VinnyVideo blogged

Once upon a time, I made a blog. Occasionally I'd post rambling things about politics, sports, and technology here. Then I got busy finishing up my education and totally forgot this was a thing! (I also toyed with putting some longform blog posts on Tumblr, a medium terribly unsuited for such writing.)

COVID-19 has dramatically increased my free time in recent months, giving me an opportunity to catch up on a lot of things near the bottom of my personal backlog. The pandemic - and all the disruption it's caused - has also messed with my sense of time, and it's inspired me to reflect on some things.

There's no denying it: Old blog posts are seriously awkward! Especially things you wrote about when your age started with "1".

I was smarter than a lot of kids - or at least I had impeccable grammar and could fool people into thinking I possessed brain cells! However, I also didn't have a particularly vibrant social life (being home-schooled and living in a neighborhood full of senior citizens isn't too good for this), and I didn't have a clear idea about what I wanted to do next. I was also under the illusion that someone on the Internet actually cared about what I wrote!

I've given some thought to deleting my old blog posts - I don't think anyone's reading them, and since I often talked about politics, I worry about people digging up old posts and quoting things out of context. On the other hand, deleting old content feels like erasing history, and I probably haven't posted anything too horrible by the standards of Ancient Internet Posts.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Awkwardness aside, blogging is still a beautiful thing. While blogging certainly isn't dead (WordPress is the most popular content management system on the Internet, after all), most people doing personal blogging have abandoned it in favor of newer forms of social media. While modern social media is perceived as "easier" in some ways, there's a charm from old-school blogs and forums that's lacking in the generic blue-themed walled gardens of newer social networks like Facebook and Twitter. Blogs are also a lot more searchable than video content.

More importantly, blog posts are usually at least a few paragraphs in length. And that's something we need more than ever. While brevity has its place, one of the reasons why places like Twitter are so toxic is they thrive on controversy - when you only have 140 (or 280) characters to work with, you really can't back up your opinions with solid facts, so short, incendiary posts tend to be the most popular ones. (Politicians, including the current leader of the free world, are not helping in this regard, either!)

I miss the older era of the online world - back when the Internet was more experimental, playful, decentralized, text-based, and desktop-first. I prefer small forums and blogs run by hobbyists, rather than huge social networks focused on selling data to make Silicon Valley rich.

It also feels that the hobbyist user is getting squeezed out of the modern online world. When people aren't coming to blows about politics, everything's about building a brand and monetizing a product. A decade ago, the online world was more experimental and playful, and I miss that. I'm not putting down folks who earn some spending money - or a living - from their online presence. But I also think it's great to have some spaces where people are focused on having fun and not worrying about building a brand.

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I miss the optimistic (and naive!) spirit of the older online world. I miss the days when people thought the Internet and social media were going to bring us together, not drive us apart; when the Information Age would usher in a new age of freedom and democracy, instead of becoming a tool for spreading misinformation. And with more people using their real names online, things can get a lot more vicious.

Now, I should be clear - the online world of the aughts had plenty of toxic attitudes. We've also made some progress - faster Internet speeds, far prettier cameras, and a stronger focus on accessibility are all positive steps. However, I miss the days when the online world was more carefree and upbeat.

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As previously mentioned, reading old blog posts is seriously awkward! Still, it's interesting to see how things have changed - or haven't.

December 2012: This is still an interesting post! I was wondering whether the Internet truly improve our lives. Modern digital technology now touches pretty much every aspect of our lives, and it's not feasible (or desirable) to try to eliminate PCs, smart phones, and high-speed Internet from our lives. Still, my conclusion to this post does a great job of summarizing how I still feel about this topic:

quote "Vinny"
Even though I've always used the Internet in a relatively responsible way, I find my productivity, creativity, and personal sanity go in a positive direction when I keep my "plugged in" time to a healthy limit.
November 2012: More recent politicians have paid lip service to the declining state of many small towns/Rust Belt big cities. Whether any of their actions have been successful is another story!

April 2010: There's been an increase in Black representation on TV commercials lately, though I still don't see a lot of Hispanic or Asian people. (That said, about the only TV I watch is football and baseball, which may not be a representative sample!)

