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Jul. 3rd, 2011

My new blog

I promised a while ago I'd post where I am now writing and it's at...

http://ericamarceau.blogspot.com/

You can get email updates or subscribe to the RSS feed.

Apr. 3rd, 2011

Journal is now archived

First, two great pages you should visit!

http://americandigest.org/mt-archives/enemies_foreign_domestic/presence_of_malice.php
http://atlasshrugs2000.typepad.com/atlas_shrugs/2011/03/geert-wilders-remarks-to-the-magna-carta-foundtion-.html

I think I'm going to move to Blogger to have all of my journals on one place without having to log out and in all of the time and it just seems to take a billion years to load. I may change my mind, but when I get it settled I'll put the url here.
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Sep. 23rd, 2010

[Review] Arthas: Rise of the Lich King by Christie Golden

I eagerly looked forward to getting this book from the library because I truly wanted to know why Arthas turned his back to the light, his father, Uther, Jaina, and everyone he ever loved and served.

I still don't know.

It's not that the book is bad, but it never really put me into the heart and soul of Arthas. I still don't feel as if I really know or understand even a tiny bit of who he is.

What I do know is that his beloved horse, Invincible, had a bad fall when taking a jump and that Arthas had to kill him because of two broken front legs. Apparently even though Arthas was in training to be a Paladin he didn't have the power to heal that he had later. I guess he never really forgave the light for not being there when he really needed it. At that time he vowed to himself that he would do whatever it took so that no one else would suffer.

Arthas also apparently doesn't like making mistakes and will justify his actions so that he what he did will be the correct route. However, this seemingly came out of nowhere. It didn't feel like a natural outgrowth of his personality.

Arthas also doesn't seem to understand that sometimes the most you can hope for is partial success and that just as a leader can't take all of the accolades for victory, he can't take all of the blame for failure. Yet this wasn't developed and only barely alluded to which I think was a mistake. This viewpoint was crucial to why Arthas became the Liche King and wasn't explored.

I have the same sort of feeling as I had watching the first three Star Wars movies. There was nothing natural about Anakin's embrace of the Dark Force just as there is nothing natural about Arthas' embrace of the undead.

Arthas was a youth who loved his kingdom, knew their families and learned their names. In turn they loved him and I just can't see how the death of his horse would turn him into the man who would murder the residents of an entire city just because they may turn undead. When Arthas told Jaina to not deny him anything that felt unnatural as well. I just can't imagine him saying anything like that and his actions in the book didn't lead naturally to that event.

I always thought Jaina stopped the relationship, but it was Arthas and he did so suddenly and without warning. Jaina was talking about their children and all of a sudden Arthas, in a rambling sort of way, said that he wasn't ready. It just seemed awkward and something I can't imagine happening and there wasn't a good reason for it either. Arthas just, out of the blue, said he wasn't ready.

Arthas wanted to save his people but, in the end, wasn't really sure if he did and didn't care. That also doesn't seem like Arthas. He justified his actions as to why he had to kill Invincible by telling himself that if he hadn't killed him, Arthas then couldn't bring him back from the dead to serve as his undead steed. Even though Arthas could have killed and brought back the horse at any time. Yet there was no similar introspection when Arthas killed his father. Arthas wanted to save his people yet his actions were the opposite of that and the book didn't even bother to give us Arthas' reasons for them, twisted as they might be.

A little thing that bugged me was when Kel'thuzad started a sentence with so. That's a modern way of talking and not at all what I think he'd say. He seems to be the sort of person who wouldn't need to slide into a sentence. He'd go into it directly without hesitation and to hear a mode of speaking I associate with teenagers out of the mouth of Kel'thuzad was a bit jarring. It just didn't sound like him. Actually, no one sounded like the people I've come to know.

At the end of the book, Arthas killed both the last remnants of his humanity and Ner'zhul to take full command of his body and destiny. Arthas is alone with the knowledge and power he wanted so desperately to have. For what purpose? The book didn't answer that either.

