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KA.

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About KA.

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  1. Just turned off the Super Bowl. I have been playing a lot of EA NCAA Football 2010 lately, and one of the most common, and frustrating problems with that game is that, if you are doing too well, the AI begins calling ridiculous penalties to stop you. You will tackle someone around the knees and get called for a facemask. You will be break a 50 yard run for a touchdown, with no opposing player within 20 yards of you, and right before you cross the goal line you will see the yellow "FLAG" indicator and get hit with a clipping penalty because supposedly one of your players who is 30 yards behind you must have decided to cut out the legs of a defensive player who is also 30 yards behind you. That is just a video game, and I suppose the AI wants to prevent the game getting boring because of human players blowing out the computer opponents. However, in a little over a quarter of play, in what should be the most important pro football game of the year, I have seen: The Patriots offsides penalty being turned into a delay of game on the Rams. The Rams given a 15 yard penalty for tackling a Patriot who caught a pass. (didn't know that was illegal now) A blatant clothesline/horse-collar tackle by the Patriots turned into a false start on the Rams. After the egregious non-call in the Saints game ( a team I could not care less about, but a bad call is a bad call ) you would think there would be at least an effort to appear to do a better job. Aparrently not. If the NFL was a GM we would call it railroading. The narrative is that the Patriots are going to win, and nothing that the players do is going to change that. I am not really much of a pro football fan, so If the NFL wants to just put the trophy on permanent display in Tom Brady's locker, that is their right. But I would rather watch pro-wrestling if the outcome is pre-determined. They may as well bring in Bill Alfonso and let him call it "right down the middle". He already has a whistle. KA.
  2. Thanks so much for the links, and the reminder. I knew I had seen a news story about a similar occurence, but I could not remember the name or where it happened. KA.
  3. Currently watching Season One of The Wild WIld West. Recently bought the DVD's for 3 dollars. The show still holds up. This is the 40th Anniversary Edition and has lots of extras. Good stuff. KA.
  4. Thanks for the replies. The one time I had to travel in an actual snowstorm we were overprepared. Tire Chains, hand warmers, full ski-type mittens to go over our gloves, a few days worth of food (beef jerky, dried fruit, nuts, candy, lots of water packed in an insulated cooler so it wouldn't freeze), ski masks, snow boots, extra heavy socks, flares, a fully charged jump box for the car battery, you name it.) I had to travel to Green Bay Wisconsin from Louisville KY in a snowstorm so bad that they closed the airport, and come back in a worse one. We had no trouble at all.(Snow chains work great, by the way.) One of the first survival books I read was How to Stay Alive in The Woods by Bradford Angier, and one of the topics he brought up was that if you are in a survival situation, Be Careful! If you sprain your ankle playing touch football, it may mean a trip to the Immediate Care Center. If you sprain your ankle when you are alone in the woods with no way to get help, it could mean that you don't make it out. Hiking in a snowstorm over unkown terrain just seems like a recipe for disaster unless you have absolutely no alternative. The odds of getting hurt, lost, or actually killed vs the chance of running across Tom Bombadil out it the woods, seem to make it a losing proposition. Unless you are a very experienced orienteer or cross-county skier (and have the all the proper equipment with you), it always seemed to me that your best chance was staying put. Also, if it comes to the point where people are searching for you, it is a lot easier to find a car than a person. Anyway, thanks again, and if anyone thinks hiking for help is the best way to go, please join in. KA.
  5. There was a huge snowstorm predicted for my area last night. As usual it turned out to be nothing, but it brought to mind a discussion my wife and I have had on several occasions. Here is the situation: You are driving in a snowstorm, and you are off the beaten path, not on a major highway with constant traffic. (Perhaps you were heading over the river and through the woods to Grandmother's house and you got lost.) We are assuming that you do not have a cell phone, or that it has no signal where you are, so you cannot simply call for help and give out your GPS coordinates. In any case the road becomes inpassible and you are stuck where you are, at least until the storm is over. Assuming that you have wisely packed your vehicle with food and water (stored in coolers without ice to prevent freezing), and you have warm clothes, blankets, perhaps even sleeping bags to keep you warm, what is the best course of action? A. Everyone stay in the car. You are at least out of the wind and if you have proper clothing and blankets you should be able to stay alive until someone finds you, even if it takes a day or so. B. Someone should "Go for help", leaving the other people in the car. That way no one will be stuck in the car until they freeze to death. Having done quite a bit of reading on wilderness survival, I am a firm believer in staying with the car. If you were just dropped out of an airplane into a snowstorm, the first thing you would do is seek shelter. Since you are already in shelter, why wouldn't you stay there? Obviously if you passed a gas station or a house five minutes ago, you would walk back there for help, but I am talking about the middle of nowhere. I have read several tragic reports of people who "went for help" got lost in the snow, or injured themselves trying to hike through the snowstorm, and died. Usually the people they went hiking off to save are found safe and sound in the vehicle, while their frozen corpse turns up at the start of the spring thaw. My wife is a firm believer that a car in a snowstorm is a deathtrap, and that you will freeze solid within hours no matter what kind of clothing, blankets, or sleeping bags you have have. She is convinced that hypothermia will begin to set in the moment you turn the car off. Therefore she believes you should always "go for help" even if you are hiking into a blizzard with no idea of your destination. Obviously, I have exaggerated just a bit, but what I am actually looking for is some real information on surviving a storm in a car vs. taking your chances outside looking for help. How long could a person last at say 20 degrees F in a car with warm clothes and a sleeping bag vs. how long you would last in the same conditions outdoors, assuming a fairly heavy snow and a brisk wind, say 10-15 mph? In my opinion if you are in a sleeping bag rated for 0 degrees, and you are out of the wind, say in a car, you should be fine for quite some time assuming adequate food and water. But, I have been wrong before, does anyone, especially someone who has done some cold weather camping and/or survival training have a strong opinion? After all, I would hate to have the last words spoken by my wife's frostbitten lips be "I told you so . . ." Just kidding, I actually love my wife too much to take her out in those conditions in the first place, but I do wonder which one of us is closer to being correct. KA.
