I suppose I have a bit of learning to do…I played my first bit of The Elder Scrolls Online on my PS4 tonight and it seemed pretty much like the same thing as on PC. Basic beginning and I made it through the tutorial so not much the write about, but I need to figure out the screenshot thing. The PS4 will take screenshots and videos for you, but I can't figure out the mechanism to upload them anywhere but Facebook or Twitter. I want them to go to a photo gallery so I can share them here. Anyone know how this process works? Oh wel, I'll figure it out – that's what Google is for.
Not too shabby, but I was down by 10 going into Monday's game.
Jamal Charles really had a good game though and it was over pretty early. I actually didn't even watch the game, but my app kept me updated with all the scoring.
My sports focus has been baseball where my team – the Angels – are fighting for a playoff spot. Baseball always takes precedence over football for me.
Coursera periodically sends me emails about courses that might interest me based on the couple of classes I've taken with them. This week one that caught my eye is Fantasy and Science Fiction: The Human Mind, Our Modern World.
It looks pretty good, but also looks like a lot of work. The description says it will take 8-12 hours a week for 11 weeks, but I figure that's for fast readers.
The whole idea is to read a classic novel or set of short stories each week and discuss it – assumeably in class forums. They cover books such as Alice in Wonderland, Frankenstein, The Martian Chronicles, and Dracula. Sad to say, I haven't read any of those, but would like to. The only book on the list they are reading that I have read already is the Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. LeGuin, which is a pretty good book.
I haven't decided if I'm gonna sign up – if nothing else to get some motivation and maybe be able to see what others have to say about the books covered – but that's a lot of time that I don't have right now.
In any case, I wanted to point it out for anyone interested in reading some classics in a guided fashion with an instructor and other interested readers.
This week has been crazy. Work has been holding my attention most days from 6am to 7pm and I'm pretty exhausted afterwards. But that hasn't stopped the real world – I'm pretty sure we have some raccoons or other critter(s) that have come to live in the attic. So my time not thinking about work has been spent working on a solution to extract said rodents…not fun…and if I was leveling up in this skill, I'd say it's a grind. No entry or exit is obvious when looking around the outside of the house, but they make noises and scratching sounds around 5:30am the past few days. I think it's time for a professional…
On the gaming front, I've already rambled about my frustration with AFKs and lag in League and my struggles with DOTA 2's camera movement, but I am pleased to say that after 4 days and many calls to Time Warner Cable, I downloaded the content for Elder Scrols Online and Destiny for my new PS4. I haven't played yet because of my other activities, but they are ready and waiting for me.
A look at the TV side of things, I was able to watch a few of the new shows, and I'd have to say so far, my favorites are The Muppets and Scream Queens. Both shows surprised me. The Muppets we're clever and did not turn me off – being more “adult” than other Muppet shows, and SQ was actually quite funny and as we all learned with Guardians of the Galaxy, a great soundtrack can make a show – all the 80s and 90s music really had me paying attention to the details that they obviously paid close attention to. Definitely going to keep watching these 2 over the next few weeks to see if they can keep up the good stuff that interested me.
Oh well, once again I don't have much time, so I'm gonna leave it at that. Pretty good week, but busy as hell. Hope things go well this week and work starts to slow down; and of course we come up with a solution to the raccoon/rodent problem.
DOTA 2 is not easy. Not even after playing a bunch of League and Heroes. I think the biggest part of my trouble lies in the movement/camera movement – it's so different. I am having a difficult time getting used to the click to move and mouse to the edge of the screen to move the camera. I just want a nice following camera that I don't have to deal with while trying to move and fight. I never realized how much I liked being able to click on a spot in the map and keep my mouse down and nicely keep moving in that direction. And I can now understand why I sometimes see people clicking all over the place in League – they came from DOTA. In any case, it's gonna take some getting used to.
On the other hand, I love the fact that I can play any champ I want.
All champs are open to use and there are lots of them. This is good and bad. I love the options, but I hate that I am likely to bounce from champ to champ struggling along until I win a game or two with one. So far I haven't even succeeded once – except for the tutorial training match – and I immediately lost a game using the champ I won that match with.