I wanted the book to answer some of my questions but all it did was raise more of them. It told the what but not the why and how. It's disappointing.

P.S. I forgot to mention in my original review that it gave a clearer insight into Sylvanas' goals and motivations than it did to Arthas.

Score: 4 / 10
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Sep. 13th, 2010

Another notch in LGF's downfall

weaselzippers.us/2010/09/13/busted-lefty-blogger-chales-johnson-caught-scrubbing-evidence-he-once-called-ground-zero-mosque-imam-an-islamic-supremacist/

LGF used to be an influential and popular place to go. Now Charles Johnson, owner of a site who used to "fact check your ass" has been modifying his own posts to appear less critical of Islam and Muslims. I am not surprised and kind of expected it, but to see the evidence is still a bit disheartening.

I still can't figure out what the hell is wrong with Charles Johnson. Why did he throw everything away? Was his supposed moderation just a facade so he could get a popular site? Did he think he'd get even more popular if he turned his back on everything that made him popular in the first place? Now he's a joke and the only people who visit his site kiss up to him because he bans anyone who disagrees with him. He's gone from having a ton of visits and a ton of comments to barely any and dropping all of the time. He could have had a comfortable position at Pajama's Media but he left that organization after being a founding member and I'm not sure why. He had popularity and influence and threw it all away and I guess I can't figure out why.

P.S. I changed the journal to only allow registered comments since I got some spam.
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Aug. 31st, 2010

[Review] Rhode’s Bake N Serve White Bread

I like bread whether it’s made into a sandwich, dipped in egg and made into French Bread, or simply covered in butter and eaten alongside soup or dinner. A good loaf of bread is something that I enjoy all during the week. Yet most bread isn’t good at all or too expensive. This is particularly true of white bread. Either you buy it at the bakery which usually taste more like air than bread or you buy it on the bread aisle which usually has no yeasty flavor at all.

Enter Rhode’s Bake N Serve White Bread and like all of their frozen offerings it’s extremely easy to make. Simply take one of the frozen dough and place it in a greased bread pan and cover it with plastic wrap also greased and leave it out until it’s doubled in size. You can put it out on the counter or in the refrigerator or even rise it quickly in a warm oven. After it’s risen simply bake it for about 15 minutes at 350 degrees and you have yourself a loaf of bread that’s so good you could have made it yourself.

This is really good bread. Just the right texture that bread should have with just the right amount of yeasty smell and taste. I think it’ll be sturdy enough to make good or great French bread without falling apart and absorbing the egg mixture which is something the commercial bread doesn’t do well.

It even has a suggestion that you can use the dough to make pizza which I think would be fun. I like pizza but the frozen stuff has always been mediocre at best and my pizza would be far superior to those ones. If only for having the ability to put a lot more cheese on it. A lot more!

The only bad thing is that the loaves you make are on the small size so if you want a super sandwich you’ll have to make 2 of them instead or cut the bread from the side instead of the front.

If you like bread at an inexpensive price and don’t want to have to make it yourself then get Rhode’s Bake N Serve White Bread in the frozen aisle.

 

Score: 9 / 10

Aug. 28th, 2010

I deleted Mark Levin’s podcast today.

He’s been annoying me more and more lately and today I just couldn’t listen anymore and deleted all of the podcasts I downloaded which has been quite a chore over dial-up.

First it was him taking call after call from people who would do nothing but praise him. It’s fine if someone calls with another point and says a sentence or two about how great the host is or what the host has done to inspire the caller. Yet Mark Levin would take phone calls who went on and on and on about how great he was. Not just once or twice a show but four or five times and it felt like they went on forever.

Mark Levin has increased the number of times he’s mentioned how he’s done something first and how other shows have picked up on it. Like they needed Mark Levin to talk about the Constitution or the Bill of Rights before they had the idea to talk about it themselves. I’m pretty sure other conservative talk show hosts have thought about these things at the same time and didn’t need anyone’s permission to delve into these issues. Especially since Obama and his cronies are doing everything they can to make these two founding documents irrelevant.

