May 20, 2023
The Schedule In the comments, Pete said that stream every night.
Well, sadly, I'm not that competent.
My internet alter-ego is streaming from an abandoned curry mine deep within an active volcano in the dinosaur infested jungles of Vermont*.
He does this on Sundays, Mondays, Thursdays, and Fridays, with occasional surprise streams on Saturdays. All streams start at 18:00 EST / 22:00 UTC except the very occasional Saturday streams generally start at about 21:00 EST / 01:00 UTC. Join him tomorrow at twitch.tv/brickmuppet and point and laugh as a weeb muddles through Eorzea with delusions of adequacy.
*Note that zoology, geology, geography, and how spices are acquired all work differently in the internet.
Addressing the Irrelevancies In a Knowledgable, Erudite Manner
Peter Zeihan is a smart guy. He has a profound understanding of global trade, the shipping industry and various factors that are generally overlooked by not only laymen, but policy makers. He is someone whom one should listen to as he has great insight into second and third order effects of various disruptions on global shipping that many would just call "Black Swans". Do follow him.
However, he also frequently wears a man-bun.
And that is a warning sign, as can be seen in this video where he exudes a pitch perfect, high-pitched blue-county-sneer as he relates in fantastic, and knowledgeable detail the process of accession into NATO.
He does this to explain that Russia cannot possibly feel threatened by NATO expansion because the process is democratic.
While the process is a good one, I think that in this context the actual process is irrelevant.
The Russians, especially the current Government (who are totalitarian assholes) do not care one whit about "process". Totalitarians care about results and the result of the process is that Nato has moved closer to Russia's border. Russians are, as a people, clinically paranoid. This stems from the fact that the history of Eastern Europe over the last thousand and a half years has been written in Slavic blood.
The thugs who run Russia are especially paranoid because they live in constant fear of court intrigues. He takes the argument of the stupidest , 2-digit-IQ, Russia-simps ("Ukraine is a conspiracy run by gay-Jewish-NAZIs"1) to dismiss the concerns of a very large number of Americans.
The idea that this situation couldn't have been handled better in any way is simply not defensible, and his dripping, Aristocratic contempt for those who do not support neo-lib foreign policy is poor form coming from a guy as well read and used to looking at all sides of an issue as Zeihan is.
I say this as somebody who generally supports the idea of arming the Ukranians if they are willing to fight and who sees this as the closest we've come to an actual "Munich moment" since, well, 1938.
I'm GLAD Europe is standing up to aggression in this case, but the people who are justifiably concerned about Russias 5,889 nuclear weapons are also the people who WILL NOT be talked down to anymore by the man-bun wearing laptoppers who, as a class, have made the world a far worse place for working and middle class Americans.
Zeihan is a smart guy, but his dripping contempt and strawmanning people's concerns risks the exact sort of backlash that led to the disengagement of the U.S.A. from the world in the 1930s and facilitated one of the worst wars in human history.
There is GENUINE AND WELL FOUNDED CONCERN that the war and the immense human suffering it is causing is being extended by Western leaders who want to just take out Russia, rather than allow the Ukranians to negotiate. Even Finland, which famously ground Stalin to a halt in the Winter War had to give up Corellia.
Zeihan has made the case elsewhere that Russia sees this as a response to an existential threat and I find his reasoning on this to be sound. Given that postulate, as well as the obvious paranoia of Russia's executive branch ( I don't know what the situation in the Duma is) it is not unreasonable to suggest that we don't allow the sort of mission creep that causes us to go from propping up the Ukraine to "Bear Baiting" when the bear has almost 6,000 nukes.
Few things are more dangerous than a wounded bear that feels it is cornered.
There's a lot of blame to go around regarding how we got here because we started on this course back in the late '90s. However, lacking a Tardis or Time Tunnel, we must deal with the world as it is and not let the pencil pushers in Foggy Bottom and Brussels start World War Three.
It's probably an equally bad idea to piss off and scare Middle America so bad that the U.S. Government is forced to abandon Ukraine and bring Russia to the Polish and Romanian frontiers.
