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Psychophant

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Everything posted by Psychophant

  1. The big question right now is what is the right way to say Pfizer. I prefer the German way, but clearly the English American is winning. So Phi' Zer.
  2. I started Metro Exodus, but I was not in the mood for claustrophobic bleak, or open air bleak, so I am rerunning Knights of the Old Republic. What an underrrated influence is HT57. The original murderbot.
  3. The semi-lockdown that soon will become a full lockdown is good for computer games. I have spent the week playing the Outer Planets, an Obsidian game with a short plot, a Fallout NV feeling and a Borderlands setting. Short and sweet, though a bit too short for me, and the fake sandbox is obvious. Quite good visually and I really cared for some of the stories. Much darker than it seems. The previous week I had been playing the original Fallout throwback Wasteland 3, much shorter than 2 and without the feeling of freedom. Nice visually and well balanced, the decisions matter but you
  4. Good to see you, Colin, even if there is not much to tell. The Brussels meeting, as expected is now fully virtual. I am doing some traveling, but only inside Spain, and by car, avoiding public transport for long distances. A real setback for sustainability, but the risk otherwise is too high. Tomorrow we go to our favorite restaurant for my birthday. The tables were already at a safe distance before COVID, but we will miss the banter of the sommelier. Spendng what we can to help them survive this period, it is not the kind of place you can get take-away.
  5. Thanks, Wanderer. I understand the stress with the parents. In my case, additionally, my mother says that she prefers to die if we do not go visit her. Clear emotional blackmail, but with lung cancer, a big aneurism and an ossified heart valve, she could really kill herself almost by thinking about it. Only her naturally low blood pressure keeps her going... We canceled our first business trip in October to another country, Italy. Maybe in November. We are doing some inside Spain, however. Got a couple of documents saying we are an essential industry and that we need to
  6. So, eight people, and only one lurker (Hi, Gromit!). Somehow I was hoping for a pool of lurkers that could be motivated back into activity. But what you see is what you have, so we are well below any normal activity threshold. That leaves another option, however, specialization. But to specialize in what?
  7. Last Sunday was my birthday, though I invited only my parents, as the COVID rules capacity for our flat is only 4 people. Will see how I celebrate with others, as the weather starts to turn into autumn and spending long periods outside becomes more complicated.
  8. London and subways, including pics in The Tube, have figured strongly in European meets. It also happened in Paris, but they were less populated. As for people in the old times, I doubt I would recognize more than a handful today, out of the around thirty I have met in person. I seldom dream about groups, too stressful, except as something I am running (often unsuccesfully) from. If they get me I wake up. But I have occasionally dreamt of board people, and they never look that they do, but usually as some variant of the avatar. Weird headspaces.
  9. I still go daily to work, and for most uses we prefer to go by car than by public transport. Getting in a bus or a tram is stressing right now. Doing more urban driving than before, and that way we really notice the benefits in consumption of the hybrid powerplant. My boss of 22 years died at the beginning of September. Lung cancer, a clear consequence of 40 years smoking. As this is a family owned company they try to fit his son in the position, but it is difficult, and the core team we are all still shell-shocked. Working in automatic is OK, as we have been a team for eight year
  10. I will try it before buying a new one. Christmas and post-Christmas would be a good moment to get a big rebate in prices, though this year is a bit strange. Getting to what seems like Wasteland 3 ending. No plot twists, no big surprises. To approach it fresh I have taken a break (I try to starve my obsessions) and I fired up Pathfinder Kingmaker, a strong transposition of the pen and paper RPG, to test the recently implemented turn based combat. It seems backward to leave the smooth flowing simultaneous combat as the PC allows, to go sequential, an artifact of the limi
  11. Four days in, we are up to 6. The perspectives for the final results on Friday are not great.
  12. The second book of the Three Musketeers is Twenty years later. Originally I arbitrarily picked up five, the age of The Unofficial WGB because doing twenty would mean repeating many things people already know, considering that there is practically no new blood since the exodus, ten would put us in the last years of the WGB. But There is people I did not know much about then, and now nothing now, and others I still know roughly what has been happening in-between. So rather than what has happened today, this is what happened in the past that you wish to share. And for opening the Topi
  13. Three days and only four people answered, and no lurkers. This is not looking good...
  14. I never liked much Paradox strategy games, though I have Stellar and tried Europa Universalis. However a historian blog I follow had an interesting critique. These days I am trying to get into some of the games I got during lockdown. GRIS is one of the most beautiful games I have ever played, both image and music. And non-violent, except emotionally. To compensate I got several post apocalyptic isometric games. The expansion of Underrail, The Expedition, and Wasteland 3. Dark humor, hard choices and a bleak future, that fortunately happens to very small models, so the violence see
  15. Rading few new books, as I get tired easily, and I am trying to read a few Italian books to improve my Italian that have not been translated anywhere else. Those are naturally slow going. Rereading a lot, as they go easier when they click, and I feel less regrets when I abandon them. Among them the books I have of Stephen Hunt Jackal series before deciding if I go beyond number 5. The odds are I will not, as it looks as I will get stuck in the third, "The Iron Moon". In the original run I went up to the fifth, "Jack Cloudie". I am stuck in many books, however. I have left Gareth P
  16. Just a little prospection on population.
  17. I have not yet taken a PCR test, though I have taken a couple of antibody tests (negative), plus the one I get when I donate blood (every three months). However my wife has been tested twice already (both negative) because she developed asthma last year and usually has digestive problems, so she always ticks several boxes in the symptom quizzes. Our company support a professorship at the University, and I am part of the steering committee, so we have our fist meeting since January. Discussing grants, science promoting activities, courses and conferences. And possibly a meal all to
  18. For me the big advantages of long running fora are the shared memories and the possibility for discussion. Twitter has the attention span of a goldfish, the past is this morning and most arguments are at the pre-schooler level. I used to think I would write more when I had more free time. But we have had COVID, I no longer travel every other week and meet lots of new people (tiring and distracting). So I played lots of old games. If thinking between writing something here or firing up Planescape: Torment once more time, I did Torment (and Baldur's Gate, and Wasteland, and Fallout
  19. As I said, as there is practically nothing I can do to affect the results, I prefer to watch it as a disaster movie. Not that we do not have our own disasters close at home, but this will affect the whole world. It is a bit frustrating when almost all the US people I know vote Democrat, even if they dislike the Democrats, and you realize that there is 40-45% people who think in a totally different way. I had written all, but then I realised that I have a couple of business acquaintances that vote Republican. A third generation Filipino that is our agent in the USA, that has three
  20. Psychophant

