A Revisit

Back in September I did a little item on a few TV shows. I thought it would be a good idea to follow up.

Madam Secretary: Sorry, stopped watching after the first episode. It’s opposite Brooklyn 99, which is actually entertaining.

Gotham: Still watching, still loving it. They’ve backed off on Jim Gordon’s partner, who is now Harvey Bullock. Harvey Dent arrives in tomorrow’s episode. Penguin is wonderfully sociopathic. Ed Nygma is developing a backstory. The girl with the green goggles? That’s Selena “Cat” Kyle. And it turns out that Alfred is a badass.

Scorpion: Oh my [deity] this show is hilariously awful. The premise of one episode was “terrorists are trying to blow up the internet.” Last week, they were unraveling a plot to kill people to keep secret the fact that a number of top hit songs were in fact written by a sure-fire hit-writing computer program. Hello, welcome to twenty years ago. Computers are very good at writing music. Just listen to what this guy can make a computer do!

This show is allegedly based on a true story. Grimm’s Fairy Tales are more realistic.

In Closing: Pope Francis continues to do good things; violence; poverty; kill the postman.

Need new workout clothes?

I am not getting paid a dime to say this, but I like Champion workout clothing. Let me tell you why.

I was sold on the original Champion JogBra years ago. It has since been replaced by higher-tech even-lower-bounce products. In certain activities, it’s very important that The Girls don’t move around too much. Some of the new models even have double layers for more support — and there’s space between the layers for your gym locker key or armor or something. But my love of Champion goes much further than just bras.

These products are durable. I have a couple items that are about 5 years old and still going strong. The only reason to replace them is to keep from getting bored wearing the same old thing. You just aren’t going to get that kind of wear out of the stuff you find at the local discount store.

Now I like fashion as well as the next person. Champion manages to have both “new hip styles” and classics that you will always be able to wear to the gym. Come on, a modestly cut pair of navy blue workout shorts isn’t going out of style. Fine, pair it with a workout shirt in the latest “in” color.

For those that are plus sized, Champion absolutely has larger sizes. I can’t imagine how demoralizing it must be to know you need to work out to lose weight, yet  have a hard time finding exercise clothes that fit properly. At the risk of a really bad pun, they’ve got big girls covered.

Champion products are also very reasonably priced. I’m a clearance rack junkie, personally, but I can get an entire outfit of stuff (sometimes two) for what one premium bra from Lululemon costs — and I don’t have to think about wearing something called a Ta Ta Tamer or supporting a company with questionable values.

And finally, this may seem like a silly point. It is clear that orders are processed and packed by a human being. I know this because when I order a bunch of stuff, my items are packed into “outfits.” Say I have two bras, two shirts, a pair of shorts, and a pair of capris? They will be in two envelopes, one top/bra/bottom in each, color coordinated. Personally, I think that’s pretty cool!

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have some new workout clothes to toss in the washing machine.

In Closing: one young lady’s solution to child marriage; blah blah Snowden NSA privacy snooping et cetera; Her Majesty; fighting among ourselves?. See you all next time.

Post-Apocalyptic Vegas Times Two

Within the last few years there have been multiple major video games featuring Las Vegas. Since I actually live in Vegas — albeit one not already partially destroyed by war — I’d like to give you a few quick thoughts on two of them. I will not be dealing with gameplay, nor plot despite some logic and physics shortfalls of one of the games.

Fallout: New Vegas

When I saw the map to this game, it looked a lot like a real road map of Las Vegas. The actual grid of the city and the major loop around town are clearly identifiable. Sure, the video game map has a lot more roads to the South of town around the real-life mountains; not all of the action is in town and some places have been rendered uninhabitable by radiation.

Nor was this a case of “take a real map, erase a few lines, and draw some new squiggles around the mountains.” A player can clearly identify landmarks such as Bonnie Springs or the curving highway behind Lone Mountain.

