Monday, August 29, 2011

Allahu Aqbar

A cable documentary about Al-Qaeda last night remarked that "Allahu Aqbar" means "Allah is greater."  Spock-like, my eyebrow arched over this low-voltage disinformation, as I recalled that this particular cable channel is far more widely recognized as a world authority on UFOs, crop circles, bigfeet and alien sea monsters from other worlds.

Allahu Aqbar is not a "jihadi warcry."  That is like saying the rosary is a "Catholic prayer for fortitude, mercy and strength of character."

Allahu Aqbar is sung from the minuets during every call to Muslim prayer, five times a day.  The phrase means "God is great" or "God is greatest" but never "God is greater."  The latter mistranslation is heretical and borders on blasphemy, if uttered in full consciousness of its meaning.  God is incomparable.

The heretical version (comparative rather than superlative) is put about to push buttons, create cannon fodder, and fan the flames of Crusade, God knows why.

We Americans are ftupid, and have been ftupid fince the ratification of the Conftitution, so rabid hatred of Moslems is not unexpected.  What is suprising is the same attitudes in intelligent heads, like Ann Coulter's.  It makes you wonder if there's a Satan after all.  Hell is easy, we make that ourselves.

The St. Francis Prayer for Peace comes naturally to mind at this point.


Friday, August 26, 2011

Backed into a corner...

NCR's no-nonsense Col. Cassandra Moore
I'm beginning to think Team Bethesda didn't really think through all the possible endings for Fallout New Vegas.

I hated the Yes, Man endings. And  I really dislike the Colonel Moore endings.  What a bloodthirsty wench she is!  She ordered me to assassinate the Great Khans, but I'm on good terms with the Khans.  I've exterminated all the Fiends who were their drug buyers, including Vault 3's Motor Runner, and by applying slow pressure on myself to get my Speech stats high enough, managed to convince Jack and Diane to get into the Bathtub Stimpaks business instead.  That was good.

Moore insists on Papa Khan's demise.  So I quietly blew his head off, sadly, with regret, because Papa Khan has a really good point.  If you forget history, you'll repeat it.  Especially, e.g., the NCR massacre of the innocents at Bitter Springs.  Ask around, not even NCR troops who were there agreed with that slaughter.

Apparently Moore now wants the rest of Red Canyon wiped out, or the game will not advance to conclusion.  What if I blow her away instead?

I'm beginning to wonder if this is a game or a real-life CIA experiment in civilian mind control slash wartime ethics.

Not to change the subject, but after 250 hours of petty harassment by Legion flunkies, I decided to wipe out the Legion Fort and assassinate Caesar.  This is apparently not easy, to read the crybaby posts at IGN and elsewhere.  I did it after cleaning out Dead Wind Cavern.  Piece of cake.  Thanks, Brotherhood of Steel, for small mercies.

Now, my XP is maxed out at level 40.  There's nowhere to go but back to mundane existence.   The Fallout franchise always disappoints with their endings.  Or lack thereof.


Monday, August 22, 2011


One of my daughter's friends is a kid who beat Fallout New Vegas in three days! It took her all of 20 hours. She liked the Legion costumes, so she won playing as one of the bad guys.


Saturday, August 20, 2011

Cherry Bombs or Dynamite?

Fallout 3 had lots of cherry bombs, which meant you could assemble one of the best weapons-in-a-lunchbox ever devised, the Bottlecap Mine. The joke was how awesomely effective it was for such little sister ingredients; you could take out a Deathclaw, providin' only you got the wee beastie steppin' on it.

By contrast, Fallout New Vegas majorly skimps on every kid's favorite toilet joke, and goes straight for the dynamite. Which is dirt cheap. Need some dynamite? No problem! Just go murder a few Powder Gangers, and right away you've got yourself a dozen or so sticks of Doctor Nobel's Patent Equalizer. The other ingredients listed in the Patriot's Cookbook (over here in unreality that's known as the Anarchist's Cookbook) are commonplace.

Lunchboxes were a bit rare in F3, but they're ubiquitous and virtually useless in FNV without five very rare cherry bombs. I'm sure the Bethesda Gods and Goddesses are laughing their collective backsides off over that one. So unfair, 'ey?

Time Bombs are a joke. Go to the trouble of building one of these babies, and you'll wonder why you bothered. It detonates in 15 seconds exactly. You can harvest better proximity hazards off the Legion assassination squads.

Dumb. Has anyone actually played Caravan?


Monday, August 15, 2011

Meanwhile, Back At The Wrong Branch

I got fed up with Fallout New Vegas and decided to end it all with the Yes, Man variation.  Right away, that cheerful visage should have told me something about the quality of my choices.

I've seen enough.


Sunday, August 14, 2011

Bachman Bump, Yesterday's Nuze

Yah, I live in Baja Minnesota, where the Republican "straw poll" is a media shibboleth of sorts.  I have no idea why anyone would take a $30 a pop fundraiser seriously, or pseudomagically confound it with an actual Iowa caucus, not even an Iowa Republican caucus.

It's not illegal to buy straws, or polls, in Iowa.  Anybody can do it, including Michele Bachman's flacks.  This was a non-event, except for the media feeding frenzy.  Can't begrudge that, of course.  Stop by and spend money here anytime.

Iowa is to Republicans as flypaper is to greasy spoon diners, especially in August. Bachman was expected to win, given the low expectations all savvy punditry accords this non-event. She did. Check, please.

As far as Bachman herself goes, I subscribe to the White Queen Theory. That's the notion that the daughters of all powerful white uppercrust men have been bred from birth to believe six impossible things before breakfast at least since the Pelopennesian Wars. The more brilliant of them, such as Ann Coulter, are trained to utter scintillas of incendiary cadetry over dinner, to amuse their potential mates and partners. Hey, whatever works at the inbred end of the gene pool.

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Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Beautiful Day

Very equable, moderate temperature, low humidity, nice and breezy...  All the windows wide open for the first time in weeks!  Gorgeous.


Monday, August 08, 2011

Black Triangle

It's been awhile, so I've forgotten exactly what year it was.  There was still a gas station at the corner of 13th Street and Grand Avenue in Ames, Iowa.  Maybe 1976 or 1984, or thereabouts.

I lived a couple of blocks from that corner, and walked up to the gas station in the calm of one starry summer's night to buy a pack of Winstons.  I happened to look up.  I saw something that baffled my eye.

It was a black triangle headed due north, blotting out the stars.  It was utterly silent.  My perception rearranged itself.  Was that really much higher than it appeared, to make no noise?  If so, it was huge, larger than a battleship.  It was a flying machine, silently gliding north.

I've flown in two-seater small planes.  The noise is deafening.  I should have heard the roar of a jet, the growl of a small plane.  There was nothing there, no noise at all.  It wasn't a glider; there are none of any size that blot out the stars.

Just sayin'.


Thursday, August 04, 2011

Boing Bonk

Update: Figured out their mysterious update, so I'm following bb again.

I used to find, the webzine, sort of interesting. They changed how to leave a comment, though, in a mysterious sort of No Lusers Allowed tea-and-armpits sort of way that gave me at least the paranoid impression they were not seeking witty user repartee and riposte so much as data mining. (Who the blazes is

So don't scrape my butterdish, Xeni Jardin. Boing who?