A sneer is not an argument.
1: Yes...that is an actual argument that some people are making because the world is stupid.
Guardians of the Galaxy 3
How did I find myself in this situation.
About a month ago, a friend of many years whom I had not seen in forever invited me to go see a Robert Plant concert in Charlottesville on the 18th.
Well, this past Thursday, when I made the commute to Charlottesville, to my utter astonishment, I had no trouble at the Richmond beltway and arrived in 4 hours....way less than expected. Given that we suddenly had time to kill...hours, in fact.... she asked to go see the new Guardians movie.
Now, I have not been impressed with any of the Marvel Movies I've seen after Endgame and the buzz amongst fandom is that the MCU has become a steaming pile of poo. Furthermore, giving money to Disney is on my "to do" list about even with "licking doorknobs in Wuhan". So, I was....unenthusiastic. However she really wanted to see the film, and honestly, how bad can a Guardians movie be? So I went without any outward protest.
That was a happy accident.
Guardians of the Galaxy 3 is an absolutely superb film. Whether you've seen the other two movies or not (and I missed 2 due to my stroke) this film is an amazingly fun romp. I laughed, I cried...no really, there are moments in this film that are heart wrenching, and others that are heart warming.
Marvel has largely run out of A-List characters to bring to the silver screen, but the B-List comic characters they dug up for this film are handled fantastically well and with absolute respect for the source material, In some ways, allowing what had been also-rans in the comics to realize their full potential.This film was quite clearly a labor of love.
This dippy comic book movie has more to say about, friendship, sacrifice, tragedy, utopianism, responsibility, mercy, and the nature of heroism than just about anything else I've seen in the last 10 years.
it is a surprisingly deep and even insightful movie by the standards of todays entertainment , all the more surprising given that it is a comic book movie with over twice the USDA recommended daily allowance of poop jokes.
But there are enough pathos, ironic and unironic philosophizing, superb characterizations and slam-bang-oh-my-God-action-sequences to make this a healthy, balanced, and white-pilling film-going experience.
The action choreography in this film is brilliant while retaining a human...er...sophont element that makes it all the more impactful.
I highly recommend that you go see this film.
However, while I almost never include trigger warnings, I must warn that some of the characters are put through the ringer , physically and psychologically in ways so absolutely gut-wrenching as to leave me amazed that the film didn't get an "R" rating. Also...utopians will not be pleased.
Heroism action, redemption, action, and fun and even more action can all be had if you go see this film.
Go now, or you are wrong.
5 out of 5 Bricks.
May 01, 2023
This is FINE! Everything is OK.
There is nothing to see here.
This is normal.
Note that Tim Pool is literally advising people to invest in crypto, so remember that those who report problems don't necessarily have any insight into solving them.
April 25, 2023
BLACK PILLED I've been in and out of the hospital. Since going back to work I've been pulling as many hours as possible to make up for the hospital bills and lack of having worked which has been exhausting.
I've sat for several hours in front of the computer trying to opine on matters of import but the matters have left me dead inside and unable to type.
These include, but are not limited to:
Fox firing the one guy who said on air that the Dominion accusations were bullshit.
The looming food situation in much of the world.
That the following is a topic of conversation:
The self inflicted erosion of trust in so many of our institutions.
Paimon is .... not for lewding.
April 19, 2023
A Note on Henrys
April 15, 2023
Anniversary! Note: It's a Blogging Best Practice to let your post sit for a bit before hitting "publish" so you can check spelling and grammar with a fresh eye.
It is an even better practice to actually hit "post" and not assume one has made a programming announcement like one did on Discord.
Tonight is the one year anniversary of my first stream. So, despite it being a Saturday we will have an extended channel stream this evening beginning at 9PM EST 1AM UTC.
We are on the Final Fantasy 14 North American server (in Sargatanas) if any members of chat who are FF14 players would like to do a dungeon or something.
After a bit of gaming while people filter in, we will change gears. At around midnight EST (depending on combat and cut-scenes) we will show two films from the 1920s that promise to be quite a treat.
