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OH GODS WON’T SOMEONE PLEASE THINK OF THE CHILDREN? Even if those children are whiny heirs to feudal lords.

Usually I have some social media tidbit to rant on about, but nothing stands out in the immediate. I’m still playing MGSV (73% completion and counting, also that link is hilarious, M for language). I also tried the Overwatch closed Beta, and I’ll bet that game is super fun for people who like multiplayer shooter/moba hybrids! Turns out I do not, though, despite being very drawn to the colorful characters and great art direction. My experience with the game can be summed up as ‘spawn, run to the front lines, die immediately, repeat’. I suppose I just need to Git Gud, but that likely requires far more time than I’m willing to put in!

I’m also rewatching Star Trek TNG and Cosmos (2014), and I’m an episode behind on The Flash and Arrow, which have both been quite entertaining so far this season, even though I still find myself face palming at the cheesey dialog every few minutes.

So that’s my current media intake! Not all that much,  I guess. I definitely need to get to the theater to see Spectre. I refuse to acknowledge the middling review scores so I can be disappointed on my own terms!

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  • Leo

    Religion is the pretext, of course, but the priests’ ultimate mission was one of protection, so they trained in the art of wrestling to develop the Joint Holy Grapple that would one day save Rrrrrricardo.

    The training paid off.

    • suburban_samurai

      I think we’ve got our spin off comic right there! “Joint Holy Grapplers”

      • Flaming Squirrel

        “I did not baptize myself in the name of God, feast on the flesh of his son, and drink his blood, to be beaten by the likes of you, Red Samurai. I’ll see you in the ring!”

        I’d make a joke for the guru too, but I don’t know anything about Hinduism, sooo…

        • Xinef

          I don’t know much about Hinduism either, but it would include reincarnating thousands of times and following the teachings of the Kama Sutra.

  • David A. Tatum

    I would love to be able to play games like that right now. Sadly, my old computer is almost as dead as that ambassador is right now, and my new computer is in pieces. (I had hoped to get my next book out before replacing that old computer, but I finished it late, my editor is late, etc.)

    So, how quickly can the “two-timing merchant” reload his gun, anyway? In the Revolutionary War, the American Minutemen took pride in averaging one shot every ten seconds (matching or beating the more heavily trained professional soldiers they were fighting), but those were flintlocks. This appears to be a matchlock, which was harder to use.

    Either way, he better hope everyone else is too stunned to charge him, because I think they’re all close enough to reach him much faster than that.

    • suburban_samurai

      David, you’re building your new PC? I’ve always wanted to build a PC, but it’s intimidating as heck to me. Not really because I don’t think I could assemble it, but because I’ll buy some parts that just don’t work well together! Or forget to buy some crucial piece.

      • David A. Tatum

        Yep. My (older) brother used to build them for me all the time, but he’s not available so this is my second solo build.

        It’s not THAT hard to be sure you’ve got the right pieces (thanks, in part, to NewEgg’s very useful search engine). It just takes knowing where to start, a lot of comparison shopping, and double-checking with the motherboard for just about everything.

        First, you buy your processor. That usually comes with a moderately functional cooling fan (stock cooling fans have a pretty bad rap, but if you aren’t overclocking it and you buy a decent case it’s PROBABLY okay. If you’re overclocking it, or you anticipate your computer having to travel a lot (the biggest issue with the stock fans is the mounting system, IMO; if you jolt it too much, the fan can get loose), you might need a non-stock cooling fan. If you do need a non-stock cooling fan, you’ll need to know how much room you have in your case and what socket of motherboard you’ve got… and then good luck, because I’ve never been happy with any cooling system, stock, non-stock, watercooled, or whatever else). My stock cooling fan came with some thermal paste pre-added to the device, but you might want to get some more (it’s messy but it’s cheap, and can improve the quality of those stock fans tremendously. Make sure it’s non-conductive, so you can more easily remove it later if necessary. Arctic Silver and DeepCool both have decent non-conductive thermal paste; Arctic Silver is probably the top-of-the-line brand, right now).

        Your processor will determine what socket of motherboard you can buy (for example, my i7 Processor was compatible with any LGA-115X motherboard), which will tell you most of the other things you can get (things that fit, in this example, an LGA-1150 socket motherboard — this is important because it tells you where the screws go, where the plugs are, etc.).

