My XBox 1Game Wish List

I do not have an XBox 1 yet but I know two classic games I would like to see revived for this next generation console.  the first is Powerdrome, which was simply the best futuristic racing game for the original XBox.  Even though it did not include the offensive and defensive weapons found in Wipeout for the Playstation, the racing physics were tight and the courses challenging.  You had to fight for every victory.  The track, background, and vehicle designs were beautiful given the capabilities of the older system.  I would put the game on a par with any of the Wipeouts.


The second game wish is for a Mechwarrior or a Mechassault type of game.  I have yet to find a good Mechwarrior port to a console but Mechassault gave me the most mech combat strategy of any giant robot game for the XBox.  I would love to see a true Mechwarrior combat simulator for the XBox 1 but even an updated Mechassault would be fun.  Nothing beats the thrill of pounding away at 400 tons of weapon laden steel until it blows up.  If they can make such good race simulators, such as Forza, they can create a great Mech game with all the customization of MechWarrior 2 Mercanaries.







For what it is worth, these are the games I am waiting for.  Oh, yes, I do know about Titanfall, which I hope to have someday, but I am still a fan of the classic Mechwarrior franchise.


P.S.  Why the hell have we not seen a good Mechwarrior movie yet.  A good writer could come up with something from all the Battletech materials and the special effects are more than ready to bring it to life.  The initial scene if the original Transformer movie made me think a good Mechwarrior movie was already possible.  Oh please, oh please, oh please.

War and Peace and a Lot of Other Rubbish

The title of this post is in homage to some men I never knew before but am glad to have learned about now.  Wipers Times is a movie about soldiers in WWI coping with the reality of modern trench warfare through the printing of a satirical newspaper.  Captain Fred Roberts and his men find a workable printing press among the ruins of Ypres and decide to create a newspaper to lift the morale of the men in the trenches.  Their dark humor expresses vividly the confusion felt by troops seeing no reason for the mind numbing loss of life caused by the war.  Along side Beneath Hill 60, I find it to be a worthwhile movie for anyone who wants to know more about what war means.  I also recommend Our World War, which is a collection of dramatizations based upon WWI war diaries.  For WWII, I recommend The War a documentary directed by Ken Burns and The Pacific a HBO miniseries.  For modern warfare, I suggest Blackhawk Down.

I personally think these movies should be made mandatory for every American citizen to watch before they are allowed to vote, so that they can understand the true costs of the wars they may consider advocating.  Please consider watching one, or all of these movies to remind yourself of what war costs since the only other way is to be stuck on the front lines yourself, which we have asks so many of our young people to do so that we can keep wasting gas and buying cheap junk.

The Sadness of the Blind


This was a meme I recently received on my Facebook feed.  It is filled with the usual angst at the lower class who push to make a livable wage for the millions of people who will never ever be able to get the limited number of jobs that actually make living bearable.  How can people flipping burgers ask for more money than a person in charge of saving their lives?  They must be the scum of the earth right?

Well as many Americas who believe in the Republican rhetoric of the day say, yes they are scum.  They are giving a middle finger to all those hard workers, like the Koch brothers, who toil endlessly to support this great American Democracy.  Oh ya, those middle class citizens whom haven’t had a raise in years because of the money stolen by the Wall Street Banks, too.  As I have said in other posts, I don’t agree with raising the minimum wage, not because it is not needed, but because the people who should fund it won’t.  The rich will pass that task onto an already beleaguered middle class.  However, I have also stated before that in some ways I agree with employees asking for more money from McDonald’s.  I feel that if sports players can claim to deserve a greater share in the teams profits because of their role, why can’t the rest of us.  This two standard system is for the birds.  If you are lucky enough to play a sport for a living, you can ask for the sun, moon, and stars; but, if you work in shit all day, you have to be thankful you have a job.

Finally, here is a more important thought to dwell upon.  Why is an EMT worker, who has countless years of training and may be called upon to hold your life in their hands, making only $15 or less an hour?  Now lets contrast that with a small town lawyer who is representing you in an insurance claim making $150 an hour (probably  low-end of the spectrum).  They are not saving your life or being put into a dangerous situation.  Lets go further and look at the average salaries of a D.C. Lobbyist who speaks for people like the Koch brothers.  They make an average of $113,556 (or $45.50 per hour for 48 hour week)a year to promote inequality.  Let us also not forget the Wall Street Bankers whose wonderful ideas have brought us such things as the Great Depression and the Financial Meltdown of 2008, which we have not seen the last of.  They make an average of $172,860 a year as of 2014.  If we break that down by a 48 hour work week, you will come out with an hourly wage of $69.25 for destroying your 401k.  Let us not forget that we had to pay them bonuses while we were losing our jobs.  Are they really worth that much?  If my life was on the line, who would I want by my side, Donald Trump or an EMT?

Wake up America, you are being had by the wealthy and their myth of the job creator.  Yes, there are poor people milking the system and the money we pay in taxes, but there are a ton of rich people doing the same.  They are not heroes or demigods, they are just smooth talkers like Bernie Madoff who manage to part you from your life’s saving while blaming it on the poor.  Quit helping them by only looking at one side of the equation.

Star-ship Terra

Here is another odd thought that rattles around in my cranium.   Consider a super advanced race wanting to create a generational spaceship to take life on a long space journey.  Not a new or original idea, there are many science fiction stories out there with huge ships that are filled with levels, including sections filled with lush forests and farm lands to feed the crew and colonists.  However, most stories take the familiar view of life being sustained on the inside of the craft, which is how we most associate space travel from a historical viewpoint.  All our practical knowledge of space travel comes from human missions in small metal vehicles.  Science Fiction stories have replaced the metal with the stone of an asteroid in some cases, but the idea is essentially the same.