1 Week is a Buster Keaton short from 1923. Watch and be amazed at the master of physical comedy.
Our feature for the evening is CHANG! A semi-documentary from 1927. These days the academic nature of this film is criticized, its educational bonafides being somewhat hampered by the lack of any anthropologists on the 3 person shooting crew, but Adventurers Meriam C. Cooper, Ernest B. Schoedsack and Adventuress (and former spy) Marguerite Harrison more than make up for the lack of scholarly references by filming an absolutely great story. This film has been really hard to find and only recently have I managed to track down a copy not in French.
In addition to narrating the title cards, I'll be providing some trivia about the making of the films.
After the movies, we'll most likely do a little bit of grinding, in one of the channels current games.
Stop by, grab a drink and a snack and join us at https://www.twitch.tv/brickmuppet for all the fun.
April 12, 2023
We Have a Date (UPDATE: No We Don't) Mauser missed it by THAT much.
I have it on very good authority that Twitch.tv/brickmuppet will be livestreaming it. Join my internet alter-ego and his Crack Team of Science Babes....
(well....at least one of them)
...as they discuss this momentous occasion and provide a thoughtful, if snarky peanut gallery to any unplanned fireworks.
Like this for instance...
Join us for the festivities beginning at 07:00 EST/ 11:00 UTC next Wednesday the 19th.
UPDATE: Well...THAT'S a nice clarification. The Space Rocket Launch Schedule website now says that the launch date is TBD. I'm not 100% sure it did not say that before , but I didn't see it, and I'm fairly sure that paragraph was not as long when I read it the first time.
This morning I saw an announcement that it was going to be next Monday and currently I'm seeing this on Yahoo News :
Current federal requests point to a liftoff between Monday, April 17, and Friday, April 21. Many believe Musk would be happy to see Starship fly on April 20, or 4/20, which is often used to reference all things marijuana-related and has become a favorite joke for Musk.
I'm sorry about jumping the gun on this, but it looks like no date is set as of this time.
Spaceflight Now (currently) has the launch as No Earlier Than April 17th.
April 10, 2023
2 Hours With Vivek Ramaswamy Vivek Ramaswamy is the GOP candidate that I'm currently most likely to throw my vote away on during the primary.
Starship is stacked and ready for launch.
The only thing that is needed is FAA approval.
If this thing works as advertised, it will be a game changer, heralding a massive downturn in launch costs and increase in frequency.
Starship also is designed to go to Mars, though it can potentially reach anywhere between Mercury and the astroid belt, perhaps even the outer Jovian system which is about the absolute distance limit of useful solar power.
This is a much bigger deal than people seem to realize.
April 08, 2023
Mili Really Captures The Essence of The Current Year
April 01, 2023
This is No Joke: This is No Joke: All hands to gaming stations:
Tonight at 9pm EST 2am UTC we will be having a surprise Saturday stream. The occasion is the one year anniversary of the first attempt at streaming on the channel as well as the fact that we will almost caertainly finish La Pucelle: Tactics this evening.
If we finish before or around midnight we will also show 2 silent film. The short comedy 1 Week staring Buster Keaton and the Semi-Documentary CHANG from 1927. The latter is a true classic, filmed on location in Siam that follows the lives of a young Thai couple as they try to eek out a living in the unforgiving jungle.
Its academic nature is somewhat hampered by the lack of any anthropologists on the 3 person shooting crew, but Merian C. Cooper, Ernest B. Schoedsack and Adventurer (and former spy) Marguerite Harrison more than make up for the lack of scholarly references by filming an absolutely great story. This film has been really hard to find and only just now have I managed to track down a copy not in French.
Stop by, grab a drink and a snack and join us at Twitch.tv/brickmuppet for all the fun.
OK: We did not finish La Pucelle.
Tactics need to be reassessed. Next Movie night will be at the one year anniversary of our first full stream on Saturday April 15.
When This Sort of Historiography Is THIS Well Done ....It borders on disturbing.