        For example, the MSI B85-G43 PC Mate motherboard I bought, which was compatible with my i7 processor, says on the NewEgg site that it requires a 24-pin connector ATX power supply. ATX also refers to where the screw holes and such go, so that’s why it tells you what kind of case you can get. The website also mentions that the motherboard supports up to 32GB of 240-pin DDR3 memory, and has four memory card slots, so that tells you what kind of RAM you can get. (I only got 16GB of ram because, well, budget) Many motherboards are good brands. The best brands for RAM are probably Corsair and G.Skill; G.Skill is usually a little cheaper but sometimes has minor (correctable in BIOS) compatibility issues with certain motherboards. Corsair has been the top dog in memory for over a decade.

        Your motherboard determines what case you can buy. Some cases are better than others, but it’s hard to tell by brand, or even by reputation. I bought a case (Enermax’s COENUS line) which is designed to be inexpensive, but cosmetically pleasant and extremely good at circulating air; it’s not as good working with a water-cooled set-up, however. I also made sure it had a bottom-mount power supply mounting, which is preferable to top-mount (the PSU needs an air intake; that’s usually on the bottom of the unit. A top-mount PSU takes in the hot air produced by your CPU and GPU, whereas a bottom-mount PSU takes in cool air from the floor. Just be sure, if you buy a bottom mount power supply, you don’t put your computer in one of those desk slots that “keep it out of the way,” which might cut off its air intake supply)

        You need to figure out what connectors your motherboard has available for your hard drive. Most use SATA-III unless you’re buying a SSD; just check to be sure that’s what you’re getting, and not some sort of old-fashioned SCSI connector or something like that. SSDs are more complicated, because they may connects through SATA-III, mSata, PCI Card slot, or some other more obscure connector; stick with SATA-III or PCI Cards and most modern motherboards will likely support it.

        PCI Card SSDs have significantly faster data transfer than SATA-III, but are a little more complicated to deal with and are more expensive. SATA-III can be mounted in the drive bay area of your case, and (obviously) don’t take up a PCI slot.

        In this day and age, there is no point in buying a slower-than-7200 RPM HDD. The most common way of handling HDDs is to buy a few of them and connect them all into some form of RAID Array (done using your Bios), but it forces your computer to use the slowest speed of all of your harddrives. It can also be riskier for some of your data (depending on configuration, if one HDD fails you’ve lost all of your data on both drives)… although sometimes (depending on configuration) it can be safer for your data, too (because the data is made redundant, though you lose some HDD capacity). If you have an SSD and a HDD, you probably DON’T want to configure them in a RAID array.

        SSDs are very nice due to their speed, low power consumption, and more. They are more expensive, however, and older models might have some durability issues. A lot of the durability issues are being worked out in any of the more recent designs (anything you’re likely to buy, really), but it’s probably best to pair the SSD (for speed in booting your computer and running resource-intense software) with a standard HDD (for bulk storage of data). Kingston, Mushkin, and OCZ have good reputations for the best entry-level SSDs, but if you’re willing to throw a lot of money into it Intel has some very, very good SSDs that mount into PCI slots; some of the fastest SSDs on the market. (I went with a Kingston SSD because of budget issues, but if I had the money I’d have gone Intel)

        Optical drives (DVD, Bluray, etc) are fairly easy to deal with — look for a SATA-III type, unless your motherboard doesn’t have any SATA-III connectors open after setting up your hard drive. If that’s the case, you might as well use a USB-connected drive (and if you’re doing that, you might as well use an externally connected DVD drive). Anything else probably won’t work with a modern motherboard. This is a bit of a “who cares?” with the brands, since the DVD players are all very tried-and-true tech (you can get a good one for $20) and the BluRay players are all mediocre no matter what brand you buy (usually, they don’t come with the software needed to support themselves, even if they work. Ugh)

        And then there’s graphics cards. *sigh* These can get pretty complex. They can have “crossfire architecture” (i.e., if you have two of them, you can use a “bridge” board to connect them together and increase their processing power) and the like, which always adds to the difficulty. You can also go easy on yourself, and just buy one single card to make things work. I was looking for something that supported multiple monitors and came away with a nice little budget gamer that I later found on a lot of lists as a “best buy” among budget gaming cards — a ZOTAC GeForce GT730 (1GB 64-Bit DDR3 ram; they sell other GT730s that all SEEM to have better stats, but apparently the 1 GB 64-Bit has a better reputation for actually performing up to spec than the 2GB or the 128-Bit models)

        Then you need to determine how much wattage you’re using so you can buy your power supply. This can be a bit tricky, because sometimes a device won’t list how many watts it uses, but… well, I cheated by plugging in all my parts onto to see how much wattage it says I needed (it also will help remind you if you’ve forgotten anything, and double-checks for compatibiliy of your components. It isn’t flawless, though, and it will ALWAYS give you warnings about how it can’t determine if your graphics card or cooling fan will fit in your case, which can be disturbing if you aren’t familiar with the site).