  6. Just finished watching The Nightmare Before Christmas for the second time. The first time I watched, years ago when my wife bought me the DVD, I found it rather slow, but at the time I thought it was just me. Watched it with the wife this time, after going through most of my Christmas movie collection, and she said "That seemed kind of long, what was it, about 2 hours?" 75 minutes. I know everyone else loves it. It's Tim Burton. It's Goth. It has bushel baskets of style oozing from every frame. People all over the country have Jack Skellington tattoos, and shirts and hats. But I just find it painfully slow to actually watch the thing. I think Jack is really cool too, I could even see myself getting a shirt or mug with him on it. But I think this is one of those things where the creator fell so in love with his creation that he didn't leave a single frame on the cutting room floor. I think that buried somewhere in this morass is a very clever and original half-hour show, that got bloated beyond all recognition. Go ahead, hate me, but that is the way I feel. KA. P.S. Before that we watched an animated (probably straight to video) Christmas movie called "Saving Santa". It was way better than I expected (because I expected it to be crap :) ) It has some halfway acceptable songs, it has an interesting time travel subplot that they handle fairly well for a crappy cartoon, and Tim Curry does the voice of the villain. If you see it for a dollar, and you have kids that will watch anything that has Santa attached, you may want to check it out.
  7. Arise and walk the earth again, oh Zombie thread! Actually I was thinking of starting a thread on Daniel Bryan, and when I remembered this one, I thought it might be the better place for the post. For those who have not been keeping up, Daniel Bryan has been having a feud with the Wyatt Family. I can't say that I watch every week, so I may have missed the really great stuff that this group has done, but I just don't get it. Are they Vince's idea of cashing in on Duck Dynasty or Swamp People or what? You have a couple of big hillbillies, and one fat hillbilly with greasy hair and a hat, that sits in a rocking chair and occasionally says something that makes no sense. I think we are supposed to see them as some kind of weird redneck cult or something, but I just don't get any "heat" from it. They are just annoying. I know they keep beating up Daniel Bryan, which is okay, getting beaten up is in his job description, but now they appear to be going with the "You can't win" angle. Not the "Get beaten up and finally beat the heel group by overcoming the overwhelming odds." angle, but the completely hopeless "No, you really can't win no matter what you do." angle. As I have stated previously in my posts on "realistic" comics, I don't really like entertainment that is so "realistic" as to be depressing. Everyone struggles against things that cannot be overcome. The death of loved ones, our own mortality, illness, accidents, these things affect even the most wealthy and privileged. The vast majority of us face many more struggles: financial worries, job loss, abusive bosses, relationships with the wrong people all of these things can put us in situations that can seem "no win" at the time we are going through them. I, for one, turn to entertainment for some respite from the things in my life that are getting me down. So watching fictional scenarios where the hero really cannot win, does nothing for me. So now, Daniel Bryan has joined the Wyatt family, based on the idea that if you keep beating someone down they will bow to the inevitable and become your slave. I am not denying that this can happen. Sadly, human history is full of this story, from battered women who won't leave their abuser, to entire nations that have been subjugated by an overwhelming force. I just don't find it entertaining. And I can't imagine it will be good for Daniel Bryan's career. The group he is joining is boring, and I don't think he will be enough to lift them up. Instead I think they will drag him down. KA.
  8. Re: What Have You Watched Recently? Frozen - a pretty good suspense/horror movie about three people trapped on a ski-lift throught a combination of bad luck and their own stupidity. Yes, there are some plot holes. Yes, we as gamers could have figured out 10 solutions to their problem before we started to get cold. Still, not at all bad and a nice alternative to the slasher/torture porn films that seem to comprise nearly all recent horror. KA.
  9. Re: What Have You Watched Recently? Paranormal Activity - Blair Witch Lite Pineapple Express - Surprisingly funny stoner comedy / action movie. KA.
  10. Re: What Fantasy/Sci-Fi book have you just finished? Please rate it...
  11. Re: Ideas for a hero name ? Very glad to help. In my rush to find something for you I completely missed the fact that you were French. Since that site can go straight from French to the language you are interested in, it should help a lot. Happy to be of service, KA.
  12. Re: Ideas for a hero name ? Oh, by the way, the translations above came from: http://dictionaries.travlang.com/ They have English to _______ dictionaries for quite a few languages. You may try things like Blizzard, Snowstorm, Snowblind, etc. translated into some other languages. KA.
  13. Re: Ideas for a hero name ? German avalanche -- die Lawine avalanche -- die Stossentladung avalanche -- Lawine avalanche -- Stossentladung Swedish avalanche 1. bergskred, lavin, skred KA.
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