Wednesday, August 15th, 2018


908 hours of Neverwinter playtime

908 hours of Neverwinter playtime

Years ago, I tried out Neverwinter with some friends.  It was okay, not great.

Since then, I’ve jumped into the game from time to time.  I’ve built up two characters to the current level cap, level 70.

Getting your character to level 70 is easy.  Even playing a few hours per night like I did, it won’t take more than a week or so to level up all the way.  The first few areas/regions, starter levels, are designed to be easy on your character (at that level) and to make it easy to level you up.

After that, however… things get a bit more serious.  What do I mean?  I mean you won’t be able to do JACK SQUAT without POURING MONEY into the game.

The game is free-to-play, which means free-to-suck.  You can play for free as much as you want, but you won’t get anywhere.  I’ve been playing for well over 900 hours, and both my characters get their asses kicked wherever they go (except the starter levels).

So… after many, many hours of frustration, my advice regarding Neverwinter: don’t bother.  There are many other games which are much more fun.

Thursday, August 2nd, 2018

Ready Player One, the movie

As a standalone movie, not related to anything else, I thought it was pretty good and very entertaining.

It does not represent the book, however. The book is outstanding, and there is kinda no way to compress all that awesomeness down into just two hours.

Some of the characters in the movie are in the book, and there is a contest, but that’s where the similarities end. Almost everything in the movie is not in the book.

I did buy the movie, and I’ll watch it again as it is entertaining, but it does not compare to the book (as movies rarely do).

Get the movie here (good).

Get the book here (better).


Sunday, December 24th, 2017

Have a satisfactory non-denominational capitalist wintertime gift-giving season!

Have a satisfactory non-denominational capitalist wintertime gift-giving season!

I wish you to have a satisfactory non-denominational capitalist wintertime gift-giving season.

Have a satisfactory non-denominational capitalist wintertime gift-giving season!

Merry Force Be With You

And merry Christmas!

Monday, December 11th, 2017

Ready Player One, the movie!

Dear Internet,

Remember way back when, I told y’all about the greatest book of all time in any universe? You remember, this one:

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

It’s called Ready Player One, by Ernie Cline, and it’s the greatest book of all time in any universe. Shortly after the book was published, there was news of a movie in the works. I’m both excited and worried about this.

I’m excited because it could be OUTSTANDINGLY AWESOME!!!

I’m worried because there is kinda no way a movie can stand up to the book and do it proper justice.

Here’s the preview:

With that all said, and with that preview… If it’s done right, I think it could be outstandingly awesome! We’ll see.

Monday, November 6th, 2017

Gaming Machine 2017, addition

In order to make Star Citizen load and run faster, I’ve added another M.2 SSD (Solid State Disk) to the motherboard:

Amazon Link

This little sucker only cost about $80 on Amazon. It’s 120G, plenty for Star Citizen, which is only about 30G, and it is FAST! I notice the game load much faster.

In the above picture, I’ve got it in the 2nd M.2 slot on the motherboard (or maybe it’s the first slot), and you’ll notice it’s sticking up a little. Next, the set screw:

There, now it’s installed. The first M.2 SSD, the one with the bootable operating system on it, is hidden under the video card.

If you want to enlist with Star Citizen, you can use my referral code: STAR-642B-TSQ6

Sunday, October 29th, 2017

New Gaming Rig, Oct 2017

Time to upgrade!

Amazon link

Case: Corsair Graphite 760T Full Tower Windowed Case, Black

The case holds your expensive computer equipment together. Sometimes, it’s even stylish. This one has some style, and a window-door on the side so you can watch the pretty lights inside. Oh, and it’s also HUGE!

This case is the biggest I’ve ever worked with. But hey, that’s what I wanted. I wanted to be able to get my hands in there and have room to work. I got my wish. It’s so big it doesn’t fit on the side of my desk like my old one did.

In Oct 2017, I paid $145 at Amazon.

Amazon link

Motherboard: Asus Republic of Gamers Strix Z270F Gaming

The motherboard (or mainboard) is the heart of your system; everything else connects to it.

This sucker is loaded with nifty features and should last me a number of years.

In Oct 2017, I paid $150 at Amazon.

Amazon link

CPU: Intel 7th Gen Desktop Processor i7-7700K 4.2Ghz

The Central Processing Unit is the brain of your system. I wanted it to be a lot faster than my previous system, so I paid more than I usually do for this one.

In Oct 2017, I paid $335 at Amazon.

The “K” on the end of the number means it’s overclock-able, which means I can crank it up to run faster than it was originally designed to run with some kind of improved cooling system. I don’t plan on doing that for a long time.

Amazon link

CPU cooler: DEEPCOOL GAMMAXX 400 CPU Cooler. 4 Heatpipes, Red LED Fan

The CPU cooler helps prevent your CPU from over-heating and turning itself off, which can interrupt your game. When I bought my CPU, it didn’t have a cooler, so I got this one. In my previous builds, I’ve referred to this design as the “tower of coolness”. I like it, it’s pretty easy to install, fits in the case… I’ve got no complaints, so I got another one.

