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Everything posted by Toth

  1. Students yesterday asked me out of the blue about the last movie or series I watched... and I realized I haven't watched any for years. That caused me to think about why and I have a certain feeling that streaming services in general killed all my motivation to do so because I don't see a reason to pay money to get access to stuff I will complain about anyway. It's just so much of a hassle nowadays with so many competing services with each only having one maybe possibly interesting show and lots of garbage and it just simply doesn't seem worth it to me. If want to know what's up with Andor or Lower Decks, I end up skimming cropped out scenes on Youtube to judge whether it's worthwhile and then move on. Really weird...
  2. True. I must admit, it always irked me how there are only very few really good TOS episodes that I can watch without cringing. Specifically "Balance of Terror", "Errand of Mercy", "Trouble with Tribbles", "Journey to Babel", "The Doomsday Machine" and... that's it, pretty much. Granted, there are a couple of average episodes as well like "Arena" (as silly as the Gorn fight is shot), most of the time travel episodes, "Space Seed", "A Taste of Armageddon", "The Devil in the Dark" and maybe "A Piece of Action" just for the silliness of that planet's hat and the Enterprise shooting a stun phaser barrage into a city block. Have I missed any? I think if you've seen these episodes, you've got the best of TOS alright.
  3. I've been thinking about making a Soba/Miso combination that I stumbled across because I got stacks of soba noodles in a sale and have an opened miso bag in the fridge for weeks already. That recipe calls for poached egg. Maybe that's easier because you don't have the hassle of peeling it. XD But yes, I also read that troublesome peeling is a sign that the eggs are actually very fresh.
  4. Both our combat encounters were ambushes where we took out our opponent piling on them all together during a surprise turn, we didn't even get to roll initiative or whatever Pathfinder uses. We very nearly had a third encounter where a guard caught us setting up a trap, but I managed to divert him with Ghost Sound. Yes, I took the goblin wizard. Trying to get into the barn proved quite difficult when we noted it was locked and nobody picked the rogue. Our fighter lost two fingernails trying to pick the lock, causing much amusement. In the end the DM threw us a boon and let the cleric burn a hero point to get the hint that we could just dig our way in.
  5. Fairly sure 2. I guess if you say so, it may be the reason why we were even able to sneak around so successfully. Though the DM said this campaign usually ends with a Total Party Kill.
  6. Just came back from a convention where I had my first ever pen & paper game with a group of strangers in a one-shot. It was a game of Pathfinder (which I can appreciate a lot considering I had bought Pathfinder/Starfinder a while ago in a Humble Bundle anyway). We were a party of four unarmed lvl. 1 goblins tasked to raid a village for weapons and chickens. Went actually quite well since we avoided fair combat at all cost, but instead were only sneaking around, setting traps and killing two guards in ambushes, raiding a barn in between. We were too stupid to find the chicken coop and bailed after getting the amount of weapons we needed to get, but success is success.
  7. To be fair, it's not like the show is intended to be competitive. It's actually quite ambivalent. In some episodes the opponent throws the team a boon bumbling around and falling into the most harebrained most telegraphed 'ploys' they had come up with, while at other times they go quite viciously about dismantling a comparably well coordinated team even though they did things mostly right. Still, there were some quite triumphant episodes. At the top of my mind I can think of the Teutoburg Forest battle with a team essentially going through the entire thing in one tight battle formation, clubbing down the attacking Germanics piecemeal. The show actually inspired me to create a few lessons in a similar style, tasking my students to roleplay their way through historical battles and analyze the circumstances of the era. Mostly as a bit of a fun breather at the end or the beginning of a topic. Already did lessons around the Battle of Austerlitz, the Battle of Ilipa and, fittingly, Pharsalus.
