Three Saturday Songs

Here are three excellent tunes for this final day in June.

😎

Too Funny

I was laughing at the ridiculous ‘referrals’ in the WordPress Reader. Whatever algorithm is used, it appears to be broken because the referrals make no sense.

For example: I have no need for pregnancy advice, yet the first three ‘referred’ sites involved pregnancy and childbirth. I can definitely give advice on those subjects since I’ve experienced them personally, but I’m not in need.

Hilarious, ridiculous, and tedious. I found the best way to get rid of that bullshit, though. Time for some site cleanup.

😈

Back to the Classics

I read many books per year. Reading has always been a relaxing and enjoyable thing for me. I learned to read at a fairly early age and love how it spiked my imagination and creativity ever since.

With the current atmosphere here in the States and around the world, I figured it was time to dust off some of the classics for a refresher. These include Animal Farm, Lord of the Flies, Fahrenheit 451, 1984, and every novel written by the late, great Octavia Butler.

Reading is fun. It can be very educational as well, depending on what you choose to read. Choose wisely.

😎

Bonus Fives

This bonus “5 on Friday” post is about my five favourite British comedies. I figured an extra post was due on this final Friday in June. They are listed in reverse, from fifth to first.

5. Red Dwarf. This sci-fi-based comedy was accidentally introduced to me by my two older brothers during a Friday Dungeons & Dragons game-night. We had the TV on when there was a break in the action and were dealing with the minutiae of experience points, levels, and divvying up of treasures. One outburst of “Oi, you smeg-head, get me a smeggin’ curry!” from the television speakers made me whip my head around to see what the hell was going on, and I was promptly hooked! That show was hilarious, and I wish it would get the re-airings that it deserves.

4. One Foot in the Grave. This sitcom was about an elderly gent who was forced into retirement. Curmudgeonly Victor Meldrew drives his wife, Margaret, to distraction as he wanders about the house and tries to stay busy while she goes to work and keeps up the bills. He’s a decent enough sort, but never seems to get on well with others, try as he might. An Aussie friend of mine introduced me to this show about 15 years ago and I’m quite glad that he did. I have the whole series on DVD so I can watch it at my leisure, and enjoy it just as much now as I did when I first watched it. It’s funny, poignant, and deliciously dry – perfect for my sense of humour.

3. Absolutely Fabulous (AbFab). Most people here in the States only know of the show because of the movie which came out last year, but I first saw AbFab on Comedy Central just before Y2K. Blame my Aussie buddy for turning me on to this hilarious sitcom about two boozing, drugging, party-hearty broads who hate the idea of getting old! Patsy and Edina act as if they’re high-schoolers getting up to all sorts of antics, driving Edina’s straight-laced daughter, Saffron, mad with their shenanigans. That series will be the next one purchased on DVD, as soon as I’m able to do so.

2. Blackadder. I had been a fan of Mr. Bean, but knew nothing of the conniving and cunning Edmund Blackadder until a co-worker at one of the radio stations I worked at introduced me to that series. He lent me the first two seasons to take home and watch and I was in stitches the whole time. That show was only aired on PBS during their annual fund-raisers, so I didn’t get to watch it as much as I wanted to. I have that entire series on DVD to view whenever I wish.

Finally, the number one spot on my list goes to The League of Gentlemen. This show shouldn’t be confused with the movie The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, as they are completely different animals. It aired on Comedy Central not long after AbFab was taken off; again, my Aussie buddy encouraged me to give it a chance. I’m glad that I took the time because it was well worth it. The little town of Royston Vasey has a unique population, to say the least. The only answer to the question “Are you local?” is “Yes!” This show was warped,dark, demented, and insanely hilarious – emphasis on “insanely.” I even recorded one of my favourite lines from it on my phone so that people hear it if they call me and get my voice mail. One of my sisters had called the other day, and all I could hear was hysterical laughter on the voice message. She wasn’t expecting to hear what she heard, and it definitely took her off guard.

