. I had wanted to try it when it came out, but the price was a huge turn of for me (to say nothing of the personality issues and social beliefs of Ms. R…) but the pricing on the sale made me ok with my decision (in both regards) and I was eager to dip into it.

First thing I noticed is the game is…  not…   overly stunning graphics-wise.  Now my rig has a 3060 and 32g of ram.. not bleeding edge, but still a strong system.  It looked… “ok”.  Even on Ultra settings, the game looked “ok”… it SURE didn’t look like one would assume a game on Ultra would look.  After doing some digging, I found many online who agreed that “Medium” and “Ultra” were not huge differences… in some cased no different… in the appearance of the game.  I ended up finding one link that suggested a mish-mosh of “High-Low-Ultra-Medium-off-off-on…” settings that, made the game look as best as it was going to.  Ok.. settings handled, off to Hogwarts!

The gameplay is…  ok.  The spells you learn are varied and visually pretty cool, and the school and surrounding areas are well designed.

Pros : You get to ROAM AROUND HOGWARTS!  HOGSMEADE!  QUIDDI..well.. no.  No Quidditch.  The pitch is there, and you can fly around it on your broom, but you can’t play.  More on that.  The accuracy and care given to the design of the school and Hogsmeade is impressive and… for those who’ve read the books and seen the movies.. dare I say ‘comforting’.  I feel most of the movies were a great visual representation of the books descriptions, and now with the game, being in control of WHERE you go and roam around… it felt…good.  As far as gear goes, you can make your character look regal, understated, or outright SILLY, and I like that.  Tailored and smart?  Sure.  Want to look like Snape dressed as a grandma coming out of a boggart closet?  You can do that too.

Cons : You get to roam around Hogwarts, Hogsmeade and.. so much of it feels like fan service.  Can you go in Honeydukes?  Sure!  And… look around.. and.. activate a few things.  Now, some places have quests or are shops to buy certain things needed down the road, but even then, interaction feels stifled.  Quidditch?  The pitch is there, but the game tells you right from the beginning that there’s no Quidditch season ‘this year’….  apparently a different company is working on a stand alone Quidditch game, so the rights weren’t available.  The other thing that was an… odd choice for me… the game takes place 100 years before ‘Sorcerer’s Stone’, but some of the choices felt STRICTLY made for fan service.  The two co-headmasters are related to characters in the movies.. yet.. why did the movies/books never say anything?  Yes, I know the movies/books came first.. but they created such a rich world to pull from..  would Ron and the other Weasleys be treated the way they were if it was ‘known’ that Ron’s Great-Great-Grandmother was a Co-Headmaster of the school?  There are a lot of choices that make you go “Hey!  That’s neat!   …waitaminute…”

The combat also feels, while interesting with spell combos.. repetitive.  I’m hoping as I get deeper into the game, that feel will change.

Overall, it’s an ok game.  If you’ve been looking for the opportunity to get into it, definitely get it on sale IMO.  Capture the warm and fuzzies of the fan service and hopefully that will keep you warm enough during the Meh of the game.

What did YOU think?  Let us know in our socials!

– PCR

[BLOG] PCR has some reminders for today!

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Hey Somethings!  PCR here…

Now that we’ve made it through “The Day of Gorging” and are now into “The Day of Madness”, a few reminders for those out braving the Black Friday deals and such at your local stores…

  1. Retail employees and Servers do NOT set the prices.
  2. Retail employees and Servers do NOT control inventory levels.
  3. Retail employees and Servers can NOT control how quickly others before you do or do not interact with things.
  4. Retail employees and Servers would ABSOLUTELY LOVE to treat you how you treat them.. especially if you’re treating them like shit… but they can’t.  YOU have that choice to be kind or not.
  5. Most (if not all) Retail employees and Servers absolutely loath today, basically because of the types of people they’re afraid they’ll encounter.  Don’t be one of those people.

Regardless of where you are…  your electronics or hobby store, the drive-thru of Jack-In-The-Box, a home improvement store, a swank sit-down restaurant…  remember, the people taking care of you are just that..   PEOPLE… and they deserve respect and compassion.   Don’t be the asshole they tell stories about in the breakroom.

