iPhone 7 and a Q400 propeller

It’s been a little while since I’ve posted anything (though I am working on things) so I thought I’d post this. I was going through my old files on the phone and forgot that I had taken this short video of the propeller of the Q400 I was riding on. With the shutter speed of my phone I thought it produced a mildly interesting visual effect. Sorry for the vertical video, I wasn’t really thinking at the time.

That’s like, your opinion, man

I finally got around to watching the Venom movie last night, and despite all the negativity I heard about it prior to its release I found that I enjoyed it. Perhaps I have a bit of bias towards it though, as growing up Venom was always my favourite superhero comicbook character. If you’ve read any of my other comicbook related posts, you’d notice that I don’t generally read superhero comics, it’s mostly scifi, crime, fantasy, or horror. But I did read a bit back when I was younger and Venom was, and still is, my favourite. And given the entertainment value these days of the Marvel and DC movies, I do find myself catching the odd superhero movie from time to time. Some I enjoy like Spiderman Homecoming or The Dark Knight Returns, and some are clear misses. So when Venom got his own movie of course I had to watch it as I felt the Venom in Spiderman 2 simply didn’t do him justice.

I’m not wanting to write a thorough review or recommendation on the movie, but I’d say it was overall good. I really like that Venom was actually portrayed as a larger than human beast for starters. I felt it also captured his character well too, a bit sarcastic and somewhat comedic. I was originally worried after the trailer that there would be very little scenes with Venom actually in it and that most of it would rely on his voice due to a potentially low CGI budget. But I felt it sufficed with his screen time too, which I was happy to see (though it could have used a bit more Riot). The actions scenes were decent as well so not much in terms of complaints there either. The movie is not without its flaws, story wasn’t amazing though it wasn’t terrible. Some acting was a bit cheesy too but nothing that ruined the whole movie. And maybe it could’ve been rated R instead too. All in all it wasn’t mind blowing or amazing, but it was good enough to enjoy even if you’re not a Venom fan.

But that’s not the point of this post.

After professional critics gave it poor reviews and online discussions were already shitting on the movie, I was going into the movie with low expectations and preloaded disappointment. After enjoying it I found myself asking just how terrible my choice in movies must be. So out of curiosity I checked out the Metacritic page for the movie and found that I’m not alone.

venom

That is quite the difference between the two numbers. Most viewers like it, and the critics said it was garbage. I’m not sure if the critics jumped on the negative bandwagon prior to release, or if they were solely being pretentious because of the type of movie it is. Either way I felt the critics were out of touch on this one.

This can also happen in reverse. When the next SimCity game after SimCity 4 came out in 2013, I was excited for it. After seeing a video demo of the game, both I and the SimCity Reddit community were really looking forward to its release. Reviewers were giving it 90+ on Metacritic too so the hype was very real. Then it hit the shelves and boy did it suck. It also didn’t help that EA presented the game as something else than what was released and their damaged control of the situation was awful. As of today the player reviews are totaling a whopping 2.2 out of 10. Again the critics were way out to lunch, or possibly bribed for a high review who knows.

Almost all art and media are subjective, it’s really up to the viewer to enjoy or detest. Take professional reviews with a grain of salt and be skeptical at times. If you are curious about watching, listening, playing, or making something, only take reviews into account but don’t let them hold back and your exploration of it, then make your own call. If you liked it great and don’t worry about what others think of your tastes. If you don’t like it, you may have learned something from trying it out anyways.

Gaming Disks

One of my very best friends, Radutron as he goes by, e-mailed me around Christmas asking me to list my favourite video games growing up and to write a short blurb about why I chose each one. A couple of weeks later I received a package (we live far away from each other now) and opened it up to find that list in the form of floppy disks. He had custom printed labels on each of them with my chosen games logos and on each disk there is a text file with my blurb of why I chose it. He did not want to frame them and then ship them as the glass could break in transit but planned on sending me a gift card as well to have them framed. While I appreciated his offer for the second portion of the gift, I told him I’d like to try and custom build a frame. Eventually that did not happen as building a frame is extremely finicky work and my woodworking skills are nowhere near there yet. But I did end up buying a frame and spent my time trying to neatly space the disks in an even fashion and put them a chronological order of release date.

This is definitely one of my favourite gifts I’ve received over the years and now hangs on my wall as a minimalist piece of art that recalls memories of endless hours spent gaming.It covers games from my early childhood to, well, even last night I played a game of CS:GO.It’s creative, simple, and has personal meaningful to me.

As a side note, you’ll notice these are all PC games as primarily I’m a PC gamer. There are plenty of console games that hold a place close to my heart such as the original Legend of Zelda, Gunstar Heroes, Mortal Kombat III, Goldeneye 64, Final Fantasy VII, etc. But to stick with the floppy disk theme I had to choose PC games.

If you’re curious as to why I chose those games, here are what the text files on them say:

1) Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
This is a game I can always come back to. A nice mix of tactical teamwork, utility and FPS skill keeps me always entertained. It’s a game I can pick up and play one hour and call it a day or play competitive matches hours on end.