        Graphics cards are usually the big power saps, sometimes asking for 300-400w each, though in my case I found a “budget gamer” card designed with smaller power supplies in mind that only requires about 30-40w. (That was coincidental, it turns out; I was working on a budget, and this was the best card I could find in my budget). My system needed 251w, supposedly (though I bought a significantly larger wattage PSU, and recommend it for all builders; power supplies degrade by as much as 20% over their lifespan, and it’s always a good idea to have a little room for expansion in your system).

        You’ll also know, by this point, how many of which type of power connections you need, but usually — if you get the motherboard connector right — you’ll have more than you could possibly use for any but the most complex of builds; I didn’t need anything close to the nine SATA power cable connectors I had. Corsair, EVGA, and Antec are the biggest GOOD names. Avoid RAIDMAX like the plague (I’ve seen a lot of accusations that their PSUs don’t provide even half the power they claim). I bought one from an outfit called Silverstone, which is a smaller name but still has a good reputation.

        Put it all together (most of it just snaps together, and your motherboard and case should have pretty clear instructions as to how everything is supposed to be assembled; remember to wear anti-static gear or rubber gloves when you do, but MOST of the parts aren’t as delicate as some people make them out to be, so no, you don’t need a “clean room” to work with it), toss in your preferred operating system (okay, THIS can be a headache. Especially when it takes FIVE BLOODY HOURS to format your brand new 2TB harddrive; you don’t want to quick-format a new build, but…), and you’ve got a fully functioning computer! (well, assuming you have the keyboard, monitor, mouse, and similar peripherals from your old system to use; also, sometimes you’ll need an extra SATA-III cable or something like that, so if you don’t have a large reservoir of unused cables from previous builds, like I do, you might need to pick one or two up (though you might not, too).

        See? Easy! (But, uh, be prepared to lose a week or so as you get it all put together and installed)

        …okay, I know I just talked your head off. I’m excited about this, though — I know what I’m doing a lot better than the first time I built a computer, and I just learned a lot more besides.

        • suburban_samurai

          PSSHHHH, David, whenever I mention to someone who has built their own computer that I’m interested in doing the same, I get the response “Oh, it’s way easier than you think!” And then get hit with a mountain of brain melting information!! does look like a really useful website for this, though! I’m not planning on diving into PC making for another year, since my 2011 desktop is still running pretty solidly. I assure you, though, when I’m ready, I’ll be bringing it up on the site to get input. Reading through your post, though, I’m surprised at how much I already knew, and slightly disheartened at how much I didn’t!

          • David A. Tatum

            Yeah, I was typing up that “mountain of brain melting information!!” and was thinking, “Wait, I’m calling this EASY?” Because it’s easier to do than it is to describe. (it’s also terrifying the first time or two you do it. Fortunately, I’ve yet to run into any major problems with defective parts, but I imagine working through that’ll seem worse than it is, too).

            Think of it this way: It’s a jigsaw puzzle, but it’s only a 10 piece jigsaw puzzle. You just have to buy it one piece at a time.

          • Madison Link

            It’s easier than he makes it sound, unless you want a really top-of-the-line system and money is no object.
            Get a CPU that’s 1/3 to 1/4 your total budget. (If your budget is < $1K, you would actually want cheaper, but you can definitely get a better low-budget machine off-the-shelf than by building your own.)
            The motherboard choice depends on the CPU choice. Look up the socket type of the CPU. Also, make sure it has a lot of PCI-E slots so you can just get PCI-E cards. The main cause of "Oops that won't fit" these days (at least, in my house) is having a PCI-E card and a single PCI slot left open or vice-versa.
            The type of memory you get depends on the motherboard, so double-check before buying memory. If you have to choose for budget reasons, more is better than faster.
            I've yet to see a motherboard that failed to fit into a randomly picked full-sized tower, so get a full-sized tower.
            Figure out how much disk space you need, double it, and get a single SATA-III SSD or an HDD if no SSD big enough fits into your budget. Only bother with RAID if you're really into this.
            Get a single graphics card. Make sure it's DirectX-11 compatible.
            Get a good blue-ray drive, or two if you want to copy cds/dvds/blue-rays directly across.

            More optional things are below.