So I tried out a couple games and other than fighting with the camera and the click movement, and the fact I had no idea what the abilities of the champs were, and the fact I seemed to keep picking squishy champs, I was having fun…Until my 3rd game…somehow, I after 12 minutes, I ended up as the only person on my team still playing. All 4 of my teammates had a disconnected symbol on their icons. Then I saw this…
Yeah, on the bottom right, you can see the button that says…Disconnect. What the hell is this? And right above it…This game is safe to leave??????? What is this??? How can the game be safe to leave? Is this condoned AFK? If someone doesn't think they are doing well enough, they can 'safely' disconnect? Not sure I like this. I'm gonna have to find out more about this…I'm not sure I want to be playing a team game that condones leaving.
BTW, I wasn't able to find this screen in my next game, so I was very confused. In any case, I have a lot to learn about DOTA 2.
It just so happens that Kotaku had an article today talking about transitioning from League of Legends to DOTA 2. I was happy to see it since I am seriously looking to move from LoL to something else because of all the lag, toxicity, and AFKs as I mentioned yesterday.
The article mentioned a resource – dotabuff.com that will help with the transition, particularly in picking some champions to try out that are similar to what you play in League. So I headed over there is give it a shot to see what the results were.
For my League champs, I selected Ahri, Morgana, Zyra, Thresh, Twisted Fate, Heimerdinger, and Xin Zhao, covering a range of mid laners, support, jungle and top laners. I think these are the champs I tend towards when I have the option.
So here are the results of my selection…I'm not really sure who any of these champs are, but they are certainly ones I'll try out to start my journey into DOTA.
I think I'll give Leshrac a shot first since he seems to be pretty popular and has a win rate over 50%.
With all my reservations about how this new take on the beloved Muppets was going to play out, I was entertained by the pilot episode. I'm not enamored with the breakup between Ms. Piggy and Kermit, but after watching this episode, I can kinda see what the writers are trying to do, and I really liked how they made the breakup emotionally tangible and touching. I'm not on board with Kermit's new girlfriend though.
On the whole, I think this show can work if the writers keep focused and continue the interplay between the vaudevillian muppets of yesteryear and the more modern adult themed late night show they are portraying here. My main hope is they steer clear of politics and religion as I would really hate to see that tarnish thrown at the beloved Muppets, but as far as this one episode goes, I can deal with a little bit of adult themes. So far, this has been my favorite new show of the season.
I don't recall seeing this movie, but the concept seems decent, and it figures that today's society would embrace a pill that gives a person super intelligence and capabilities, but I'm not entirely sold on the show. This really seems like it may devolve into a “buddy” cop / X-files type show, but I'm willing to give it a chance. I think of all the new “alternative” cop shows that I've seen so far this season, this one leaves the most up in the air after the pilot. One thing that bothered me was the whole subway scene – there really was no reason he had to stand in front of the train to show how he brilliantly calculated where it would stop – that was just silly, and the whole chess/guitar riffing scene was as well.
This is another “alternative” cop show, though I suppose cops are no longer in fashion – it's the FBI. Of course there is a twist – one “buddy” has amnesia and a bunch of tattoos all over her body. This show seems to have some promise but I rally can't stand how much of an asshole the FBI guy is portraying. One thing each of these police dramas have is the first 5 minutes really trying to capture your attention. This one is pretty interesting with Jane Doe in Times Square in a duffle bag, but I don't think they built up from that enough. Along with the others, I'll continue to give this show a chance but so far, none of the cop dramas grab my attention enough that I'm dying to see the next episode.