March 2010: For the first and only time in my life, someone actually listened to one of my ideas. One of my proposals for fixing the old Bowl Championship Series for deciding the college football national champion is exactly what the modern College Football Playoff is now. I think the CFP is a very good model, and I hope they don't don't dilute it by adding another round.

August 2009: My town still isn't laid out well! In some ways it's probably gotten even worse.

May 2009: I wrote about a local leader of a religious organization who said and did some not-very-good things. A decade later, this same organization ran into dire financial straits, in part because they paid their leaders way too much instead of maintaining their buildings (or divesting property they no longer needed). There are so many ways this story could've had a happier ending.

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In other news, the pandemic has given me a lot more time to play games - and make some games of my own. Working from home and losing the 45-minute commute each way does wonders! So that's one of the few silver linings we've had in this crazy year.

Maybe I'll write some more stuff later. Or maybe I won't. Either way, thanks for reading this! I hope you're doing well and staying safe and all that good stuff.

- Vinny
vhayste blogged

My fanart for Pyra (Xenoblade Chronicles 2) and a custom Toyota Supra GT4.
More versions available at my Pixiv and FB pages

Skittles blogged

The purpose of the title is that's literally what the first Sims for console, or as I'm playing it on PS2, is. It's a test of patience and strong will. As a kid growing up, I've owned every Sims game for the PS2... other than the first one. So around in 2017, I decided to get it to FINALLY complete my collection! And how did I like it? Well, when I first played it in 2017, I only played a small amount -- not even completing the first level (Mom's house) before deciding to stop and not picking the game up again until 2020. Why am I playing it now? Since I own all the Sims games for PS2, I decided to create a challenge for myself and that's to 100% every Sims game for the PS2.

I regretted this decision and that's all because of this game.

Although it plays very similar to it's sequel, The Sims: Bustin' Out. It's far worse. While The Sims: Bustin' Out shares many of the same issues with this first one, which makes it not very fun either. The Sims is almost unbearable. The Sims (2002) does not have the same charm as Bustin' Out. Its graphics are a slight downgrade. The music is TERRIBLE. It doesn't share the same zaniness or iconic and recognizable soundtrack as the other Sims games have. In fact, its soundtrack resembles free stock music. Nothing creative, just boring. Unlike the advantage Bustin' Out does have, The Sims is lacking anything fun in gameplay wise. There's no man-eating plants, no work station to build your own gnomes, no killing your sim by deleting the pool as they jump off the ladder. Literally nothing fun for your sims to interact with. And the game... the game's "Get a Life" mode is sheer hell. I love a challenging game, most people (or "gamers") do. However, The Sims isn't even a satisfying kind of challenge. It's the TEDIOUS, boring kind. Your sims needs is the biggest flaw. The need meters go down FAR TOO QUICKLY. And the game expects you to beat it by: Getting promotions, and completing the goals for each household. It feels almost impossible to: Gain skill points, complete goals, clean the house, make friends, go to work, AND keep your sim happy. It's too many things to juggle at once when the needs drop quicker than flies. This could've been easier had their been days (like Saturday, Monday, etc. etc.) so that way you don't have to go to work literally EVERY DAY. Which your Sim spends so much time at work, you have to take care of your needs again... and also if the need meter just went down GRADUALLY. This is a problem they fixed in the later sims games, notably Urbz and The Sims 2. I recall completing those games and the need system never being that big of a deal.

And the fly sound effect from not cleaning the house because of dirty plates... it could drive me to insanity. More effective than the Chinese water torture.

I almost want to just SKIP this game and move on to Bustin' Out. Which has the same flaws, but also has some pros, at least. But I feel like I would be cheating the challenge I gave myself. So, alas, I must endure.

This game is lacking: Style, fairness, good music, and anything creative. Honestly, it feels JUST like real life. Never enough to do in one day... hard to keep up with everything... you're always miserable. And who wants to play a game that's frustrating in a real life manner? That's just depressing!
Thurlow blogged