  8. And don't forget the British show "Time Commanders" with Richard Hammond of later Top Gear fame as a host and historians like Mike Loades as advisors. It was such a uniquely insane concept of a game show where teams "commanded" people playing historical battles in the Rome: Total War engine while the historical advisers would explain tactics and technology of the time. Great fun. They did a three episode revival special a couple of years ago where they played Napoleon, Rome II and Attila with much higher production values. Well, I guess I myself eventually have to try and get back into the franchise. I utterly loved Rome I and played all its various mods and somehow nothing really captured the magic of stuff like Europa Barbarorum back then again. I played Medieval II a lot as well, but somehow despite all the praise never as much as Rome and also didn't dabbled much with mods. I somehow had a bit of a problem with how much of the game boiled down to throwing cavalry at everything and I also in my first ever playthrough had some rather ghastly pathfinding breakdowns that caused whole units to suicide jumping down walls or somehow dying in droves getting stuck on enemy siege engines and I never forgave the game that. Empire I played somehow inexplicably far more than Medieval, even though my very first playthrough also felt infuriating because of the dumb AI getting strokes at all the map clutter or when pathfinding through needlessly complicated forts. But at least shooting stuff worked and Napoleon was a marked improvement as well, even though its more linear campaign caused me to only play through it once and then never touch it again. Oddly, I... have Shogun 2, but never really played it. I had serious trouble running the game, which was two computers ago, but never got around trying it again. The next game I then played was Warhammer 2, which I had a lot of fun with, especially with the vast variations between the different factions. Warhammer 3's faction don't really interest me however. I also got Total War Troy from the Epic giveaway, but as I said, the game didn't run very well and I ended up just briefly fooling around in my Penthesilea campaign. Ah, I just remember I also bought Attila in a Humble Bundle, grabbed the Belisarius DLC and played that... well, until I got Italy, but then somehow wandered off. Never played the main game. Also never picked up Rome 2 either, despite the setting being very much to my liking. At some point at Empire I had started to resent its 'gameified' development and how uselessly fragile infantry became and that essentially if you don't want to have ludicrous casualties in every single stupidly fast engagement, you should just sit on your ass shooting things. Three Kingdoms would interest me a little however, so I will see when I get it at a great discount...
  9. Nah. I really don't like letting anyone see me work out. My anxiety makes me stop in my tracks immediately. I guess that's why I am so annoyed by my coworkers hanging out doing sports every week as that's really something I can't make myself join.
  10. I was only trying to make fun.^^ Having written a story myself about the battle of Kadesh, the setting does indeed intrigue me. And I do find ancient warfare with all the local technologies and eccentricities far more interesting than any more modern ones where everyone follows the same developments. Granted, I still haven't played much with Troy, mostly because the game ran really badly on my system for some reason (which I found odd, given how Warhammer 2 ran perfectly on it...).
  11. If that was the case, it's odd that it got spread around so extremely quickly in social media at the same time as the air bombardment pics and various simultaneous declarations of victory. It all seemed very intentional to me. I'm not thinking Russia's troll networks all work for the same backyard border guard commander.
  12. I've been following the news cycle of this troll maneuver with cautious skepticism. From the beginning it was clear that Ukraine wasn't going to make a genuine attack into Russia, but instead it was a raid to force Russia to shuffle enough troops to defend their borders again, which in turn could very well open up weaknesses where Ukraine can guide their counterattack into. Well, that and obviously embarrassing Russia so much that the loss of Bachmut would get pushed out of the news cycle, instead invoking all the meme armies of the west by making a satire of Russia's modus operandi of 2014. HOWEVER, I was absolutely startled yesterday when Russia posted these ridiculously staged pictures as well as grainy air bombardment footages from god knows when to instantly declare victory over the 'Russian rebels'. Are they so scared shitless of their own population that they instantly had to waste effort to create these utterly unconvincing clown fakes instead of, you know, just neutrally stating that they are engaging the 'rebels' and using the fog of war to declare that they have dispersed? Because right now, these ludicrous declarations of instant victory countered by dumbfounded statements from the Ukrainian side that there hasn't been a concerted counterattack yet only manage to make Russia look even more desperate and weak than if they just said no comment. We are talking about only 50-100 dudes causing havoc after all. So Russian troops are now shoveling for propaganda shoots instead of, you know, shooting at those? I guess we can consider ourselves lucky. Granted, I'm still hoping they manage to withdraw in order and without great casualties before Russia remembers their air strike capabilities on their own ground.
  13. Uhm... guys with spears? To be fair, I can imagine an in-depth mercenary system to fill holes in your line-ups with expensive elites.