– PCR

[BLOG] The Factory Side of Idle Games…

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First off, I’d like to thank this past week”s guest Ty for, after my last blog post about Idle Games coming out, he sent me Idle Gears because he is a smartass.. then he and I discussed strategizing it for the next two days.

He’s a monster. Thanks, buddy.

Anyway, there is another kind of game that is close to the idle genre, but is less idle and more.. frustrating? nerdy? Made for people with Engineering degrees?  But, don’t get me wrong, they are still, in some ways, idle games.

I’m talking about a genre that is loosely referred to as factory automation games.

Have you never played them – then the fact is – you probably don’t want to, because the people that do want these games, have likely already found them. They’re sort of like Narnia that way. But just in case you have lived under a rock and really like the idea of building a machine that builds a machine that builds the gear the helps you build the new machine… here, you’re welcome:

FACTORIO – So, I’m putting this one here first because it isn’t the first of the genre, but it most definitely is the one that everyone thinks of.  It’s a simple premise – build a rocket.  Obviously, easy peasy. Especially when you start on an alien planet with a pick-axe and that’s it. So yeah, you mine some coal and some iron to make a furnace and make a gear and use gears to make a lab, and a lab to make some science and some science to build an entire planet covered in giant conveyor belts of machinery that are building buildings to build buildings.

SATISFACTORY – Now, it is easy to say that Satisfactory is just 3D first person Factorio.. but it isn’t.  Well, it is a little, but not entirely – you see, the world you are in Satisfactory is not a randomly generated world. It’s the same world. Start a new game with the basic settings, start in the same place.  That’s because this world is a huge country with different lush biomes and vibrant wildlife and greenery, and you get to slowly but surely pave over it and fill it with billowing smokestacks, giant conveyor systems, and gigantic power supplies.  It’s this brilliant and hysterical eco-message in an amazing world.

AUTONAUTS – Autonauts may be my favorite on this list, and it is because it does something so simply different with its premise. Yes, building things that build things – but – they are all robots and you get to program them in a fairly basic way. After building a robot, you walk around and do something – and then it repeats it.  Want this bot to grab logs and bring them over there.. fine. Want this bot to take logs from there and turn them into gears? Sure. And eventually, as you upgrade your bots (or you have your bots upgrade your bots) you are running this artistically-simple, but chaotic mess that likely looks like the world 5 minutes before the beginning of the war in Terminator.

SHAPEZ – This game gets a quicker honorable mention because it is legitimately the simplest of the batch. You build a shape and conveyor belt it in to a base. Now you need a new shape, build a machine that screws up your old shape and turns it into a new shape.. now it needs to be blue.. ..and split in half.. ..and broken into separate quarters that are each on top of another shape and painted 4 different colors.. this goes on. Definitely worth a check out though and the sequel is on its way.

Lastly….

GREGTECH: NEW HORIZONS – This may be the one that you aren’t aware of – the one that slipped through the cracks.. and there’s a reason. It’s not a game, but a mod on the blocky masterpiece of Minecraft.  Now, in Minecraft there is some automation you can build – and it can get intricate, but it isn’t the purpose of the game. (Unless its your purpose, but that’s a different thing) GT:NH as it is referred, is a mod pack that makes every single step of the game a bit of a hassle, but not an unsatisfying one. Where before you found some coal and mined it and made a torch.. well, your first few days in this highly dangerous world you will spend with one torch as you learn how to build basic tools, and figure out how to build a giant coke oven to collapse wood into charcoal.  It’s brutal, and it goes like that as you grow from steam power to electrical power to planetary hopping and dimensions. I hate it…. I’m lying… I love it..

What factories do you build – sound off in all the places.

[BLOG] PCR talks Waiting for New Seasons!

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Hey Somethings,

Now, as has been said multiple times during our show, Hatton and I are from two different age groups.  When I was a kid (and teen, and young adult), most TV seasons were about 22 episodes long.  They ran Sept. to May, and maybe took a break towards the end of the year.  Summer would come and go, and in Sept. a new season would drop.