A bloke goes to the council to apply for a job in the office.
The interviewer asks him,"Are you allergic to anything"?
He replies, "Yes caffeine."
"Have you ever worked for the public service before."
"Yes I was in the army"he says,I was in Iraq for two tours."
The interviewer says, "That will give you 5 extra points toward employment.
Then he asks,"Are you disabled in any way?"
The guy says "Yes,a mine exploded next to me when I was there and I lost both my testicles." The interviewer grimaces and then says,"O.K.
You've got enough points for me to take you on right away.
Our normal hours are from 8.00am to 4.00pm.......but you can start tomorrow at 10.00am-and carry on starting at 10.00am everyday."
The bloke is puzzled and asks."If the work hours are from 8.00am to 4.00pm ,why don't you want me here until 10.00am?
I'm not looking for any special treatment y'know."
"What you have to understand is that this is a council job,"the
interviewer says, "For the first two hours,we just stand around drinking coffee and scratching our balls.There's no point coming in for that."
Thurlow blogged

There are two statues in a park; one of a nude man and one of a nude woman. They had been facing each other across a pathway for a hundred years, when one day an angel comes down from the sky and, with a single gesture, brings the two to life.

The angel tells them, "As a reward for being so patient through a hundred blazing summers and dismal winters, you have been given life for thirty minutes to do what you've wished to do the most."

He looks at her, she looks at him, and they go running behind the shrubbery. The angel waits patiently as the bushes rustle and giggling ensues.

After fifteen minutes, the two return, out of breath and laughing. The angel tells them, "Um, you have fifteen minutes left, would you care to do it again?"

He asks her. "Shall we?" She eagerly replies, "Oh, yes, let's! But let's change positions. This time, I'll hold the pigeon down, and you shit on its head."
Kersplash blogged

hello, i have finally landed on the planet namek....................and with no time to spare
im fairly new to this kind of stuff so plz dont kill me
Grayson blogged

It was only moments after Safety the shiny Patrat evolved. I was training her with rustling grass Audinos before battling Roxie and this beauty showed up. Her colour scheme reminds me of the Anastasia doll that comes in a royal purple box, hence the name. This playthrough is unintentionally turning into a shiny badge quest, haha.

Thurlow blogged

How many Facebook group members does it take to change a light bulb?

1 to change the light bulb and to post that the light bulb has been changed.

14 to share similar experiences of changing light bulbs and how the light bulb could have been changed differently.

7 to caution about the dangers of changing light bulbs.

17 purists who use candles and are offended by light bulb discussions.

6 to argue over whether it's 'lightbulb' or 'light bulb'.

Another 6 to condemn those 6 as stupid.
22 to tell THOSE 6 to stop being jerks.

2 industry professionals to inform the group that the proper term is 'lamp'.

15 know-it-alls who claim that they were in the industry and that 'light bulb' is perfectly correct.

49 to post memes and GIFs (several are of Michael Jackson eating popcorn with the words added: “I’m just here for the comments.”)

19 to post that this page is not about light bulbs and to please take this discussion to a light bulb page.

11 to defend the posting to this page saying that we all use light bulbs and therefore the posts are relevant here.

24 to discuss the merits of LED/swirly fluorescent light bulbs

44 to claim LED and fluorescent bulbs will kill you.

12 to post the letter “F”.

8 to ask what F means.

7 to post 'Following' despite the 3 dots at the top right that mean you don't have to.

3 to say "can't share".

2 to reply "can't share from a closed group".

36 people to post photos of their own light bulbs.

15 people to post "I can't see S$%^!" and use their own light bulbs.

6 to report the post or privately message an admin/moderator because someone said "&^%^%#%@"

4 to say "Didn't we go through this already a short time ago?".

13 to say "Do a Google search on light bulbs before posting questions about light bulbs".

1 to bring politics into the discussion by adding that (insert politician of choice) isn't the brightest bulb. This usually takes place within the first three comments.

50 more to get into personal attacks over their political views.

3 to state sanctimoniously that this is supposed to be a friendly Facebook group and that all of this petty nonsense is a result of people abandoning courtesy.

5 admins to ban the posters who were insulting.

12 who commented just scroll down if you don’t agree/ or have anything positive to say

3 who come up with a conspiracy theory about light bulbs which either involves them catching Coronavirus or that they will fry their brains.
Grayson blogged

I've been grinding for a while and finally found a special team member. So glad I had a premier ball :'D

dirkj825 blogged

Next up on the list is a bit of a fan favorite, Evan Patrick Stewart

Evan Patrick Stewart is a dumbf*ck/retard type, a mixture that synergizes really well and is almost the exactly the sole reason why he's always popping up in top ten champion lists. His general moveset is usually pretty average and his signature move of demanding that you laugh immediately after telling a joke has a middling success rate, but he's a hard-counter to the billy meta and that will always be something to value.