On the other hand, heretofore, Ian's usually been pretty good about range safety.
March 30, 2023
A Reminder Just a quick reminder that tomorrow is the last day to download, acquire er... WATCH any particular Pikamee streams you might be fond of, because her agency has stated they will purge all her content once she graduates on April 1.
March 27, 2023
An Observation. Yesterday, after confirming that the blog was working again, I literally had my phone in hand to call a friend and tell him the good news. (He had been quite eager to get back to the keyboard with duck pictures). However, as I cleared out my spam comment's, I noted a comment that conveyed the terrible news that my friend had passed away.
On the 8th.
I had not spoken to him since mid February.
Do not let the interval between contacting friends get out of hand. Days become weeks which become months and then years....and then they are gone.
See that you make some time for friends, while you can.
Wonderduck Has Left Us
So, yesterday, I learned that Wonderduck, (Eric Carra) had thrown off this mortal coil on the 8th of March.
I do not know the circumstances of his passing beyond that it was due to complications stemming from his health issues, which were many of late.
Eric was a blogger from back when blogging was new and his website remained an eclectic convergence of interests; ducks, history, anime, ducks, wacky anecdotes science fiction, music, Formula One racing, and ducks....rubber ones usually. He was an avid collector of rubber ducks.
Wonderduck's Pond remains a repository for quite a few reviews of anime spanning nigh on 20 years, reviews that were exceptionally entertaining and brought many a chuckle to his readers over the years.
He was also an amateur historiographer with a particular interest in the battle of Midway. Shortly before his health took a sharp turn for the worse in 2021 he was invited to contribute to a historian's roundtable on the battle. Due to his hospitalization he was unable to do so.
'Wonderduck' encouraged me to become an early adopter of mee.nu, when I outgrew Blogger. (His site was hosted on mu.nu, the predecessor of this service.)
He also was a good friend. When I was recovering from my stroke he was in a hospital bed, yet despite his own issues, he gave me considerable encouragement through those dark times.
Eric was a well liked blogger who had a following and counted as fans some of the more impressive representatives of the medium. No small feat.
His last few years were fraught. A blood clot precipitated a hospitalization which in turn led to several other issues that combined to cause him great dismay.
Yet he soldiered on.
While we never physically met, we did used to correspond at least once a week, however, I had not spoken to him in just over a month. Despite his myriad problems, his main complaint was that he was having difficulty blogging due to technical issues, so he was still pursuing his hobby after everything.
Wonderduck had a lot of hurdles to deal with in his short life. Despite that he brought smiles to the faces of many people from all over the world over the years and made the world just a little quirkier and fun.
Few people accomplish that.
Eric, you will be missed.
We've managed to obtain an actual picture of Eric in heaven, studying naval history and being a kaiju.
March 26, 2023
We. Be. BLOGGIN'! So I woke up late this morning. Very, very late.
It's actually 13:21 EST.
I've got some errands to run before I stream at 18:00, but before I ran out the door in a mad tizzy I checked my E-mails.
And there in my gmail account vying for attention with all the "5.56mm ammo IN STOCK" spam was a message from the blogfather, the Antipodean of awesomeness, the man himself, Pixy Misa.
"The problem with the blog is fixed. Please return my pet turtles unharmed."
So before I run out into the world, let's test this to see if it works.
Some current event commentary.
Yep it looks like it's working again.
They are in the pup tent set up on the road 5 miles east of your house in a ventilated box marked "DANGER SALMONELLA"
March 12, 2023
Remember: When Doing the Spicy Curry Challenge... Bleach is a base and therefore does not qualify as a spice.
Picture of Bleach Bottle Goes Here
This unfortunate fact befell a Japanese school teacher last September who got transferred to a different homeroom against her wishes. She responded to this affront by sneaking BLEACH into the curry of her new class....as one does....when one is crazy and evil....and a public school teacher.
This story was covered by various outlets at the time but her trial has garnered some coverage as well. Her stated reasoning seems to be that she did not want the students to "create happy memories without me" (Giggle translate is here). This does not make sense because she attempted to poison the new class, not the class she was unhealthily attached to.