This post wouldn’t be complete without at least one clip from each of these shows. A bit of laughter is perfect for this fun Friday, and the best way to start the weekend off with a smile.

Five on Friday: Comedy Mash-Up

Full Moon Thursday

There’s a big, beautiful moon out there, so here are three songs to get everybody dancing in the moonlight.

😎

Werewolf Wednesday

The full moon approaches. Time for some screen-shots and songs about wolves and werewolves.

😎

Scams & Bots

Scams: those have been around for as long as humans became “civilized.” Various Saturday-morning cartoons have spoofed them from time to time and entire television shows are dedicated to them – Catfish: The TV Show being one.

When the Internet was nothing more than a conglomeration of online forums and message-boards, with only a select few knowing about it or even interacting on it regularly, online scams seemed to be few and far between. After everybody and their mother, grandmother, and great-grandfather’s dog suddenly had access to the World Wide Web, the scammers followed and online scams became the new threat.

As scams became as obvious as Doctor Stanley’s Snake-Oil Cure-All and his wife’s genuine imitation pearls, they ‘evolved’ to circumvent security programs and firewalls. One must always be aware of the means others use to scam people online, and there are many. In this post I speak specifically about ‘bots’ and the ways that they are able to mimic a real person.

For lay-people, a ‘bot’ may or may not be a hijacked computer: one that has been programmed and coded to do specific things without the knowledge of the user. Bots are quite common in MMOs, and my online game is no different.

In the halcyon days of The Elder Scrolls Online, bots were everywhere and incredibly obvious! The in-game bots were of three different types: spam-bots, ‘train’ bots, and ‘collector’ bots. The spam-bots are almost always seen at dolmens or in delves, right on the spot that the boss will spawn at, and they are always using the same ‘ultimate’ move over, and over, and over again.

Spam-bots may or may not be accompanied by the ‘train’ bots. The name is self-explanatory; you might see a ‘train’ of four or five characters running in a circle. The train runs…well, like a train! You have the ‘engine’ doing the main action, then the bots in the train do the exact same motion / action as the ‘engine’ does, only a nanosecond or three later. These types of bots farm bosses for loot, and / or nodes for materials.

The ‘collector’ bots are the most difficult to see, as they have been programmed to do one thing: collect a certain material from a certain node. In-game, there are materials which are valuable to the crafters who make armour, weapons, and other things for their friends and / or guild-mates. The collectors basically ‘farm’ these nodes unfairly, flying through the air at hyperspeed, or sliding underground out of sight, taking the nodes and everything on them and making it impossible for the regular player to harvest these materials fairly.

During the evolution of TESO, the programmers / code-writers behind the bots have evolved as well. The bots are currently as big an issue as they were when the game was first launched, but a bit more difficult to spot. It isn’t impossible, but it takes a bit of observation on the part of any player who spies them. The sad thing is that they can’t be reported on anymore, and even if you do report them the likelihood of them being removed from the game is slim to nil. Customer service is no longer of importance to Zenimax or Bethesda, which seems to happen when a game has become overrun with bored time-wasters who are less interested in playing said game and more invested in trying to spoil it for others.

Thankfully, those types are easily duped and distracted. They will move on to their next target sooner or later, leaving the adults to have our fun.

Patience is a good thing.

😎

Maritime Monday: Day of the Seafarer

Today marks the Day of the Seafarer, begun in 2010 by the International Maritime Organization.

I always hoist a pint to my ocean-bound, merchant mariner friends and acquaintances, wherever they may be. “Bruss” Pringle and “Bulldog” Maris, here’s to you. May your sea-legs stay steady whatever the weather.

Last Week Tonight: Mexican Elections

In today’s edition of “Last Week Tonight,” John talks about the upcoming elections in Mexico. Santa Claus also makes a special guest appearance.

Previous Older Entries

%d bloggers like this: