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Monday, May 23, 2022

Bronson (2008) Review

Zoo claims that Bronson is The Clockwork Orange for The 21st Century. While I don’t agree this film is certainly a fun time. As any film that is biographical it’s impossible to get everything to fit nicely into something that’s going to be less then 2 hours. After watching this I was compelled to find videos and read about him. While the real man doesn’t like being locked up, this character of him called a prison cell a hotel room. This Bronson gets pleasure from brawling with the police and seems to enjoy prison.

Tom Hardy is fantastic in this film and gained praise from the man he portrayed for his performance. A highlight is a conversation he has with himself which he portrays two different characters in his head. Tom Hardy worked out to put on weight for this role. I really appreciate the commitment he had for the role.

I think the biggest criticism I have for this film is that it hardly does the real man justice, but I wouldn’t have ever looked him up if I didn’t find this randomly while looking through films that are on Hulu. While A Clockwork Orange is about Alex trying to fool the system that he’s better, Bronson is about a man that punches the system in the face. I think anyone old enough to watch this film should check it out. 8/10.

Sonic the Hedgehog (2020) review

I was looking for something different when I decided to watch Sonic The Hedgehog. I’ve only played some of the games so I don’t really have nostalgia for the character. When the film started I was excited that we might skip the whole origin story thing every superhero film has to do, but it wasn’t so.

This film took a lot of liberties with what Sonic should know. While Sonic is perfectly fine cracking jokes about Amazon, he couldn’t understand the concept of the police. Not only that but there was little in the way of real conflict, with Sonic being far quicker than is ever presented in the games, at least the ones I’ve played. Sonic can go so fast that everything else seems to be standing still in place while he runs around. I really had to wonder if Sonic ever perceives time the same way he does, as much as he speaks in the film it must be annoying speaking so slowly to have a normal conversation.

I didn’t hate Jim Carrey’s portrayal of Dr. Robotnik, I think he got too much screen time though. In the first game Dr. Robotnik’s plan is to turn animals into robots, so he should be this crazy character. But I had to tell my friend Dr. Robotnik sure gives people who he looks down on the time of day to rant at them.

And this film pulled a huge sin sequel baiting. Honestly leaving Robotnik on the mushroom world was probably the best way the end this film, we didn’t need to see Tails at the end.

I did laugh at several of the jokes and the slapstick, but they really throw these jokes non-stop at you, with every scene ending in some king of joke. This is fine to watch with friends and family, but I’m not giving it a rewatch alone. 4/10.

Meme of the day May 23

Saturday, May 21, 2022

Meme of the day May 21

Top of the World Episode 19 A Mass Shooting in Buffalo

This week on the podcast Justin and I talk about the mass shooter in Buffalo, Great Replacement Theory, Fox News trying to blame video games for the shooting, and we finish off talking about AEW Dynamite.

Monday, May 16, 2022

Rapid Chess Arena May 16th

 I'm on the road to 1000 elo and I got a lot closer after today's arena.

I made one blunder going Be3 instead of Ne3. Ne3 was more forcing, but we ended up trading pieces anyway. I made sure to grab any free piece that was given to me, and I won by checkmate.

Stockfish says I made several mistakes, like trying to attack with my Queen when there was no attack I can make. Black brought their Queen over by my King, but I just kept my cool before getting checkmate.

I made several blunders in this game, first moving my rook onto an open file instead of pushing my pawn to lock the center. After I played Rfc8 I thought I should have done Nxd4 too but I was too focused on trying to do some kind of trap. I was completely lost after move 25, but I had the bishop's pair so I played the game out. White hung their rook, allowing me to promote one of my pawns and win the game.

I made a mistake early and missed a free pawn, I play The Ruy Lopez to pin the knight on c6 and I did nothing to take advantage of that. I won this game because I played my rooks more actively, plating my Queen and a rook on the 7th rank, which led me to checkmating Black.