Evan has a 4X weakness to nuts and will probably get addicted to heroin just like his heroes, but if you put in the work and manage to master this champion, he'll help you escape bronze easy peasy lemon squeezy.

My final rating will be a solid 7/10.
dirkj825 blogged

First up on the list, we have

Kaal is a fire/ground type with a 4X weakness to water. He's really good against stupid f*cking inanimate plants but has actually already died as of me writing this review because it rained.

Overall, Kaal used to be really strong in the meta but with the recent rise of kryptonite and the increasingly prevalence of water, the world's most common and accessible substance, there's simply no way to use this character without feeding in the arena of valor.

Simply put, if you take this man out in a ranked game, you're putting not only yourself at a disadvantage but your entire team.

I give Kaal a 4/10 stupid f*cking rock man
csgogator blogged

Skins from CS:GO - various coloring for weapons. They were added to the game in 2013, and players immediately liked the idea of running with beautiful pictures on the guns. Any user can open a case in the game for a certain amount (about $ 3), after which he will get one of these guns, with which he can run in the game. Each weapon has its own value, which depends entirely on the demand for it from the community, so that any skin can be bought from the hands of other players.

For example, this is what AWP Asiimov looks like, which can be bought for about $56 at the game's marketplace.

So - AK-47 Redline, which in its best condition costs 55 dollars.

And so - M4A4 Howl, which you won't find at all cheaper than 1400 dollars.

Once the user receives a gun in the game, he can do with it anything: play, leave in inventory or use it as money on various sites.

Naturally, immediately after the appearance of skins in CS:GO enthusiasts have created hundreds of services that use coloring weapons in the game. They can be divided into two categories: sites for selling / buying / exchanging skins and various casinos / sites for betting.

The first type of services is extremely simple: here you can sell skins and take money to your card, buy guns for real money or exchange them with other players or the site itself.

Also still popular resources on which you can play a variety of gambling (roulette, dice, more or less, and so on) to increase inventory and win more expensive skins. You can choose this site at

Valve is at war with such sites, although many of them still work. But sites for transferring skins are still alive and bring a lot of money to the owners.

We requested a comment from a skin trading expert named Antey, who works on one of the major trading platforms.

"[Profit in business] depends on revolutions and approaches. Now it is ten times harder to get up from scratch than a couple of years ago. An illustrative example: many blogger traders used to make a video "from key to knife in 5 hours" - investing only $2.5, making $50 a day, and then making $500 in a few hours and so on.

Now it's just impossible to make such a profit. Especially in such terms. An ordinary trader (a player who makes money on exchanging skins from CS:GO) cannot take a skin and sell it more profitable, because there is a 7-day ban".

Since the developers of CS:GO have an internal shop for buying/selling skins, they interfere with third-party sites in every way. In 2018, Valve introduced a 7-day ban for skins: after the transfer of a gun from one account to another, it was blocked for a week. The innovation hit hard on all sites working with skins, many of which were immediately closed.

"It can be said that [after the introduction of the 7-day ban] trading in CS was in a state of clinical death for several months. Now he's like an invalid who recovered from the war, but many functions are lost forever. If it weren't for the sites to exchange skins, the trader would have died a long time ago," Antey believes. - However, ordinary players' interest in [the skins] has never dropped much. It only grew when CS entered the Chinese market very actively. Chinese collectors started to play CS on a massive scale and collect expensive private collections with rare skins.

The total turnover of sites for exchanging skins reaches hundreds of millions of dollars. For many players in CS:GO trading is much more interesting than matches. Skins in CS - a kind of game in which the user can earn a lot of money if it is just a competent exchange guns with other players. Trading sites are only happy to help in this - with them, players can give a skin and get another in just a few clicks.

"Trading sites have everything working on commission. They have a part of the profit from the sale of skins, but as far as I know, it's not that important. Sites provide services and charge a small commission, and people can earn by using services: look for skins at auction that will bring profit, exchange or buy and sell to other users skins with a surcharge for stickers, float, pattern (some skins are more expensive because of the stickers that other users put on them, a little wear and a special pattern - a pattern that some guns are especially rare) and other details. In short: sites-services are always good as long as there is interest in the skins and demand.