2) Skyrim
While it’s not without its flaws, this is great game all around. Countless hours can be spent roaming Skyrim and discovering (and rediscovering) a well detailed landscape. Also a massive amount of quests can keep you busy if you’re a completionist. While compared to a couple of its predecessors it seems to be dumbed down a bit in terms of combat and simplicity of the quests, I can’t say I’ve played them and can fairly compare them.

3) Left 4 Dead 2
As a big zombie apocalypse fan this one is a must. Great coop gameplay and very a frantic and hectic pace (those hordes are super fun!) kept me entertained for way too long and this one is really the game that got me to like FPS games. One of the first games where I found an adaptive AI (the director) that kept the game quite fresh not matter how many times I replayed a campaign.

4) Diablo
As a kid this game was a big staple of my childhood. Diablo first introduced me to so many great new concepts such as non-turn based RPG combat and excessive violence (not sure if that’s a good thing). Surprisingly for a fairly linear RPG I found myself going back to this one quite often when I was young.

5) Rollercoaster Tycoon
One of the very first games I got when I was still a kid and barely introduced into PC gaming. Also my first introduction into tycoon style business management games. While a bit on the easy side, as a kid I still found the city/park/transportation games to be an instant favourite of mine. This game eventually lead me to many of games of the genre but I still haven’t found many that compare to it and find myself installing this one from time to time after nearly 20 years.

6) Starcraft
Again another from my early years of PC gaming and my first introduction to RTS games. Also one of my firsts when it came to multiplayer, both in terms of coop (against AI) and competitive, plenty of hours spent with friends from school playing this late into the night. This one also brought a little something else to the table for me as it was my first introduction to creating something for a game with the map editor and full scenario editor.

7) Civilization 5
Always trying to take over the entire world. Not just a domination victory, but I wanted every single tile on the largest map possible. While I did like Civ4 (which was my first introduction to the Civilization series) I absolutely loathed unit stacking something which was removed from Civ 5. Although conquering the world was the long term goal, I always found myself restarting games because I loved expanding my empire in the early stages the most.

8) Nox
This game was simply fun. While it followed the same style of game as Diablo (as in it was a non-turn based RPG) it was less violent and more humorous. A big difference as well, which made it truly enjoyable for me, was the fast pace of it.A fast paced RPG you can almost fly through the whole thing with a smile on your face because it was just simply a very fun game.

9) Borderlands 2
When it comes to preorders I’m heavily against them (see the new SimCity). Borderlands 2 was one of only two games I’ve ever preordered and fortunately I was not disappointed. As a big fan of the first one, I wanted basically an expansion to it with a new feel. The game engine felt a bit better, the weapons were crazier, and the skill tree of each class could keep the game fresh for plenty of playthroughs. And let’s not forget the great art style that made me feel like I was living in an action packed comicbook.

10) Fallout 4
I never finished Fallout 1, 2 or Brotherhood of Steel. And I while I loved the hell out of Fallout 3, I only played it on Xbox and never ended up going through New Vegas (I know, I know, that’s a crime). But I absolutely can’t leave this without at least one Fallout game. Based on the Skyrim engine it has a familiar feel to me in a very different setting. I absolutely love the Fallout world regardless of which specific game, a post apocalyptic world after the bombs dropped coupled with a 1950s (yet futuristic) feel is highly unique and captivating for me. Though the game had similar flaws to Skyrim, and even more complaints (see dialogue wheel) I still found myself playing this one from time to time though the first time through was pretty great.

Data is Beautiful: My Simpsons shitposting over 1 year

Shortly after New Year’s 2017, I discovered what is known as shitposting, specifically Simpsons shitposting. Generally these were screenshots and edited pictures that would combine two classic or recognizable gags (usually from older seasons) to make one really stupid joke. As a kid, I basically grew up watching The Simpsons twice daily so almost every single joke I understood and had a good laugh about. If you’re not a big Simpsons fan, many of these shitposts will go over your head, but to die-hard fans since the show’s inception they’re quite hilarious.

After browsing the subreddit and some dedicated Instagram accounts, I found myself coming up with some ideas here and there that I found funny but never saw made. I thought to myself, why don’t I just make it and post it on the subreddit to see what happens. Sure enough, on February 2, 2017 I made my first post over there, a simple two frame strip involving a Valentine’s billboard and Moe’s “old fork in the eye”. As of today it sits at a 99% upvote rate and a total of 349 points. The subreddit itself is a smaller one, as of today it’s just under 34,000 subscribers and I noticed there are many posts that are under 100 points. I considered it a big success that I was able to hit 349 especially given it was my first attempt.

Over the course of 2017 more ideas popped in my head and I ended up making many shitposts. On February 2, 2018, exactly 1 year to the day after my first strip, I posted my 52nd shitpost averaging an exact 1 shipost per week. I have a good laugh making them and I hope the readers there and on here have a good nostalgic laugh too so I continue to make them. Success of each post has varied, and I’ve found there is no formula that works, which may not be a bad thing though. Sometimes the ones that make me laugh the most and I worked on the hardest end up not gaining many upvotes, and sometimes the ones with the least amount of effort put in gain the most praise.

So out of sheer curiously, I’ve decided to plot out my Simpsons shitposting success. If you haven’t seen any of these but are a big Simpsons fan, I’ve got all of these stored here under their own category on the right. Enjoy!