This was a strange game with a weird opening. I was winning the game but I blundered and let White checkmate me on the back rank. I was looking at winning material when I should have been putting them in check to keep the game going.

I made hung my Queen when I went Qc6+, but White missed they could have just taken my Queen. At least managed my time better than my opponent, who ran their clock out when I still had a minute.

I made a blunder when I castled instead of sacking my bishop to open up the center. I have to work on being able to tell when I should do such a thing. I was at a disadvantage for the rest of the game after that, because I hung my other bishop after that blunder. I made Black work for their checkmate.

I really don't understand why the computer wants me to sack my bishop for a pawn, even a pass pawn that's on the 6th rank...

Well now that I look at the lines taking my bishop with their Queen does leave The White King open and unprotected. Stockfish really didn't like Rxc4 either, the engine says I should have offered a Queen trade instead. If White played it right, they would have won material. Instead, they ended up either offering a Queen trade and they resigned after I promoted a pawn.

Meme of the day May 16

Sunday, May 15, 2022

Getting desperate about climate devastation

I was reading the new Arctic Sounder and on page 3 there’s an article on using reflective beads on the ice to deflect more heat from The Sun. There is concern if these glass beads would be good for the environment, so the team has said if this stuff is harmful to phytoplankton they’ll just shut the project down.

Research project aims to spread reflective beads on Arctic Ice to slow climate warming


This is only an attempt to slow down climate devastation, we should be taking far aggressive actions to combat it. Imagine if The United States spent the money to redesign their cities and build a high-speed rail network around the country. Anything you need should be within walking distance from where you live. People should control the streets instead of vehicles.


The point is while projects like this are interesting and is done with good intentions, this isn’t going to solve anything. I really don’t know when America is going to get out of late-stage capitalism, if it ever will. I don’t know if we’ll ever get true Communism either, sadly authoritarians have led people to believe that whenever the government does anything that it’s Communism. Unions have been making gains in this country, but I don’t see workers becoming class conscious.


This reminds me of that thing Mr. Beast is doing, helping get garbage out of the ocean for views on YouTube. Yeah, sure that’s nice, I guess. But the reality is this cleanup is going to last 3 years, and the amount of garbage being removed will amount to what is dumped into the ocean in 15 hours. It’s still a nice gesture but it doesn't accomplish anything. We need systematic changes, because they system right now produces too much waste. Our system of Crony Capitalism incentivizes waste, things that have lasted for years/decades before are now outdated in a few years.

Cell phones are a great example. Products like that are made to become obsolete in several years, with updates that make them run slower, and use more battery power. Not only that but Apple has made changes to make their old power cords obsolete. Is it necessary to make people buy new cords for their phones? And how many cases are there for a specific phone that won’t be used in a few years?


On page 4 of The Arctic Sounder there’s an opinion piece about an upcoming event called The Just Transition Summit. And the writer is certainly right that The State of Alaska has been heavily dependent on polluting revenue streams. As long as well have a state legislature that is bought by the oil industry we’ll never move forward.

Just Transition's website

Meme of the day May 15

Saturday, May 14, 2022

Meme of the day May 14

Top of the World Episode 17 Square Enix & Roe v. Wade


This week On Top of The World Justin and I discuss cryptocurrency, Square Enix selling Tomb Raider so they can go all in on NFTs, and the possibility of Roe v. Wade being overturned.

Monday, May 9, 2022

Meme of the day May 9

Rapid Chess Arena May 8th

When Black played b4 Stockfish is telling me that I shouldn't even care about the knight and just put my rook on the semi open file. I don't know if I'm ever going to be a good enough player to want to do moves like that. I'm not finding the fastest way to checkmate either, but I won the game with Black resigning because I was up so much material.

I made a bunch of blunders in the opening, Stockfish says I should have just gotten my Queen into the game instead of trying to improve the pawn structure. Even with that I got into a winning endgame and failed because I forgot to keep my King in front of my pass pawn. We ended up agreeing to a draw.