  14. Well, laughing out funny it wasn't to me, but still cute. Not sure this stuff here was worth 20 bucks though: https://i.imgur.com/sQ4RWwC.jpg
  15. Granted, I hadn't watched much Anime at all recently, so there is plenty of other stuff to catch up on. I'm also not really that interested in Shounen demographic shows either. Looking at my last posts here, it's time for a recap of the last two years. Higurashi Gou/Sotsu unfortunately turned out to be a horrific shit show despite the underlining idea being decent. Very sad about it as it was set to tie together the entire When they Cry Franchise. It's especially frustrating because one girl I met through the Madoka Magica mobile game and with whom I watched the show with another board member from here together... cut off all contact specifically because the queer-bating of Sotsu and its complete erasure in a stupid spin-off manga infuriated her to the point that she doesn't want anything to do with the franchise anymore and somehow that also meant not wanting to talk with anyone who shared that fandom. Quite baffling, but also a testament to just how horrible it was. The Madoka Magica Side Story: Magia Record finale was absolutely fantastic however. At least I liked it. She didn't either, also because one of her favourite characters got still her slightly OOC game ending even though just about everything was changed and vastly improved. Last year I then went very main stream and watched SpyxFamily. Just an absolutely lovely feel-good Anime decent humor (even if you need very strong suspension of disbelief to stomach its zaniness). Still have to catch up on the second season though. Ended up buying a (stupidly overpriced) Lucky Bag at a convention. Well... there is also one more Anime that I... kind of looked into. I explained the fallout of that in the History in Books thread over in the literature category. But yeah, looking for shits and giggles into what sounded like the most fucked up premise of last year's Anime season was quite the rabbit hole. I ended up watching a few episodes of that Harem Labyrinth Isekai thingy, expecting the absolute worst and finding... myself very conflicted. Because the story started out astonishingly honest about its protagonist being a rapist with an absurdly self-serving mindset who constantly justifies his horrific behavior by saying "That's normal here!" and "I'm still treating them nicely" while portraying his 'partner' be absolutely terrified of him. That combined with the implication that he's a bullied loner with crippling trust issues who ends up in a fantasy game world and is so thoroughly distrustful to the point of buying sex slaves and turn them into an adventuring party because the idea of talking to other adventurers and joining them doesn't even cross his mind. Unfortunately it never at all catches that it's a fantastic premise for a nasty deconstruction of that ever present Isekai genre and instead goes deep into the unfortunately expected other extreme of an absurdly unrepentant power fantasy, with the girls he rapes inexplicably falling in love with him. Yes, really. I abandoned it after a couple of episodes and skimming the manga, but had a few very nice in-depth discussions on Reddit with others who felt the same hope for a deconstruction and the same confusion about that hope being immediately crushed. In the end I wondered whether I myself should just go out of my way and write an Isekai deconstruction with a "sympathetic" villain protagonist gaslighting himself into thinking he's a hero despite traumatizing his companions with his actions born from the idea that as an Isekai protagonist, but with that veil ripped away from him after a while and having to face the fucked up shit he did. Heck, I even ended up writing up a few pages of brainstorming about its setting...
  16. Amusingly, just a few weeks ago I had a tiny flashback to our conversation when a few students after the lesson tried to pull out of my opinion on certain Anime they liked and One Piece was one of them. I gave them the same answer that I gave to you back then. Well, I saw the Anime on TV because streaming wasn't a thing when I was a kid, so... I got the whole filler and pacing issues on top of endless reruns of the same episodes. This thoroughly soured me on the show. And until I finally hear that they finally found the bloody treasure I won't even consider giving it another try (hypocritical still has to catch up on the last 300 episodes of Detective Conan as well XD).
  17. Just ended up rewatching my favourite Tribute video about Rome:
  18. No words. The world is just unfair... Really loved him in everything I saw of him. First and foremost of course in Rome, but also in King Arthur and The Three Musketeers and really wished to see him in GoT back then. And yes, full agreement with Tywin, he would have been Victarion.
  19. Ah yes, no. I didn't mean for sports. I'm also jogging three times a week again, for whatever good it does me. Talking more about me going back to try finding stuff to do where I can practice socializing some more. Case in point, turns out that thing I was asked in a Discord to come to was indeed a full-fledged convention and not the geek meetup at a youth center to which I in the end never went to. Turns out "Respawned" and "Respawn" are two different events by the same organizer. So I will go to that next Sunday and see whether I'll be able to have a conversation or two.