League of Legends
I think I am reaching the end of my efforts in LoL for this season. Ever since the server move to Chicago, I have consistently had to deal with pings ranging from 200-500ms. My attempt at a fix by purchasing a new cable modem has done nothing to resolve the problem, and other than trying to learn new champs that can deal with the lag (that are less reliant on skill shots and can survive half a second of not knowing what's going on), I'm not sure my appreciation of the game supersedes my frustrations at this point. In addition to my personal lag issues, I am pretty sure this is a problem many are seeing since while I'm not 100% sure, it seems like I have an AFK in 75% of the games I've played in the past week. Now this is not always on my team nor is it always due to the servers disconnecting someone, but trying to enjoy a game where 3 outta 4 games are decided by which team keeps the most players is just becoming tiring. Sure, I've won a few of the games when down 4 to 5, but that usually requires extraordinary effort (or somehow we've got a smurf or 2) on our team or some really bad decisions by the opposing team.
The sad part is that I don't see things improving. In the past, I've seen lag for a day or two, but things got better. I've seen many games with AFKs and disconnects, but not with this consistency for a long period of time. Perhaps I should give it a bit more time, but I am really close to calling it quits at least for the rest of the season. I've already given up on trying to make any headway on getting outta bronze this season – there's just no time and with AFKs and lag, I've actually fallen down to Bronze 3 after being in promos for Silver.
Oh well, there are other MOBAs out there – I'll have to check to see if they have the same lag/AFK/toxicity problems League has.
Kinda a sad commentary on the state of scripted “alternate” crime dramas when the most exciting thing I watched last night was the Great British Baking Show, and that was the PBS version – the 2013 BBC 4th season. They are on their 6th season in the UK now.
In any case, I watched the Baking show and then Gotham and Minority Report.
Gotham did a decent job of building on some of the positives of last season, but it still just seems like a show with all promise and no carry through. I keep waiting for it to get good. This was not the episode, but there were a few hints – Penguin was once again a central character and I like what they are doing with Barbara. Things could get interesting this season since the big bad – Galavan – seems to be more interesting than the mob boss types they threw at us last season. Let's hope so, and let's hope the season starts to pick up – I have too many things on my DVR as it is…oh yeah, and that running cam was horrible.
Speaking of which, I watched Minority Report right afterwards, and it…kept me awake at least. The best scene of the show was the first 5 minutes where basically you get introduced to the concepts of precog visions and the main character – Dash – struggles to get to a crime and stop a murder. Lotsa running around and stuff, but after that scene, it tends to go south. How many times do we have to be reintroduced to the precog concept? It seemed like they knew they had a great idea – precog – but since it was cool, they had to keep hitting you on the head with it. And the tie in to the movie – that the people punished by the precogs were mentally damaged by the punishment – didn't really fit in with the fact that the cops seemed to want to go back to that time. I'll give this one a few more chances, but like Gotham, it seems to be all promises and no carry through. Hopefully it will turn things around, but if it becomes some kind of crimal/crime of the week type show that I have a feeling it will, I don't expect it will last long on my watch list.
Fantasy Football week 2
This week was pretty good. I scored more than last week but didn't need to. My QB – Luck didn't do so hot, but my receiving core and Tight End more than made up for it. 114.6 points is not too bad I don't think. My star was Jamal Charles, but Megatron, Marshal, and Martin did real well too. Actually, Doug Martin is a joke in our league – last season he did well only when on the bench.
Fear the Walking Dead
Well, last episode started to have some promise but I really am just waiting for something to enjoy in Fear the Walking Dead. I think maybe it's because the real Walking Dead is a show that tends to focus on building up a society from the rubble while FtWD focuses on the disintegration of society. I still just can't find anyone to root for or relate to in this show. I started to like the daughter of Manawa, and I think she's the closest to someone I can relate to, but I'm just not too sure – her obsession with her dead or dying boyfriend might cause her to do some thing dumb and in the end of civilization that could get her killed. At least something interesting happened when the military took people away, but it was only a cliff hanger that may or may not be interesting next week…only 2 more episodes left…just doesn't seem much has happened this season anyway.
Gotham Season 2
Just watched the first half of the a season 2 premier of Gotham and it's doing a decent job of setting things up for the rest of the season, but OMG! the running cam is ridiculous. I got dizzy watching Gordon running though the alleyways. Hope the sophomore season builds on the better parts of the first season.