I blundered my knight on move 10, trying to go on the attack. I made a bunch of blunders in a row trying to create an attack on The Queen's Side when I should try to defend where I was being attacked. I ended up being checkmated.

I blundered my knight on move 11, thinking the other knight was pinned. Stockfish says I should have gotten my Queen in to protect my King at the end but I was losing anyway and I wanted to keep up the attack. I got checkmated again.

White didn't play The French Defense correctly, so I had an advantage almost the entire game. Stockfish says I made 4 great moves in this game, and a lot of it was trying to cocoon my King so White's Queen couldn't check me. I was up so much material I kept trying to offer a Queen trade and they wouldn't take it. I ended up checkmating them with my knight who was out of the game for 25 moves.

I decided to capture White's knight with my King and Stockfish says that I was wrong, instead I should have attacked their Queen by pushing g5. I did do that a move later but now it's a blunder. I made so many mistakes and blunders in a row trying to capture material instead of defending my postition. I ended up getting checkmated in the middle of the board.

This is the first time I've won a game with The Four Knights Opening. I made a massive blunder with Qxf7+ because I thought my bishop was on h5 for whatever reason. I fought and made a comeback. I didn't play the game perfectly, but I found checkmate being down material. I went against just capturing Black's bishop because it wasn't really involved in the game anyway, so my knight was far stronger.

I just have no idea what to do when someone plays The Caro-Kann Defense, I'm not an advanced enough Chess player to be messing around with what I should be doing in openings anyway. I had a better position when Black blundered but Stockfish wanted me to sack the knight. So, I should have just sacrificed the knight to just bulldoze my way through the d file. I didn't like it when I played Qb4 in the game and it was a blunder. It's just too passive for a move when I'm under attack. Stockfish isn't happy that I didn't defend the pawn on c2. I knew Rdh1 didn't do anything, but I was stumped, and even with the best move I was still losing.

Pushing f6 when I did was such a huge blunder. I was so worried about the knight when I should have just ignored it and pushed a6 instead. Thankfully for me I did kick the knight instead of them playing the best move Qh5+. I pushed g6 and that just allowed a fork that White thankfully never saw either. I did blunder with Qb5, but I decided to offer a Queen trade and with that I went from losing to being better. I blundered my knight but thankfully for me White blundered as well, I was able to infiltrate on the open c file, and I went on to win the game.

Black did a brilliant move, I missed winning free material like just taking the knight and the pawn on d5. I think I was tilting when I did Qe8+ and for whatever reason Black resigned after capturing my Queen. I'm looking at their position and there's no was I would have resigned. Something must have pulled them away from the arena.

I'm going to use the ending of this game for some posts, because it really shows why you shouldn't resign, and it's never over. I made mistakes by doing the wrong captures, I was prioritizing White's knights instead of their pawns. If you go through the game, you'd probably be thinking it's over like I was, but I know some people just are not good in the endgame, so I just played it out. Going to Qb3 was such a huge blunder by White and that was the only move there that stalemated the game.

Sunday, May 8, 2022

I've sold all of my Bitcoin

I decided after almost a year of buying $5 worth of Bitcoin at a time I decided it was time to stop, and put an end to my dip into cryptocurrency. Before I wanted nothing to do with it, years ago only running into Libertarians on Twitter who were singing Bitcoin’s praises. But eventually my friends started making money from it, podcasts I was listening to started talking about crypto, and finally my co-worker was making money from Dogecoin.

At first, I’d but large chunks of it here or there but I was unsatisfied by the experience. I failed to make any money trying to do something like day trading. I saw a commercial about paying for an investing service for $5 a day, and that inspired me to go the long path of buying $5 of Bitcoin everyday for almost a year now.

For over a year now I’d listen to Justin Verrengia’s daily podcast Crypto News Alerts and that was my main source for news on cryptocurrency. I’ll just be frank; I never believed the pandemic was fake like “JV” does. While this is a clear flaw that he pushed on his platform it didn’t push me away like it did with Jimmy Dore because JV doesn’t really talk much about it. It’s not like he was interviewing people pushing disinformation.