  20. Truth be told, my only friends are from here, but I'm an outlier and don't count.^^ But yea, full agreement with Mme deVenoge, it's a specific combination of the shared interest in the same kind of stories that somehow also leads to relatively similar views on the world here as well as the anonymity. Heck, I'm only this honest about what's going on in my life here specifically because I'll never have to meet anyone here in person.^^ Well, I guess it was simply dumb to try in the first place. I really should stop panicking about my age and focus on getting more outside.
  21. Pretty much this is why the Ukrainians are at the same time bragging about rolling up the Russian flanks. Even if they can't really encircle the city, they can now bomb the Russians with artillery when they try to advance from the city. Ukrainians also claim they still hold a slim strip at the outskirts, so I guess there will still be some fighting anyway.
  22. Sounds somewhat like she has some major insecurities going on...
  23. I guess I can be just quietly glad that I'm born male and somehow missed the memo about what this puberty stuff was supposedly about. But hey, at least that also means no stupid hair on the chest and in the armpits... Btw, I also deleted the dating apps yesterday again. I thought I had better pictures this time around, but getting three likes in almost two months in total and all of them immediately unmatching is just... well, I guess I dodged putting even more pressure on myself forcing myself to be sociable, so there is that.
  24. To me it's interesting to know the range difference between the missiles F-16s would carry and Russian S-400 batteries that would endanger the F-16s. According to Wikipedia, the S400 usually has a range of 240 kilometers. The AGM-158 JASSM used by the F-16 has at its baseline configuration a range of 370 km. Sounds safe enough to use against stationary targets, but I somehow get the impression that other far more limited missiles are being used for close air support missions, which is what I believe what Ukraine needs the most to shield their offensive. Case in point, I'm just seeing that the AGM-158 JASSM has identical combat role of the Storm Shadow supplied by the British...
  25. Sure, but these last months nothing of the sort happened and I'm still an anxiety riddled mess. I still react quite wounded whenever she's nagging about stuff I did or didn't do, but I suppose it's normal that a mother unthinkingly criticizes tiny stuff. I guess there is also two things she picked up that further fuel my anxiety. For one she starts to curse and grumble to herself when doing chores by herself, which I always take as an indicator I have to drop everything and help her because I think she's grumbling about me and expects me to do something, but unlike previous instances where it was indeed to tell me I should get up and do stuff, now she claims she picked the habit up from her coworkers who do it all the time and I shouldn't worry about it, it's just to release steam. The other thing is that now sometimes when she enters my room when I'm working at the computer she may crane with her head over my shoulder to look at something that caught her attention on my computer screen (apparently because her eyes are becoming worse) and then complains about me recoiling and tensing up about it, saying I shouldn't act like this because it's not like she cares what I'm doing. And yet those instances are far in between. Most of the time she genuinely just wants to talk to me about stuff she picked up on TV or at work (or look out of my window or check on the cat or the time on my clock or putting away stuff in the drawer...) and reacts unhappy about why I'm almost never saying anything in response, just being tense and silently waiting for her to go away. It's like all my current anxiety runs on accumulated resentment and that is the part I have to overcome in order to come to true acceptance. Because as it is I fear if I ever get into a relationship with someone, I'd similarly just be searching for stuff to resent and reasons to withdraw. I can't live like that. So I'm trying to not minimize all my tabs anymore when she enters and treat it as normal so that my anxiety has nothing to feed on. Similarly I should really stop complaining about her and treat her like she's the source of it when my anxiety at this point is constant at home and her presence just conveniently triggers it. I mean, I really need to save that money up and get it done with the house for things to improve, there is no other way around. For my application at the Japanese school I got a rejection and then the school put up a new job advertisement for specifically one of my subjects a couple of months later. So I'm assuming this mean they clearly saw me as too crappy because of my horrible grade in my final exam of teacher training and so going abroad will be very unlikely. Even though, oddly, I just this week received a mail from a school right down the street I applied to in 2019 with the principal asking whether I'm still interested, so that gives me a slight confidence bonus (though there is no way in hell I will go to a school that causes half the neighborhood to recognize me, even if it is quite well regarded). Knowing myself, I'd probably be quite worried, but I am also aware that I simply can't change anything. Complaining just makes things worse for my mental health.
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