In Oct 2017, I paid $33 at Amazon.

Amazon link

RAM: CORSAIR VENGEANCE LPX 32GB (4x8GB) DDR4-2400 (PC4-19200) C16

Your system can’t do anything without some memory. You could do most things with 4 or 8 Gigs, but I like to go overboard on RAM because I’m tired of waiting for it to swap to disk (virtual memory). When your system is swapping to disk a lot, this is called “thrashing your disk”. I’m tired of that, plus I play games which require lots of memory, so I got 32G of RAM; four 8G DIMMs! That ought to do the trick.

In Oct 2017, I paid $335 at Amazon.

Amazon link

Power Supply: EVGA 750 GQ, 80+ GOLD 750W, Semi Modular

Your brand-new, expensive computer system won’t work at all without power! This power supply maxes out at 750 Watts, which should be enough to run any number of power-hungry video cards, drives, or anything else I throw at it.

I don’t know why they call it “Semi-Modular”, it seems pretty darn modular to me. All connectors are optional except the ones for the motherboard, but the thing won’t even turn on unless you connect the power for the CPU also!

In total, I connected three power cables: CPU, SATA power for the drive, and VGA to power the video card.

In Oct 2017, I paid $88 at Amazon.

Amazon link

System Drive: Samsung 960 EVO Series – 250GB PCIe NVMe – M.2 Internal SSD

SSD means Solid State Disk, which is not a disk at all but a huge block of fast non-volatile memory. M.2 is the designation for the type of connector that it works with. The M.2 connector is directly on the motherboard, so it’s very fast. I’m using this SSD for the system drive, and it is very fast. The whole system boots up in about 15 – 20 seconds. I love it!

In Oct 2017, I paid $118 at Amazon.

Amazon link

Gaming Video Card: ASUS GeForce GTX 1070 8GB ROG STRIX OC Edition

I wanted something reasonably fast, but not more than about what I paid for this one. This should do me for a while. If it starts lagging behind the demands of a game, then I can add another one (the motherboard will take up to three), and connect them together with a special cable. This is called SLI: Scan Line Interleave) which divides up the work where one card does the odd-numbered lines, and the other one does the even-numbered lines, and it almost doubles the frame rate.

In Oct 2017, I paid $440 at Amazon.

Amazon link

Hard Drive: Toshiba X300 6TB Desktop 3.5 Inch SATA 6Gb/s 7200rpm

I got this hard drive for storage. 6TB (actually, it’s 5 point something), will last me a long time.

As I write this, I’m downloading my Steam games (it’s taking days), and I’ve still got lots of space left over.

In Oct 2017, I paid $169 at Amazon. There’s no way you can pay this much for an SSD and get anywhere near this kind of storage. This regular drive is much slower than an SSD, but it’s much bigger for much less dollars.

Putting it all together:

Gaming Rig 2017

Friday, January 1st, 2016

HOA = Home Owner’s Association = Evil

Yes, HOA’s are evil.  Some people in this world are only there to cause trouble.  Those types of people work at HOA’s.  An HOA is only there to upset you and order you around.

I used to live in a house in an HOA area.  Never again.  NEVER AGAIN.

The people who work in an HOA are evil.  There is no other word for it.  Try it and you’ll see.  Move into a house in an HOA area and live there for a few months.  You’ll see exactly what I mean.

I could go into details about what they did to us, the egging of vehicles, the legal threats, but it would be a waste of time and you wouldn’t believe me anyway.

Here’s the area where I used to live (from Google Maps):

HOA's are evil.

My previous HOA-controlled neighborhood.

It’s in Caldwell, ID, just South of U.S. Highway 26.  It looks picture-perfect (from Google StreetView):


It looks picture-perfect (but it’s HOA-evil).

Looks can be deceiving.  Once you move in and start getting your stuff unpacked, the HOA-evil will hit you like a cup of ice water in the morning.  After that, the neighborhood doesn’t look so nice any more.

Speaking of the neighborhood, I think one of the reasons the neighbors were so hostile towards eachother is because the HOA pisses them all off on a regular basis, so they are in a nasty mood all the time.

But not all the neighbors are nasty.  We had nice neighbors.  The guy on our left had been hassled by the HOA for years.  He used to work a graveyard shift hauling something with a trailer.  The HOA only saw his trailer out front when he wasn’t working, during the day.  But he worked at night, when the evil bastards at the HOA were sleeping.  So they fined him for parking his trailer at his house all the time.  He told them to go to hell because he moved that trailer each working night, but they never withdrew the fines (see?: evil).