Verrengia is certainly what you would call a “Crypto Bro.” All he can see is the upside of cryptocurrency, to the point where he saw some girl selling NFTs for her farts as a positive thing. The more and more I found out about cryptocurrency the more I disliked it. But people like JV pushed FOMO and I bit. Well now that I didn’t miss out, I’m ready to get out. I can’t listen to his podcast anymore, there’s so many ads now that it isn’t fun to listen to at all. I’m listening to today’s episode, and I’ll post it here… perhaps as a reminder.
There are so many downsides to cryptocurrency that it’s insane. It’s not green at all, with Bitcoin mining using the same amount of energy The State of Washington uses in a day. Fiat currency has been far more efficient and is far more practical in this field. Maybe one day someone will code it to be better, and this work is happening right now. People is we’re getting hit with climate devastation right now, and we don’t need a scam currency adding to the problem.

The fact also is that it isn’t decentralized, with only a handful of people owning most of the Bitcoin. Before the biggest attraction to Bitcoin was that there is meant to be a ceiling on how much can exist. The fact is though that there’s only a few lines of code for that limit, and it can easily be taken out. We’ve seen what happens when there’s a split over code like this, the elites got hacked, and their Ethereum was taken away. They simply made a new code so that couldn’t happen and made that the new Ethereum. Some people still believe in the “purity” or whatever you want to call it in just using what’s now called Ethereum Classic. You can go ahead and tell me which one everyone is talking about. It's feasible that the people who own a majority of Bitcoin will want to move onto a new and improved Bitcoin 2.0. I got a lot of information on this from m√ľnecat and I’ll post her video on the subject here.

I don’t feel bad about dipping my toes into cryptocurrency. Honestly it’s probably a good thing as it led to me thinking about how I should invest my money. Alongside this I still been putting my money into my savings account, and I started using the same app that I’d buy Bitcoin with to get stocks. While I would have like to profited off it instead of lose a few hundred dollars I never did invest more than I was willing to lose, that’s great advice from John Oliver when he did an episode of his show on Bitcoin.

Meme of the day May 8

Rapid Chess Arena May 7th

I've been playing The French Defense and I keep failing to be aggressive in the opening. Stockfish says I shouldn't have even bothered taking White's Bishop and went Qxb2 instead. White resigned after 18 moves because I was up so much material. 

Stockfish says Re1+ was a great move, I just remember Rooks belong on open files is all. I didn't think Ne6 was a good move but I thought it was the most fun thing to do. I checkmated black by moving my Queen over The King's Side.

My opponent resigned after 17 moves. N64 was a mistake but White never took advantage of this. I also missed a great fork but White resigned anyway right after that since my position was so much better anyway.

I have no idea what to do in The English Opening so I just got the knight out. I missed Qxg7# and I really shouldn’t have.

Things started going downhill for me when I missed that my knight was pinned to my Rook but decided to “take a free pawn.” Yeah, I really didn’t win the exchange there. It’s crazy the Stockfish thinks I was winning after move 10 but I didn’t take advantage of it at all. Perhaps I should just concentrate on development moving forward and getting more pieces into the attack.

Instead of taking a free knight I pushed a5 to kick the bishop. I did see Bxh2+ but I figured that didn’t really do anything so I went Qh6 instead to try get checkmate, Stockfish says I should have done otherwise. I resigned after Ra7+ because I saw that I was going to get checkmated.

The whole game Black was working on trying to checkmate me on the g2 square and I worked at making sure that didn’t happen up to the end of the game. I got tunnel vision with my incredible pass pawn and blundered the game.

This game started going downhill for me when I decided to save my bishop instead of using my rook to go after black’s night, and the way the game ended I really should have done that.

Boy Bxc4 was really unfortunate by me, I blundered my Queen there. I should have went Bd4 but I kept playing and used the fact that Black’s was vulnerable to win material.