Now, consider a race so advanced that they could make planets and suns.  What if they created an entire solar system to maintain one specific planet to serve as the space ship on a journey so long that even a metal star-ship would not do?  What if they made a spaceship on such a grand scale that it was a living, breathing, and evolving solar system?  That is essentially what we are on.  Many people get the concept that we fly through space on earth as we circle the sun, but I wonder how many people think about the fact that the entire solar system is on a longer journey through the galaxy and the universe as a whole?  We are on a multi-generational voyage to some unknown part of the universe.  Will our progeny live to see the end of our trip?  Think about it.

Acoustically Challenged

Here is something from my quirky side.  I drove past a VFW the other day and they had a sign for a band that would be playing there, Acoustically Covered.  Well, being in a sarcastic mood, I came up with a new name for a band, Acoustically Challenged.  Now, my mind being what it is, I could not let the idea alone.  I began to think of the possibility for a rock and roll band that did not use string instruments of any kind.  What would they be like?  Could they do so and be any good?  I don’t know but I thought the name Acoustically Challenged would be great for such a band.  So, I freely give this name to anyone who can pull off a rock band without any guitars or string instruments of any kind.

A Little Wisdom from My Favorite Narn, G’Kar

G’Kar: “We live for The One, we die for The One.” Interesting that you put all the emphasis on the second half of that sentence.

This quote comes from a scene in the movie “The Legend of the Rangers:  To Live and Die by Starlight”.  G’kar makes these statements during discussions about a Ranger who chose to retreat in the face of overwhelming odds instead of foolishly sacrificing his crew in a meaningless gesture.  The Ranger leadership were of the opinion that the Ranger should have fought to the bitter end because their coda emphasizes a willingness to sacrifice their lives for the protection of others.

G’kar politely reminds them that there are two parts to their oath and that the leadership is focusing too strongly on the latter half.  In point, G’kar is reminding them that by living, the Ranger in question may be of more value than if he had died out of an over zealous sense of honor.

Second Amendment to the United States Constitution:  A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

Well, I thought it might be interesting to look at another oft used quote where many people over emphasize one part in conversations.  G’kar would probably point out that we were only focusing on the part about infringing upon our right to bear arms in our public discourse.  Very little mention is made, in arguments, about the fact such ownership is pursuant upon a Well Regulated Militia.  In other words, citizens have a right to bear arms as part of a well regulated militia to be called upon in times of need to defend the country, not as a right to create personal arsenals to rival that of the local police forces or military bases.  Not as a catch-all Amendment for ownership and use of any and all firearms, including military grade weapons.

Now, before any Gun advocates blast me for daring to twist the meaning of the second Amendment, let’s consider why the founding fathers may have phrased the Amendment this way.  When the Constitution was created, the country was still in infancy.   The structures for creating and maintaining a regular army were not agreed upon yet as to the methods and strength so the militia were a vital part of the national defense.  However, especially at the time of our countries birth, there could be a threat to the government by these very same forces if they were allowed to become too strong, since not everyone was happy about the change in government from the Revolution.  America still had to prove itself worthy.  Basically, the founding fathers chose to ensure the continuation of the militia system through the right to bear arms but left themselves room to regulate the collecting of arms with respect to the maintenance of the militia.  They did this against the possibility of coups and civil war.  Unfortunately we did not avoid the latter but the former never happened.  Of course, living in an America as divisively split by the forces of intolerance, greed, and pride, where Politicians promote the use of “Second Amendment Remedies”, the chances of a coup seem much more likely.

So please think about the wisdom of G’kar when you talk about or spout off your thoughts on the Second Amendment.

Review: Death Gate Cycle

Courtesy of Amazon

I recently reread the “Death Gate Cycle” by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman and wanted to share my opinion of the series with you.  First off, I passed reading this series initially because I was afraid of the restrictiveness in characterization that books from the Dungeons and Dragons genre usually contain.  While it is possible to write good stories within the bounds of the genre, most authors try too hard to follow the dictates of the gaming world.  There must always be Dwarves, Elves, and Humans; each race has to follow certain characteristics; and the political dynamics of the races must be the same as in the game, which is essentially a Tolkeiness society.  Basically, the writers are so wrapped up in the minutia of the Dungeons and Dragons system that they rarely allow the story to breathe and come to life.

However, I eventually decided to give this series a try because I liked the covers and I am thankful that I did.  This is a thoroughly engaging series that grows wings from the second book onward.  While many people may underrate this series for the reason I have stated above, I would like to encourage them to take a second look like I did. Unfortunately, the first book may grate a little like a Dungeons and Dragons book with all the prerequisite Dwarf, Elf, and Human intrigues but later books will move into a wider realm of creativity.  You will still have to deal with these races throughout the series, but the authors are able to breath some much-needed life, humor, and soul into what would normally be carbon copy throw away beings.

The change in the nature of the series will become apparent after the second book “Elven Star” but it is the third book “Fire Sea” that made me a die-hard fan.  One of the main characters is forced to see a much darker side to his people than history portrays and the truths of his life become suspect to the point that he no longer trusts his own kind.  Most interesting is the costs to all for the greediness of eternal life.  I believe that, if you can make it through the first three books, like me, you will be hooked until the end.  Gods will fall and redeem themselves through sacrifice.  Hearts will change and bitter enemies will find common ground.  What more could you ask for?