Call of Duty: Ghosts

By way of contrast, we have Ghosts. Easily one of the most anticipated titles of 2013, this game let many people down. Ok, it’s pretty-looking. As much as I could write, I will confine myself to one particular section of the game — the one centered around post-mass-driver-attack Las Vegas. Miraculously, the Las Vegas Strip was left mostly intact, but completely reorganized. Now that’s one heck of a weapon. There’s clear damage at the Bellagio, yet the fountains still work! Several scenes take place in a building that can only be the Luxor, although they didn’t even get the interior architecture correct. From inside the Luxor, the characters have a clear view of many Las Vegas Landmarks: the Stratosphere, Bellagio, City Center, the Palazzo, Mandalay Bay, and some others. Unfortunately, not all of these should be visible from the Luxor, let alone from one side of the Luxor! Somehow, all have been mysteriously teleported down the Strip, some by several kilometers. What an interesting coincidence that our ugliest casinos seem to have vanished! This mish-mash was somewhat distracting for me. Could nobody from Infinity Ward have looked at a map?

Nor does the silliness end with the single player. The multi-player maps include a slum that signage would seem to indicate is north of what most people would consider the Las Vegas Strip. The landmarks are laughably bad. Don’t get me wrong, there are some cheap, crappy hotels between The Strip and Downtown. However, if this particular neighborhood exists, it’s to the East, perhaps down Fremont a couple klicks.

The reason this is so disappointing is that the CoD franchise has a history of really great maps based on real locations or at least plausible ones.

Summary: If you like paying for the newest, hippest, hottest game, Ghosts is already on your wish-list if not your gaming machine. But if you are using video games as a map, you’d better dig New Vegas off the shelf. Remember, the super mutants are not real.

Caturday: Three Items for your Furry Friends

Happy Caturday everyone! Instead of posting the traditional cat pictures as many bloggers do, I offer some items for your cat. Disclaimer: I am not receiving any compensation whatsoever for this post; these are merely products used and appreciated in my own home.

Yesterday’s News Cat Litter:

This stuff was recommended to me by a veterinarian. After years of using the clumping stuff, we’ve made the switch. There’s stuff I like and stuff I don’t about it. First the good stuff:

  • Made from recycled paper, so it’s environmentally friendly. 
  • Biodegrades quickly. Once it gets wet, it puffs up and starts to fall apart. This will also give you a rough idea of your cat’s urine output.
  • Safe for post-surgical felines.
  • And finally, the thing that sold me on this stuff, it doesn’t track around the house nearly as bad as the clumping stuff. Sure, some makes it out of the box, but they are of a size that’s easy to sweep up.

And now for the things I don’t like. Ok the thing I don’t like: It simply doesn’t control odor as well as the clumping stuff. Treat that as a gentle hint of when the litter needs to be changed.

The Furminator!

Is your furry friend furry? Fluffy? Long haired? Easily matted? Not a sphinx? If you have a cat with fur, you need one of these. Heck, if you have a dog with fur, you need one. A quick Google Image search for “Furminator before after” will tell you everything you need to know about this product. You might just find yourself wondering how hard it is to turn pet fur into yarn so you can make a sweater for your cat out of cat fur.

Blue Wilderness Cat Food:

Ok, seriously now. We saw the dog-version of this stuff advertised on the idiot box (probably during an episode of Bad Ink, which is at least partly fun because it’s a local show), and began to wonder if it might help certain aromatic issues. We are on board with many tenets of the Primal/Paleo community, so why would we feed cats food with more corn grits than tuna in it? And who decided cats needed corn or soy in their diets? They’re carnivores that don’t digest plant matter well! The ingredient list on Blue Wilderness is impressive. My cats now eat better than some humans I know. And — unlike some healthy pet foods I can think of — the cats love it. Their coats are shinier and softer (and require a little less furmination). One word of warning, some cats might take a day or two to get used to it; imagine transitioning to healthy balanced meals from a diet of junk food and you’ll get the picture.

Hope you enjoy these. Let’s close up with a nice assortment of links on the Republican Party, government shutdown, debt ceiling battle, and the Chinese telling us to cut it out.