Tuesday, May 3, 2022

Rapid Chess Arena May 3

 I entered the Chess arena after studying some endgames.

I won the first game pretty easily. I have no idea what my opponent was thinking with Qxc3. Only after 12 moves my opponent, who has 600 more elo than me, resigned the game. Great start to today's arena.

I made a huge blunder in the second game where after c4 I absolutely missed checkmate with 5 minutes on the clock. I should have checked for such a thing before pushing c4, before I made that mistake I was wining the game. Rd2 was the only good move and I missed it.

Another game I was winning before I blundered. I went Qc4 wanting to have an attack on both the connected pass pawns, but that allowed Ne5+ which forked my King and Queen. After that I resigned the game.

Just an embarrassing game for me. I have no idea what to do in the Van Geet opening and I was defeated in 8 moves. I didn't want to lose my Queen with Qxc7.

The win I got here in 12 moves was a nice comeback, but I did blunder a knight in the game. Thankfully for me I didn't panic when my opponent tried to checkmate me, they went on to hang their bishop, and they hung checkmate.

I did not do well in the midgame and it was an uphill battle after I blundered by going Bb4. In the endgame I made the mistake of not keeping my opponent's King away from his pass pawn, with 4 minutes on the clock. Add bad time control by me to mistakes made in this game.

In the endgame I blundered my Knight and I went from being able to play for a draw to being checkmated. I'm sorry to say that I spent 15 seconds on b5 with 5 minutes still on the clock.

I have no idea what my opponent was doing in the opening. I wouldn't give them too much of a hard time because they're only 500 elo. I got checkmate on move 8.

My game here started going downhill because of my misunderstanding of the Four Knights Game. I went d4 to break open the position when instead I should have traded my bishop for the opponent's Knight. When I went b5 I allowed my King and Queen to be forked.

I'm sorry to say I went from winning the endgame to allowing myself to be checkmated. I went Rd1 anticipating that my pawn would be taken, which allowed Ra6#.

I was really excited that I had such a strong material advantage over an opponent who is far higher rated than I am. I really wanted to get his Queen off the board so I offered a Queen trade but instead he captured my Rook. The game wasn't lost though until I went Kg3. I should have tried to force a Queen trade on the back rank instead of keeping it then.

I went from winning this game to blundering my knight because I was so afraid of losing my Bishop that I tried to go "danger levels" by pushing d2. This was a huge mistake as it left my Knight undefended.

Starting Knockout Home Fitness

When I was working for Brice Construction, I was talking to this surveyor and he brought up that he needed a level. Without an actual level anywhere he pulled out his cell phone and used an app in place of a level. He told me we have all these wonderful things that can be put to great use, we just need to use them. When it comes to my cell phone I probably give myself too much screen time going over what's happening on Twitter, when I could get more utility from it.

The same could be said about my Nintendo Switch. It's a gaming console so of course I've used it mostly for entertainment. Even when not playing a game I spent hours on the device watching videos on YouTube and Hulu. Recently I've been seeing how far I could get into the game Donkey Kong without losing all my lives. But there's games I could use for more than just entertainment.
While the fad of games having motion controls has died down since The Wii days there's still options out there with games like Knockout Home Fitness. Everyone who follows me on social media will know that from time to time I'll post how much I weigh and how much I've lost in a week. It's been pretty sporadic. I figured if I post my weight all the time that I could maybe shame myself into working on losing weight. It didn't work, I'd just quit posting how much I weigh for several months at a time.

No instead what I needed was to make it fun. I had to figure out a way at working at losing weight that wasn't a chore. Knowing games like this exist I decided to give it a try.
Today is the first day I played this game and it's certainly different than games I'm used of playing. But not always being able to just go outside I need some way to workout that's fun. Like any other game this isn't one I'm going to play forever. I mean come on this isn't Tetris. But this could open the door to something else and doing the same old same old hasn't really gotten me anywhere.

Meme of the day May 3