            Do you want wireless? Get a wireless card. Do you play online shooters? Consider a dedicated gaming card (they recognize game packets and prioritize them to reduce your ping). Other than that, don't bother with a network card, because there will be a gigabit ethernet port on any self-respecting motherboard.
            If you want, get a sound blaster.
            Get a 3.5" media reader.
            Plug everything into a wattage calculator and get a power supply. If
            you're the type to upgrade after a few years, going to the next PSU up
            won't hurt.
            Don't forget the monitor, keyboard, and mouse. You might actually want to upgrade those when you get your new computer.

            Except for the fact that I have an SSD boot drive, two 10000RPM raptor HDDs in RAID striped, and a large HDD for backup, I've listed everything in my own computer, and I'm big into current-gen FPS games. So if there is anything special that you need, you can discover it after getting the initial build running.

          • Kid Chaos

            I just order the whole thing complete from Dell. Easy-peasy…except I don’t have a word-processing program that’s worth the paper it’s printed on. *sigh* :(

  • KungFuKlobber

    I shot the envoy (but I did not shoot the general).

  • KungFuKlobber

    I shot the envoy
    But I didn’t shoot no general
    I shot the envoy
    But I didn’t shoot no general

    I knew that this situation
    Needed less complication
    So I decided to make a demonstration
    To the strongest clan in the nation
    It’s the strongest clan in the nation

    I shot the envoy
    But I swear that was an accident
    I shot the envoy
    My musket wasn’t pointed where I meant

    My ship went down in the night
    I lost most of my guns
    I’m just here to make a little profit
    But I’d really rather make tons
    I’d measure my gold in tons

    I shot the envoy
    But I didn’t shoot no general
    I shot the envoy
    But I didn’t shoot no general

    The translator’s not just some fisherman
    Either way he can’t find me breakfast
    He started waving that sword around
    So I aimed to shoot someone down
    And I shot the ambassador down

    I shot the envoy
    But I swear that was an accident
    I shot the envoy
    My musket wasn’t pointed where I meant

    Reflexes had got the better of me
    And what is to be must be
    But now that the brat’s seen what I can do
    I’m hoping for that big payday
    Surely I can expect a payday

    I shot the envoy
    But I didn’t shoot no general
    I shot the envoy
    But I didn’t shoot no general

    • Sunwu

      That’s the Kung fu Klobber we all know and love

    • suburban_samurai

      Yeah, featured, for sure.

  • Hfar

    Welp, that’s either going to put a crimp in negotiations or prove to be an excellent selling point. Farewell Mr….uh, whatever your name was.

    • IDPounder

      Uh hey, Mr. Merchant…that works great on diplomats. Does it work on attorneys too…?

      • suburban_samurai

        It’s surprisingly effective for most unwanted confrontations.

    • Nealend86

      It’ll be an excellent selling point in the realm of “Kill him and take the weapons.”

    • suburban_samurai

      If only he’d been named! Then we could’ve avoided this whole mess!

  • Jordan Hiller

    Well Mr. Merchant just provided a great selling point for his weapons.

  • Cross Ikon

    Well… WHOOPS! Wrong dude.

    Anyway… I love TNG. My first exposure to -anything- Star Trek was Jonathan Frakes and Patrick Stewart sitting in a bar with Whoopi Goldberg.

    • suburban_samurai

      I used to catch random TNG and DS9 episodes, but Voyager was the first Star Trek that I actively kept up with on a weekly basis. I think it’s generally considered the worst Trek, but I didn’t know that at the time! Netflix gave me the chance to marathon TOS, TNG, Enterprise, and DS9, and I’m almost ready to rewatch Voyager. Will it be super nostalgic? Will it be super painful to watch? My guess is a little bit of both.

      • Cross Ikon

        Voyager was the one I hated the most when I was little, but I like the most now. I also appreciate action flicks more now, too… Similar situation, I suppose.

  • Flaming Squirrel

    Eijiro: “That was… my favorite… ambassador!”

    Something tells me Ricardo’s going to be more upset about his hat than the death he just caused.

    • Kid Chaos

      It was a nice hat. :)

      • Flaming Squirrel

        First Genchu’s hat gets cut in half, and then Ricardo’s hat gets the Nataku treatment. It just seems like a lousy day to be a hat, really.

        • suburban_samurai

          Are you saying I have a thing against hats?

          • Flaming Squirrel

            No, no, no. It’s, “*punches Adam into the air* THAT’S FOR SAYING I HAVE A THING AGAINST HATS!”