Nevertheless Miss. Munchausen by Proxy Sensei seems to have gotten transferred into the class of a protagonist in some kids elementary school drama because the child in charge of distributing the curry noted that it was emanating bleach stank and, being unimpressed with the teachers response to their concerns, warned the class and got the principle, saving their class.
Miss Munchausen by Proxy Sensei was the only teacher who did not show up for the all hands meeting the principle called after being tracked down by the principle confessed to the crime and related in great detail how she'd done it.
Reaction Image Goes Here
Thankfully, no one was hurt.
March 11, 2023
When WAS the Last Time I Was in Hong Kong? Was I there Thursday?
Did I rent room 3317 at the VT Holiday in Hong Kong?
(Checks Thursday's itinerary "Work, Laundry, Dishes, Dinner, Streaming, Sleep")
I was in Southeastern Virginia all day.
Soooooo.....my card has been hacked.
APPLICABLE MEME GOES HERE
March 06, 2023
As was mentioned briefly in the brief post talking about the Silvervale situation, Pikamee had a similar experience to Silvervale in that she announced that she was going to be playing The Game That Must Not be Named. This also resulted in massive harassment from the degenerate hellions that get their marching orders from the latest Twitter encyclical. This included death threats and doxxing.
You see, J.K. Rowling (the creator of Harry Potter) has expressed views that do not align perfectly with the most extreme transgender activists. Thus, playing the game is said by Twitter freaks to be literally killing somebody with gender dysphoria.
Normally the rantings of mentally ill cultists can just be ignored, but this is more difficult when you are a public figure who has to engage the public. It is also much harder when the gleeful lynch mobs actively hound you.
Pikamee has been to the U.S. and speaks English, but is not obsessed with politics and really has no frame of reference for our blinkered gender ideology debates and associated insanity, which was, no doubt, an out of context problem from her perspective. This foul brigading becomes very hard to ignore with when doxxing and death threats are involved and this is particularly true in Japan given fairly recent events involving idols.
They mercilessly bullied this poor girl from another country who had literally nothing to do with any of this this lunatic critical studies shit. They brigaded her so ferociously that she cancelled plans to play the game. Then she was hounded into cancelling another stream. And another
Pikamee has now announced she's "graduating", which is a neurotically polite Japanese euphemism for idols that basically means retirement.
Pikamee was a hilarious and talented bi-lingual streamer that helped to establish V-tubing as a genre. Pikamee clips have made the rounds for years, have been the basis of countless memes and have brought joy to millions.
Now, because of some mentally ill narcissistic cultists, she's gone.
I'm not a particular fanboi of Rowling or her views. Her TERFitude is an extension of her very anti-male brand of feminism, but her remarks on the trans issue have not been particularly hateful or insane. (Biological men in women's locker rooms is a legitimate concern, as some unfortunate schoolgirls here in Virginia found out 2 years ago).
However, my opinion on one bit of somebody's public persona are not really germane to anything. She's an individual. Rowling wrote a popular series of books, that, while not MY cup of tea, are well crafted, beloved, and got millions of kids to actually read. Furthermore, I generally believe that we should separate the art from the artist in most cases that don't involve violence*.
Speech is not violence.
Violence is violence.
But we're now in a situation where normal discourse is counted as violence and actual violence by political extremists is considered speech.
This cannot stand.
I noted on stream last night that I stream on an iMac and my only console is a PS2, but if I had the equipment I'd stream HOGWART'S LEGACY in a hot minute. I'll also support anyone who does so. I'm gonna buy the game (a game I cannot play) next week. I hope it is the best selling game of the year and these pitiless Jacobin myrmidons get their noses rubbed in their own impotence.
Good by Pikamee.
Thanks for all the fun.
*(Lovecraft's stated views on ethnicity and race were abhorrent, but his work brilliant. If he were alive, I'd not vote for him. Marrion Zimmer Bradely ran a pedophile ring, so I've tossed her books.)
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