Speaking of trailers, the HOA really hates trailers.  We used a trailer to help us move all of our crap.  It’s our trailer.  We parked it next to our house on the side where the street doesn’t go anywhere.  Someone called the police and reported the vehicle & trailer “abandoned”.  Some of our neighbors were very hostile.

So we moved the trailer each week, to prevent the “abandoned” thing from happening each week.  That’s when the egging started.  We eventually had to put the trailer into external storage at our expense.  The HOA really doesn’t like trailers.

Anyway, the point of all this is that HOA’s are evil, and I recommend you not live under one.  I never will again.  NEVER.

Monday, September 15th, 2014

Google Cardboard

This is a good idea. It’s an easy way to introduce someone to VR (Virtual Reality).


I tried it at home:

Google Cardboard OMG

Google Cardboard OMG

I loaded up the Google Earth Cardboard demo and handed it to my roommate.  He looked through and said, “Wow!”  He was floating above Chicago, looking around in 3D, watching the buildings and scenery load and render… all on my Samsung S3 smartphone.

There are other demos available.  Lots of fun.  I recommend it.  I got my kit for about $25 at DodoCase:

Sunday, September 14th, 2014

Hawk’s Shirt of the Week 2014-09-14

I tried it at home

I tried it at home

Whenever I watch MythBusters, they remind me, “Do NOT try this at home!”

Now read this shirt.

(I’m a rebel.)

I got mine from:

Sunday, September 7th, 2014

Hawk’s Shirt of the Week 2014-09-07

Normal is boring.

Normal is boring.

Yup!  Simple and true.  This helps me justify being weird.

I got mine here:

Sunday, August 31st, 2014

Hawk’s Shirt of the Week 2014-08-31

Don't confuse me with the facts.

Don’t confuse me with the facts.

I thought it was mildly funny.  Got it from What on Earth:

Sunday, August 24th, 2014

Hawk’s Shirt of the Week 2014-08-24

5 Deadly Terms Used By a Woman

5 Deadly Terms Used By a Woman

The 5 Deadly Terms Used By a Woman are:

#1: FINE

This is the word women use to end an argument when she knows she is right and you need to shut up.


Means something and you need to be worried.


This is a dare, not permission, do not do it.


A Woman’s way of saying, “Screw you!”


She is thinking long and hard on how and when you will pay for your mistake.

Bonus Word: WOW!

This is not a compliment. She is amazing that one person could be so stupid.

Sunday, August 17th, 2014

Hawk’s Shirt of the Week 2014-08-17

Desperate times call for procrastination.

Desperate times call for procrastination.

I thought this was funny.  The usual saying goes, “Desperate times call for desperate measures.”

If it’s still available, it’d be here:

Sunday, August 10th, 2014

Hawk’s Shirt of the Week 2014-08-10


The Rebel Alliance logo, from Star Wars.  A symbol of hope.  A hope against tyranny and oppression.

Plus, if you’re evil, the Jedi just might kick your ass all over the galaxy.

I got mine from Thinkgeek.  If it’s still available, it’d be here:

Sunday, August 3rd, 2014

Hawk’s Shirt of the Week 2014-08-03



Just search for “DO NOT WANT” and you’ll see where this comes from.

Got it from Thinkgeek.  If it’s still available, it’d be here:

Sunday, July 27th, 2014

Hawk’s Shirt of the Week 2014-07-27

How about never?

How about never?

This reminds me of a comic/joke I saw in a magazine somewhere:

No, Thursday's out.  How about never--is never good for you?

No, Thursday’s out. How about never–is never good for you?

I think it’s really funny.

I got the shirt from Thinkgeek.  If it’s still available, it’d be here:

Sunday, July 20th, 2014

Hawk’s Shirt of the Week 2014-07-20

What kind of computer do you have? And please don't say a white one.

What kind of computer do you have? And please don’t say a white one.

Aaah, the good ol’ days in Earthlink tech support.

Except for the “good” part.

I got this from Thinkgeek.  If it’s still available, it’d be here:

Sunday, July 13th, 2014

Hawk’s Shirt of the Week 2014-07-13

Here for the loot.

Here for the loot.

Yup, true.  What’s my share?

I got it from Thinkgeek.  If it’s still available, it’d be here:

Sunday, July 6th, 2014

Hawk’s Shirt of the Week 2014-07-06

Do I look like a people person?

Do I look like a people person?

Answer: NO.

I got this from Thinkgeek.  If it’s still available, it’d be here:

Sunday, June 29th, 2014

Hawk’s Shirt of the Week 2014-06-29

No Place To Hide

No Place To Hide

Boba Fett.  Is there a more popular/capable bounty hunter in the galaxy?  (Me: shaking my head)

I like this design because it’s almost completely made up of other designs, such as the city in the clouds, Han frozen is carbonite, planets, Jabba’s palace’s silhouette, the Millennium Falcon…. space debris…

I got mine from Thinkgeek.  If it’s still available, it’d be here:

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