In the 2007 Writer’s Strike, it jumbled things up and seasons were delayed, but even then (and using our “favorite” show as an example) LOST Season 5 was down to 14 episodes (4 was too, but.. again…Writer’s Strike).

Now, we have shows streaming on services that a “season” is 6 episodes?

Using “Loki” as an example, Season 1 started June 9th, 2021, and Season 2 JUST dropped in Oct. of 2023.  Stranger Things has done similar with a THREE YEAR gap between Seasons 3 and 4, and another 3 year gap between 4 and 5 (granted… again… there was a Writer’s Strike and, at the time of this writing, still a SAG-AFTRA strike)  and.. my question becomes… when do we stop caring?

As much as I was looking forward to a S2 of Loki, I didn’t jump on it when it came out.  I only recently caught up because I’m curious how they’re handling Kang since Marvel “may” (random reports) end up ‘phasing out’ Kang as the new Big Bad and replace him with Dr. Doom if Majors’ legal trouble increases more.  I just didn’t have the hype to get back into it after waiting so long.  The same went for S4 of Stranger Things.  Will I watch Season 5 when it comes out?  Eventually sure, if only to see how they wrap up the story, but it is unlikely I’ll be sitting in front of my TV with remote in hand just WAITING for it to drop.

Which begs the question Somethings… how long of a wait between seasons would make YOU not care nearly as much anymore?

Hit us in the socials and let us know!

-PCR

[BLOG] Hatton Discusses Idle Games…

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Do you play idle games? Well.. first, let me explain what an idle game is if you don’t – it’s arguably one of the dumbest genres of gaming ever, and yet somehow I have a problem with them.

The premise of most of them is that you are trying to do some big task, get to a big number, build the largest mountain, make a cookie factory.. it doesn’t matter. As long as its the biggest one ever.

So click on the cookie, you get 1 bite. Click again. 2 bites. Eventually it offers you, in exchange for 10 bites, one auto-biter that gives you a bite every second.. then a second one, third, and then you get a cookie biter biter that makes cookie biters at a rate of one per one second. This goes on until you have exponentially built things that are building things.

The tagline of idle games are, ‘Numbers go up.’ — sometimes you hit a hard wall where unless you let the game idle for decades, your progres is capped. It’s at that time you PRESTIGE, a system where you start at the beginning again, but all your cookie bite are x2, or there’s now a fighting game that helps eat cookies or.. look, it gets esoteric. You can have a room of magic alchemy that’s brewing golden chocolate chips that when he makes them it makes your 3rd tier cookie biter biter factory give you GOLD bites that accrue separately and you can then transmute them into LEAD bites and every 100 LEAD bites your Cookie Warrior ascends to Cookie Godhood.

DO YOU GET IT. THEY’RE WEIRD.

And I will load one or go to a site with one, play it until I find myself obsessively checking on my numbers and updates and micro-adjustments until – after 10 or so hours.. I go ‘NO. NOT AGAIN’ and uninstall it.

I play them the same way I play Souls games – until I get so angry I have to delete it, lest I descend into a deeper self-pitying rage. You start the game, an hour later, three days has passed and it isn’t like you have much to show for it. In a Souls game, you what? Killed one boss and are now being killed by a different one? In an idle, you are no longer buying Cookie Machines you are buying gears for the machine that makes the Cookie Machine grow.  In both cases, they are probably right next to each other.

So please, do yourself a favor, don’t do it. Don’t Cookie Clicker. Don’t Adventure Capitalist.  Don’t.

Unless its Paperclips. That game rules.

I warned you.

[BLOG] PCR Rants About Drive-Thrus!

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Hey All, Podcast Rob here…

Allow me a moment to shake my fist at the sky…

Was coming home from work the other day, and decided to hop in one of my local drive-thrus to grab something to eat for dinner.  Amazingly, there was no line, nor was there anyone behind me.

My order wasn’t anything overly large, nor was it custom or special.  Regular order, right off the menu, not even a combo meal.