    Reviews

    I confess I did not like Agency either. I read it a second time, hoping to have it click better, as I find often with WG books, but it was not the case. From my point of view the time travel component detracted rather than improved the novel, unlike what happened in The Peripheral, where it was key, and fully justified. So we end up with two novellas, one of life in a klept future, from the point of view of the hangers-on of the highly privileged, and a story of how lucky we are that the first self evolving AI prevents an unlikely nuclear war rather than starting one, told by a han
  21. Psychophant

    US Elections

    Although the effect is felt worldwide, this is a mostly spectator sport to me. This year It appears momentous, but as it gets closer, I cannot help but think that the US balances have worked relatively well, and that Trump has done mostly what Cruz, just to put an example, would have done, except for the huge amount of noise Trump himself generates. McConnell is more to blame about the good and the bad things that happen than the nominal president, which I see more and more as a willing scapegoat for all the crazy things the Republicans want to do. So at least the Republicans have
  22. I spent 90 minutes in a car with a coworker that is now in confimement, waiting for the PCR test result of her son, as a friend of his tested positive and they spent two hours playing in the same room last Saturday. It creates a certain worry to be linked, still by an uncertain chain, to a positive case. Protocol here right now requires that I confine myself if she tests positive, except to go for my own tests, and meanwhile to live normally, if this can be called normal. Risk is quite low. We did not sing or shout or cough. We did not spend time face to face. We kept
  23. The Forum format is dying in the internet, and thewgb.com is not an exception. I check almost daily, but write seldom, and the more time passes without a post, it becomes harder to break the silence. I hope there are many people like me, and there are more than the six people who write "frequently" checking the forum. I will assume that, if they exist, the silent readers are people who remember fondly the active years of the WGB (2004-2010, considering the decadence started after WG moved to Twitter). Although WG and his work was only a small part of the discussions generated, he s
  24. No, it is just what it says in the tin. Pity I missed the opening of the new Archaological museum, and now I do not know when I will get back. Some more street art.
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