          • Hfar


    • clogboy

      More like that’s… my new… favorite toy…

      • suburban_samurai

        Very perceptive!

        • clogboy

          I can totally see him pull an Ash (This here ma BOOMSTICK!) or Tony Montoya in the not-too-far future.

    • suburban_samurai

      I can’t imagine why you’d think that! Ricardo’s shown such great respect for others and humanity in general.

      • Flaming Squirrel

        Especially the ones who eat fish for breakfast.

      • KungFuKlobber

        Every death means one fewer prospective customer!

    • Neska

      Well, yeah!
      Do you know how hard it is to find a good hat?!

      • Kid Chaos

        Cho doesn’t seem to have that problem. 😜


      Any plen where hyou lose hyou hat. Iz a bad plan.

  • Sunwu

    Oh dear! by my calculations, after being shot the Wataro’s Ambassadors’ angry glares will reach critical mass. We’ve a breach in the angry glare warp drive!!! she’s gonna blow!!!!

  • Sunwu

    Ummm Ricardo those Guns wouldn’t come will a Fallout V.A.T.S. feature would it? because we’ll need those guns to be a bit more accurate next time

    • suburban_samurai

      Fallout aiming bugs me, because I don’t want my accuracy to be determined by a random number generator!

      • Cross Ikon

        Dunno whether or not that’s actually preferable to Red Dead Redemption’s aiming being based on how much moonshine you drink…

  • IDPounder

    Regarding Spectre, I’ll revisit my post/review from another thread:

    “The opening scene gave me great hope for the movie. Then I heard that godawful theme song, and knew that all hope was lost.”

    • suburban_samurai

      Is it worse than Quantum Of Solace’s opening song? A lot of people hated that one, although I really liked it. My taste in music is both terrible and eclectic.

      • IDPounder

        The QoS theme was grating, but at least it was trying to be true to Bond. This one…eesh. My niece assures me that the metrosexual-sounding guy singing it is very popular and talented, but it sounds like talentless screeching to me. Plus the message is all angsty, not very Bond-like at all.

        The movie definitely had its moments, and in the overall canon would clear the bottom third, I’d say. For me, the Casino Royale reboot was the finest of them all, so I’ve given Craig a lot of leeway, perhaps too much. Everything he’s done since then has trended downward, perhaps the bar was just set too high. Plus, he plays a far more thuggish Bond than I can really relate to. I miss the suave and debonair air over the impending violence. And even the (low-key) humor that permeated most of the series is glaringly absent in the Craig versions.

        In the end, I see this as an excellent “Bourne Identity” movie. Just not a very polished James Bond story.

        • suburban_samurai

          Oh, hrm, I listening to the sound. I do like the strings and brass in the background. I’d probably like this song with a different vocalist. Since the song is from Bond’s point of view (I assume), hearing a very feminine sounding male voice singing it creates a weird dissonance. And it’s disappointing considering it’s a follow up to Adele’s extremely rad Skyfall.

          I grew up with Pierce Brosnan Bond, and Daniel Craig made Brosnan look like a pansy with Casino Royale. I was disappointed with QoS mostly due to the janky shaky cam action scenes (and that it was impossible to follow, but I find most Bond films are just action pieces strong together by extremely thin logic). I loved Skyfall, although not quite as much as Casino Royale, but they are my two favorite Bond films now (which is amusing to me since they’re arguably the two Bond films where Bond totes loses). My second favorite Bond is Connery, though. I do love the classic films!!

  • Da’Zlein

    “I’ll take 40”

  • Sam DunKley

    Panel four:”…I have just witnessed something revolutionary. And require new pants.”

    • suburban_samurai

      You mean ‘new kimono’, of course. Or ‘new hakama’ if we want to get real nerdy about it.

      • Flaming Squirrel

        I think you both mean “new ambassador.”

  • endplanets

    Can’t wait for Nataku’s response.

  • Anne Iglesias

    The guru and the priest are badasses!

    • suburban_samurai

      They certainly can fall on a guy!

  • Derkins

    “This is my BOOM stick!!”

  • Derkins

    Can’t believe the priest and guru tackled the samurai! excellent. XD

  • RazorD9

    That’s one hell of a sales pitch, cause it sure knocking ’em dead!

  • purplelibraryguy

    Ha! So you better not try anything! Just you wait, in five minutes after I finish reloading I can do it again!

  • Burdened

    That priest moved hella fast.

  • Crestlinger

    Turns out bullets>angry glares.

  • Insane Disciple

    Behold, the power of the Teppo!!!

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