I pull up to the window where I wait for a few because the cashier is texting on their phone.  They open the window, take my money, and then say “Pull in to spot #3”

“umm… why?”

“We’re going to bring your food out to you so we can clear the window”

“There’s… literally no one behind me…”

“Oh I know, but it resets our timer”

My brain, understanding….

“Ohhh.. so, it shows your boss and your company that you’re doing a good job”

They nod, “basically”

Me, smiling… “then you should do a good job.  I’m good here thanks”

I then notice them glare, walk over to where there is a bag of food at.. Ill call it their ‘pick up table’ that has been SITTING THERE SINCE I PULLED UP TO THE WINDOW.. they grab it, walk back over, and shove the bag out the window at me.

Look, I get it, I hate being micromanaged too… but holy FUCK is this a peeve of mine, and it happens everywhere, and honestly, it annoys the hell out of me.

I understand people want to game a system they don’t believe is ‘fair’.  Hell, I used to work retail where we had to call customers who gave us their information regarding a special order product we carried.  We kept them in a lead book.  We had to make 80 calls a week.  Our book never had more than 18 names.  Management’s solution?  Call the customer, let it ring half a ring then immediately hang up and note “no answer”, and do that 3-4 days a week to the same customers just so we could fill out our log book.  No mention to the higher-ups about how 80 was unreasonable.  None of our stores had anywhere CLOSE to 80 leads a week, at any time.  Ever.  So yeah, I can see how, with deaf ears from above, you have to do what you can.

However….

There is one drive-thru place near where I live..   doesn’t matter if there’s no line, or a 10 car line… how small or big your order is…  you pull up to the window, they’re handing you your food.  It would be different if “it’s impossible for places to get orders to the window in 4 minutes!” were true.. but it’s not… so, while you’re gaming the system to your boss, you look like a shitass to everyone else…

Just me?  Hit us in the socials and let us know!

-PCR

[BLOG] Hatton Talks a Bit About Columbo….

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I have spent many an hour over the last few months watching Columbo. Peter Falk as the ‘judging book by its cover’, appearing to be, but never actually are bumbling, has been listed so many times as one of televisions greatest charactrs that I thought I would give it a try.

Won’t lie, it’s fun. It’s really fun. There is a set of steps that every episode has that makes it easily digestable and, in some regards, if you’ve watched one, you’ve watched them all. At the beginning we see the murder, understand the motive, and we’re off to the races where Columbo figures out everything we’ve just seen.

If there’s a flaw, it’s that he always is asking the right question (or the wrong question for the right reasons). His catchphrase of finishing only to ‘oh.. wait.. one more thing’ always leads to the suspect being stopped cold that maybe this shabby buffoon knows too much!

But, as a template that was on television for 30 years, it worked. Here’s a quick list of some of my favorite episodes.

ETUDE IN BLACK – I think this one is the general world’s favorite. Maybe it’s because the special guest is John Cassavetes playing an intense and monsterous conductor who kills his other woman. Sometimes the best Columbos are the ones where it just looks like Falk is having a good time in a strange place… this one fits perfectly

A STITCH IN CRIME – The reason this episode is amongst the best is not because of Falk at all, but because of a post-Trek Leonard Nimoy who plays an arrogant doctor who clearly loves being the best at everything. Come for the snide Spockless Nimoy, stay for the amazingly horrible 70s sweaters.

COLUMBO GOES TO COLLEGE – This episode is admittedly a bit silly, as the method of death is more MacGuyver than Columbo, but watching Falk run around a college campus and pretending he’s dumber than these two smug college kids after they killed their professor is worth the price of admission.

THE SKY HIGH IQ MURDER CASE – For my favorite episode, it has to be the one where a bunch of brilliant nerds all gather in their nerdy clubhouse and nerd together. It’s Columbo goes to Mensa, and it is one of the few times where you see Falk drop the facade of ‘bad detective doing good’ and really lets the killer see that he has been matched.

And hey… almost forgot… one more thing, have you ever watch Columbo? What’s your favorite episode – sound off in all the usual places.