Mark Levin has also talked more about his dogs lately. I hesitate to mention this because it’ll make me sound heartless, but I don’t care about his dogs. I also think him skipping out on Freedom Concerts that Sean Hannity has been promoting and attending is somewhat ridiculous. It’s sad that his dog is old and about to die, but I think the good that Mark Levin could do at these concerts is more important.

I also don’t like how Mark Levin takes calls from people who either want to make their liberal point and don’t care about talking to him, or people who want to challenge him on something but don’t have the ability to back up anything they say. Either Mark Levin gets upset and yells at the caller before kicking them off the air, or he tries to engage them in dialog (which doesn’t work) which leads him to getting upset and kicking them off the air. Either way, why bother with having them on? While it is amusing to hear Mark Levin yell at such mental midgets it’s not really constructive.

Today was the straw that broke the camel’s back for me. I was beginning to listen to last Monday’s podcast. It was last Monday because I download the week on Friday night as I’m sleeping and listen to all of the episodes on Saturday and Sunday.

Anyway, it was the beginning of the show and Mark Levin was going to have the same Muslim he had on before who supposedly is a moderate and the head of some organization here in the United States. This guy says all the right things about how he wants peaceful coexistence with other religions and how he is against terrorist organizations (such as Al Qaida and Hamas) and terrorism in general. The last time he was on Mark Levin, he and his callers were praising him as the kind of Muslim leader we need and how we need more moderate voices like him.

I wonder if this guy actually believes what he says or if he’s trying to lead gullible Americans into believing the myth that Islam really is about peace (when it means submission) and that it was hijacked by a tiny minority of extremists. Instead of the truth which is everything the Islamic terrorists are doing is written in the Koran and the Hadith, and they are encouraged by Mohammed and Allah to kill all infidels who are anyone who isn’t a Muslim. How Muslims are permitted to lie and deceive the infidels if it leads to them being able to take over their country or kill them as long as they are faithful in their heart. Either this guy is lying to us or he doesn’t understand his own religion which means that he’ll be killed along with the other infidels for being an apostate.

By the way, there are a few Islamic sects which could be considered moderate since they don’t want to kill or convert everyone. However, they are either considered apostates (people who were Muslims but who have converted and who are considered fair game for being murdered) or not Muslims at all who should be and often are murdered for calling themselves Muslims.

I wish that the reality were different and that there really is an Islam that is full of love and caring which has gotten manipulated by a small number who seek justification for their evil deeds. The sad truth is that Islam is evil and perpetuates evil and condones evil and finding one guy who will say otherwise doesn’t change this fact. Mohammed was a horrible human being who followed a god of hate, and those who follow in his footsteps invariably turn out to be just as awful.

I just don’t want to listen to some guy spew this crap about Islam and have Mark Levin praise him for saying the things he wants to hear because he doesn’t want to face the reality that Western Civilization is at war with Islam. A war we have to acknowledge and start fighting before all is lost and no, I’m not being dramatic. It really is possible to lose this war and I don’t want my descendents to live under Shariah without the ability to think for themselves and live freely.

Aug. 12th, 2010

[Review] Advent Children

When this film was announced I was pretty excited because I enjoyed Final Fantasy VII and thought it had a lot of potential to tell a story in a movie form. Especially a story that continued what happened after the game’s ending.

I don’t know whether it’s because I’m watching it in the English dub or whether the dialog truly sucks but I have 20 or so minutes left and I’m not sure I want to finish it. I’ve watched some bad anime but nothing as bad as this movie.

Sure, the main characters are all here but they don’t get a lot of time on the screen and the plot is confusing. There are 3 bad guys who look like a remodel of Sephiroth who want to find “mother” which is the remains of Jenova for a reunion and to bring back Sephiroth. There’s also an incurable disease that’s developed but the explanation of what it is and how it came about and how it’s spread was explained in such a way that I have no idea what was said.

