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Showing posts from 2018

I Want To Talk About Pain

I think about pain a lot. Absolutely shocking, I know. Get a tattoo, you spend a lot of time looking at people's tattoos and thinking about them. Buy a van, suddenly that's all you can see on the road. Have a massive traumatic injury that gives you chronic pain for life, and you start noticing all of the pains, and classifying and quantifying the differences between them. So, here are my pretty broad categories of pain:

First up, the most basic: Sharp, instant pain. Stub your toe? Hit your thumb with a hammer? Cut yourself on a kitchen knife? You feel it right then and there, there's no build up, no question at the source. There are different levels of severity, of course. Maybe it's just enough to make you pull your hand away from that thumb tack. Maybe it stops you so completely in your tracks that you forget what you were doing. Sometimes, I see a flash of white, you'd think that's a head trauma thing, and it probably is, but I've had it happen from a fe…

Why Can't We Just Let Peter Parker Be Happy?

Long time writer Dan Slott has stepped down from writing Spider-Man, and Nick Spencer is now trying his hand with the new numbering Amazing Spider-Man. I'm about five issues in, and it's good, but there are a lot of things that are bothering me about how Peter Parker just can't keep anything good in his life moving.

I will preface this, spoiler alert, by saying that he is finally back with Mary Jane, apparently that deal with the devil (literal) has expired. While it's cool that the Marvel gods have finally relented to allow him to spend some time with his true love, they've unrelentingly fucked up everything else in his life once again.

Before we start about the new story arc's assaults on his self-esteem, let's take a walk down memory lane to go over the ways I can think of, off the top of my head, that Marvel's constantly taken away everything he's built.

In the beginning: Peter Parker was a high school student that got bit by a spider and became…

Life Lessons I Should Probably Learn From Movies: Fearless

In case you've just met me, I was perhaps raised a bit too much on movies. Part of it was certainly my mom's passion for watching movies, and it was something we could do together. I also lived pretty far from my school, so I didn't have any friends who lived close by. The cherry on top might be that my mom worked nights for a large part of my childhood, so I spent a lot of time at home.

We didn't have cable, and I spent a long time in between functional videogame systems. I remember swapping between three different 8 bit Nintendo consoles, hoping to find the one that would actually work and let me play Zelda or Duck Hunt. What we did have was a LOT of VHS tapes. Some purchased, some recorded off of broadcasts, or from someone's house that had cable, and ones that were pirated by daisy chaining VCRs together. I should mention that I also had a pretty abysmal attendance rate at school, and there's a lot of weird stuff that used to be played during daytime televi…

The Weirdness That Is Power Rangers

So, I'm pretty disappointed in my previous Power Rangers post, so I'm going to try and make up for it by talking about the show instead of the toys, which may be more compelling.

So, way back in the mid '90s, Saban released a show called Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. Looking back on it, it should have been a one off oddity, not the beginning of a massive franchise that is going to be showing it's 26th season next year.

If you're unfamiliar with Power Rangers, the basic idea is this: A group of young people, typically late teens to early twenties, are empowered to fight some encroaching threat to humanity. They do this by transforming into superheroes, with each ranger having a unique color. Often the monster of the week will grow into a larger form, and then the rangers will jump into vehicles/mechs and eventually combine their individual vehicles into a large robot. All of this is live action, which means the combined robot is a person in a cardboard and foam suit…

Contrasts Between Power Rangers and Transformers

As should not be a surprise to anyone reading this, I love transforming robot toys. My first love was Transformers, of course. The line went on a long hiatus, at about the age that I could start doing random chores for my family to make some extra money. There was a remarkable dearth of transforming robots to be found on toy aisles until the Power Rangers showed up.

Power Rangers was too silly of a show for 6th grade Bryce to admit watching and liking, but I did enjoy the designs for the robots that they piloted, which then transformed and/or combined. I've recently been reading a lot about how the show gets made, and it's fascinatingly bizarre. I want to avoid getting side tracked by the show, since I'm trying to talk about the toys, but the weird thing about the show is that they take a Japanese show, and basically cut, edit, and splice in original footage, such that really, they've made an entirely different story, and just used stock footage for all of the action s…

An Endorsement of Deep Rock Galactic. Plus an Illustration of Why I Love Cooperative Gameplay

"I'm a Dwarf employed by the Deep Rock Galactic interplanetary mining corporation. It seems like I've been working for them on Hoxxes, AKA the arse-end of the galaxy, for as long as I can remember. I applied after seeing the staggering payouts for mining Morkite in the dangerous caves, only to see my earnings whittled down by fees for room & board, equipment rentals, and having to pay back my passage there.

At this point, there's really only two ways to get out of the deal: Manage to save up enough to buy a ticket home, or die trying. Still a job's a job, and I'm Dwarf, so mining's literally in my bones. It's impossible for any one Dwarf to carry all of the gear that you'd need down in those caves, so we specialize. Me, I'm a driller. Means I get to walk around with big flarkin' drills hanging off my arms. If you ain't carrying these, you have to rely on a measly pickaxe, it's good for harvesting ores, like Morkite and Gold, but…

What the hell is wrong with Oliver Queen on Arrow?

It's been six years now since the CW network basically proved that you could actually make a Batman TV show. They launched Arrow, a somewhat grittier take on Green Arrow.

Billionaire playboy heir, Oliver Queen comes back after being stranded on a remote island for five years, with a secret vendetta to work his way down a list of corrupt politicians and businessman that included his father. His father died when their ship sank, and entrusted him with the list, asking his son to fix his mistakes. Fortunately, or perhaps not, there happened to be all sorts of weird people on the island, and douche bro Oliver picked up some scary ninja training, and penchant for archery.

The premise works very well for the initial season. That would be great, except that they keep trying to give Oliver an arch, but then ultimately deciding that he can't ACTUALLY change, because... reasons?

Our show starts off, and Oliver is selfish, paranoid, secretive, and murderous. He's more interested in c…

Wherein I spoil some of Person of Interest, in the hopes that you might watch it

What if I told you that a major television network produced a television show which followed the humans pawns in a war of two surveillance based, near omniscient artificial intelligences? If you're a hard corps scifi nut, that sentence probably has your drooling. The only problem is, that if that's the only part of PoI that tickles your fancy, it takes awhile to get there, and there aren't a lot of episodes that you can easily skip.

I could probably tell you to just start watching at the beginning of season 4, and you might get it, but I think you'd need a Bryce to watch it with you and explain certain backstories. I recently started re-watching it with the intention of identifying exactly when it shifts, and maybe coming up with a list of must watch, primer episodes, but I failed. You see, Person of Interest shifts so gradually from being a crime a week procedural to dealing with the fallout of the AI singularity, that even knowing it was coming, I didn't really n…

What's Bryce Playing? Warframe!

I know there's maybe five people that actually read my blog, and of the one of those people I actually know, I know they're already playing Warframe, but allow me to try and sell you on it anyway.


Warframe is something I've been waiting for, for a long time, it's a free to play, online RPG, that's not focused on competitive player vs player combat, and it doesn't punish you for not spending money on it.

What's the premise of Warframe? In the far future, humanity has spread out through the solar system, and various factions of post-humans are engaging in all-out warfare over the various resources of the solar system. You wake up from cryogenic stasis, a member of the Tenno faction. Tenno have access to biotechnological suits of armor, called Warframes (Think Iron Man, but rubbery... Rubber Man?). Warframes are rare, but they are powerful, which of course suits a videogame quite well. You can obliterate swarms of space baddies like you're mowing the lawn.