It's a lot harder for traders. All their changes hit them right in the face, not indirectly, like websites. The trader-bank makes a delay between buying and selling 7 days instead of 10 minutes. Everything can happen in 7 days, including falling prices for your assets, purchased skins. You can now trade and you can safely make money on it, but it has become much harder. To raise money, you need to spin like that, invent more sophisticated schemes, look for every loophole on the sites and the best way, while looking at the market in style and on the trade-readdit idiots who are ready to sell you a treasure at the price of garbage.
Murderer blogged

Have played through every region except Kalos (will play that next; currently Midway through Hoenn). Here are my thoughts in decreasing order of quality (though note: every region is very close to the ones it has been grouped up with):

GOOD regions (replayable and HAVE replayed them):

- Arguably the best and most developed story (I'm a huge Unova fan but speaking without Nostalgia, Alola may take the cake.)
- Unique Island style
- Trials
- Very nature oriented
- Love team skull
- Good Music
- Major QoL improvements (**REMOVED HMS**, added bottle caps, etc.)
- Things such as RR in USUM were also fun
- USUM is close to HGSS and B2W2 in terms of content but not there yet. It's like a 3D but less inferior version.
- Finally a bird-like starter :D (Decidueye)

- Great story as well (There's no arguing either Unova or Alola has the best story of all time)
- BW plus B2W2 are just so amazing, never had Pokemon done a sequel before nor have they done one after (excluding Johto, but that's a completely different region from Kanto)
- B2W2 in of itself has so much content
- Actual differences between B2 & W2 (different locations)
- Even better music than Alola
- Makes me curious of the Original Dragon (remakes plz)
- Made TMs become infinite
- One criticism I have is on the elegance of the map, which is...kind of a circle. Gameplay wise it's not the worst thing in the world though, it's actually kinda helpful. And tbf B2W2 did fix that up a bit.

- HGSS, like B2W2, are one of the best Pokemon (main series) games of all time
- A whole region as postgame
- Pokemon following you (HGSS)
- Amazing music as well (Rival?)
- Just overall a pleasant adventure


MEH regions (Wouldn't be against replaying it but would never go out of my way to do it):

Hoenn (to be fair only half way in):
- Honestly I expected much more from this region
- Greenery is nice (but Alola does do it better)
- Routes are VERY short
- Illusion of choice in terms of route paths (often one is blocked off in some manner)
- Get fly very late for how complex the journey pathway is, can be frustrating at times
- Added to the above, there are some one-way routes that are pretty sad to explore as a completionest without fly
- Often times you get the HM/"Solution" to a route right AFTER going through it, constantly going back can be frustrating
- Very restrictive exploration, a bit too restrictive; but simplicity is nice in it's own way.
- Towns feel like either way too small or way too big; no in between
- Shout out to ORAS Kyogre/Groudon theme

- Was the first generation, what else can I say? Not really much else other than that.
- The OG starters are nice I guess.


Not Good (Would be against replaying):

- Combine a large region with terrible story and you get this slugfest
- Honestly don't even remember much due to how uneventful and grueling this region was
- Great starter designs and pokemon in general though. (Infernape, Empoleon, Luxray)
- Also the region/generation that modernized Pokemon battles. (Large things such special/physical split and such)

- While Sinnoh had a bad story at least it had one, this region has NO STORY. Or at least no significant story.
- A terrible mess of writing is slumped up in the end
- Going from nice mega evolution designs to pokemon just growing bigger and gaining some HP was bit of a let down.
- Did not like the music style
- Honestly just did not like the region as a whole, not really big on industrial themes. Greenery is more up my alley.
- Team yell was the definition of boredom and irrelevance if I've seen one
- Maybe the DLC will give it some redemption? Who knows? I hope so. Isle of Armor was better than main game and Crown Tundra remains to be seen.


Unplayed (???)

- Idk how this is going to be, but I'm assuming it's going to go under not good just a bit over Galar. There's a reason I've left this for last.
- Greninja, Yveltal, and Noivern designs are really nice though, plus the region that introduced megas.

End note: Ik I have mashed the regions themselves, the games, and the generations all in one without even distinguishing remakes/originals, but that's just how it is x) These are just some general personal thoughts, not meant to be an in-depth analysis.