I don’t mind a confusing plot as long as some effort is made at making it interesting. Most of the movie so far are motorcycle fights (there was one in the game) and while it’s neat to look at was it necessary to have two of them?

The slapstick comedy, or that’s what I think was attempted, from the two guys in Shinra were not used well. In the game their somewhat incompetent efforts to do whatever their boss Rufus wanted done was a needed contrast to the seriousness of the rest of the game. In the movie for some reason it just felt out-of-place.

The summoning of the monster also felt pointless when the 3 bad guys did something to kids with the incurable disease to do something. I did like seeing all of the heroes fight together but it did nothing to advance the plot at all. It felt like one of those side quests in a game but even those give you a reason for why you’re killing those bad guys.

Then Sephiroth came back when one of the bad guys touched the remains of Jenova and transformed. His hair grew longer and his body changed and, best of all, his outfit and weapon changed too which is probably why I stopped watching.

Even in a fantasy game there are rules that should be followed. Final Fantasy VII was an interesting world that combined technology with magic and swords. It’s what made it an interesting place to spend several hours. If you do something that can’t be done with the rules you’ve made then the game or book or movie feels less real. It feels stupid and it makes me stop watching.

Maybe the last 20 minutes will cause me to reconsider what I say here but I just wanted to vent about how stupid the movie is this far. I’ll finish watching it eventually and give a complete review and score then.

Aug. 5th, 2010

How I Review Games

I'm finishing up my first review in a long time and so was thinking about how I review games and what my review style should be.

My main rule is that I don't compare games to other games, even in the same genre, to determine whether they're good or bad. Instead I compare games to what they attempt to do and who their audience is. In other words, if a game wants to be very cute then I'd review that game on how well it succeeds or fails in being cute.

If I review an RPG I don't compare that game to games from Spiderweb Software. Just because I really like the Avernum and Geneforge series doesn't mean that all role-playing games have to be just like them or better to be good. Instead I'll review that game on how well it tells a story, the personality of the characters, battle system, classes, crafting, etc.

This also helps me when I review a game in a genre I don't particularly care for. I'm reviewing a puzzle game and I don't play very many puzzle games because most of them are boring. If I wrote the review based on how much I like or dislike puzzles games then that wouldn't be fair to the game. Instead I'm asking myself if this game meets the goals it has set out to accomplish.

In addition, rating a game against how well the game accomplishes what it wanted to do brings some objectivity to what is a subjective review. After all, what my favorite game is will change and if I compare a game to that instead of to itself then that can make the review useless later on. As an example, let's say I wrote a review comparing Game B to Game 1A which is my current favorite in that genre. Game B isn't as good as Game 1A so I give Game B a bad score. Later on my favorite game switches to Game 1B which just so happens to be close to what Game B did. I change my opinion and think Game B is better than Game 1B which means I would have given Game B a good review. This kind of review is useless.

On the other hand, having an opinion in a review is necessary because that's why people read your review in the first place. They want to know if the demo is worth trying out for themselves or whether the game is worth buying. I just think it's important to have objective criteria where the reviewer's opinion is used to determine whether the game meets the goals it sets out for itself.

This leads to how a review is written which is tricky as well. The tone of the review shouldn't read like a summary of the game manual because it leads people to think that you hadn't played the game at all. On the other hand, I've never been comfortable with Kirk Hiner's style which often has a story about something that happened in his life. I've struggled with having a style of my own that is relaxed and comfortable without being too personal and off-topic while still describing the game.

Another problem I sometimes had is to try and describe every detail of the game. In the puzzle game I'm reviewing there are many ways to play the game but I'm not going to describe them in detail. Instead the bulk of the review will be about how to play the game and whether it's fun. Of course, I'll describe all of the different ways to play but I don't want to overwhelm the reader with details. It's tough to determine how much detail is too much sometimes.

Writing a good review isn't an easy job but I am determined to be the best game reviewer I can be. I want to not disappoint Kirk Hiner or those who will read what I write and believe what I say.
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Jul. 26th, 2010

Sunday Links

American Thinker: Immigration, Reconsidered
American Thinker: Why Do Ethics Cost More in the Obama White House?
Hot Air » Obamateurism of the Day
Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler » No Fucking Shit, Sherlock?
Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler » Democrat Election ’10 Theme
American Thinker: Spy Swap or Spy Flop?
Hot Air » Obama’s weekly radio address: Do as I say, not as I do
American Thinker: Obama and the Call for 'Economic Justice'
Gates of Vienna: The Meme of the Living Dead
American Thinker: What to Do about Somalia?
American Thinker: American Jeopardy: What is Fascism?
Works and Days » A Ten-Step Reset Regimen for the President
Pajamas Media » Donald Berwick’s Motto? Rationing for Thee, but not for Me
Why is Geert Wilders "anti-Islam," and what is his message to the Muslims? - Jihad Watch
American Thinker: A War Amongst Ourselves
Ed Driscoll » The Ancien Regime Isn’t Going Out Without a Fight
Works and Days » Pity the Postmodern Cultural Elite
American Thinker: President Haters
Fitzgerald: General Casey obscures the pellucid air of Aspen - Jihad Watch
American Thinker: Obama's Deadly Anti-British Agenda
American Thinker: Put Some Harvard SmartCream On That
American Thinker: Hello, I'm a Racist, Pleased to Meet You
American Thinker: Race Played Role in Obama Car Dealer Closures
Zombie » Top Ten Racist Incidents of the Week
American Thinker: The Worst of Both Worlds
The Independent Question « Doctor Zero
American Thinker: Delegitimizing Liberalism
American Thinker: Taxation or Totalitarianism
American Thinker: What the NAACP/Tea Party Battle Is Really About
The American Spectator : America's Ruling Class -- And the Perils of Revolution
American Thinker: America's Fast Track to the Third World
Fitzgerald: Two Missions Impossible -- Both Reflections Of One Mistake (Part I) - Jihad Watch
American Thinker: The Productive Class and the American Aristocracy
American Thinker: Journolist and Malice
American Thinker: Clarice's Pieces: Know When to Hold 'Em
American Thinker: Christians Speak Up: Holocaust Survivors Find their Voices

Jul. 12th, 2010

Sunday Links

Hot Air » Would Washington Let America Tumble?
Hot Air » The Great Airbrushing meets the Great Relearning on the Fourth
From Europe: Who Will Protect Us from NATO?
American Thinker: How Europeans Invented the Modern World
American Thinker: Burma and Nuclear Weapons
American Thinker: What Obama Doesn't Understand About Zionism
Roger L. Simon » Happy Unbirthday, America
Pajamas Media » Preserving the America I Grew Up In
Hot Air » The CEO problem
Gates of Vienna: The Three-Pronged Islamic Pitchfork
American Thinker: The Left-Fascist Axis. Again
American Thinker: Obama is Strangling Big Oil
American Thinker: The Arab Veil of Deception and the Left
American Thinker: Can Freedom Endure Democracy?
The Virtual Government « Doctor Zero
The Business of Government « Doctor Zero
American Thinker: What Is Your Breaking Point?
American Thinker: Never-Ending Racial Hostility
American Thinker: My Black Dad & Obama
American Thinker: The Dumbest President...EVER!
American Thinker: China Winning a Victory at Sea
American Thinker: Boring Barry
American Thinker: Women and Children Die First
American Thinker: The NAACP's Second-Class Citizens
American Thinker: Blather in Kansas City
American Thinker: The Reindustrialization of American
Fitzgerald: How the Failure to Understand Jihad is Costing Americans Trillions - Jihad Watch
Green Economics and the Void of Desire « Doctor Zero
Pajamas Media » The Greenhouse Protection Racket
American Thinker: Liberal Racism

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