How to be a Public Intellectual

Think of the Children

I was playing World of Tanks this evening. A PC game that I have been playing for, oh, nearly 2 years. I’m not very good – I’m 50 years old, and the reflexes have taken a dip.

For the first time, I received a personal message via the World of Tanks messaging system. I didn’t know I had received this message until I logged off and saw the email notification from the World of Tanks universe. Without further ado, here was what YummyKittyCupcake said:

I wanted to tell u what an idiot u are child. Why didnt u roll forward and support me instead of just camping in the back with no shot whatsoever and u let me get killed. This game is all about teamwork and u rolled forward in ur SU-100 only when everyone was dead on that side. Shows what a stupid coward u are. Man u really are one stupid idiot.

That was incredibly adorable. Especially coming from someone with the tanker name of YummyKittyCupcake. Well, I really wanted to reply to him, but he had already logged off. So I shall use the power of the blog to supply him with my clever retort:

First off, YummyKittyCupcake, I am extremely thankful that you took the time to bring my misplay to my attention. It is only through thoughtful criticism from our peers, can we progress to the next level.

You start marvelously by first complimenting me. As a 50 year old, being called a child is one of the nicest thing you could of said. You should always begin each critique with a compliment, and you did that brilliantly.

Your first point you make is spot on. I should of rolled up and supported you. I just wasn’t concentrating. President Obama had just visited my home state of Alaska, and I was probably mulling over his points about the impacts of global warming. In the future, I will have to stay more focused on the movements of my teammates.

So true about supporting your teammates! We would of won this battle by an even larger margin (15 to 9), had I been more aware of your movements. Maybe I wasn’t thinking about global warming… maybe I was thinking of that poor drowned refugee child that washed up on the shore of Bodrum. Such sadness does affect my judgement.

World of Tanks is indeed an excellent way to measure a person’s bravery and or cowardice. Shooting at such a long distance from the enemy with my tank destroyer, definitely shows how weak-kneed of human I am. You have called me out, sir, and I am grateful. It makes no never mind that I was causing damage to the opposing team, while taking no damage on my vehicle. Fear had overtaken me, and you paid the ultimate price.

Your concluding comment that I am a stupid idiot, is completely fair. Some would call this bullying or trolling, but with such a well-thought out critique of my play style, I must take my medicine here. Thank you YummyKittyCupcake, you have made me a better tanker.

No, I must go further, you made me a better human being.

Yours truly, Zoyx.

For those lucky to have World of Tanks installed, you can watch the replay from my perspective. You too can criticize my shitty playing techniques.

Dream from last night…

Dream from last night that I must make true. A balding man is sitting at an outdoor dinner table on a balcony. No clothes on except for a bath towel. Nearby music is playing, and he is sobbing the lyrics. At the end of the song he stands up, shakes his fist at the sky and screams angrily, “YOU SON-OF-A-BITCH”! Surrounding people stop and stare.

Waiting for the sun

For Anchorage SAD folk, some milestones over the next couple months…
Yesterday: 4 PM sunset
Jan 9: 6 hour day
Jan 13: 10 AM sunrise
Jan 23: 7 hour day
Jan 30: 5 PM sunset
Feb 4: 8 hour day
Feb 9: 9 AM sunrise
Feb 15: 9 hour day
Feb 20: 6 PM sunset
Feb 25: 10 hour day
Mar 1: 8 AM sunrise
Mar 7: Average high temperature reaches 32
Mar 9: DST – sunset 7:43 PM – 11 hour day.

A picture I took this morning at 8 AM.

Epic Battles

When I was a kid, out in the back yard, shooting baskets… I would imagine these epic NBA dramas. It usually ended with a 3 pointer at the very last second. The protagonist was the Minnesota Nets. Minnesota didn’t have an NBA team at the time, so I had the New Jersey Nets moving to Minnesota. There also wasn’t 3 pointers in the NBA at the time, I believe I borrowed that from the ABA.

Here we are in the future, and the NBA has a Minnesota franchise and 3 pointers. This current Minnesota franchise hasn’t even come close to the excitement of the Minnesota Nets.

My Nexus 7 Trials

I finally have my Nexus 7 (2012 version) up to date. Running Android 5.0 (Lollipop). Whoops, I just gave away the ending … *SPOILER*.

It took a long time to get here. I purchase my Nexus 7 in December of 2012. It came with version 4.1 (Jelly Bean), and I was quickly able to upgrade to 4.1.1, then 4.1.2.

Then version 4.2.1 was released. I got the “Would you like to update?” prompt, and I confidently said, “You betcha, Ken”. I then walked away. When I came back, it looked like it was done and was up and running fine. I check the version number, no change. Whoops. I manually run the update, and watch it this time. After the reboot, the update progress bar goes about a third of the way, then a dead android appears. Failure.

I spend the next hour googling things to try, then trying them. No luck. Finally I come upon a thread that says, “Just return it.” I checked the return policy from Amazon (where I purchased this), I can’t return it. I decide I am happy with this version, and will just continue to use it this way.

I finally get sick of being behind the times, and not having the latest version. I look into installing Cyanogenmod. With lots of work fighting with rooting, getting adb to work, and then finally flashing a whole new system image, I was nearly up to date with the latest android. Glorious. When Cyanogenmod came out with a version that was built on top of android 4.3, I went through the whole process again. Cyanogenmod still hasn’t come out with an official version built on 4.4 (KitKat)… they’ve only reached nightly build stage as of this typing.

Within the past week, Google released a factory image for version 5.0 (Lollipop). What the heck, let’s give the official version one last try, since Cyanogenmod is now two version behind.

So today, the installation commences. I do some swearing while I try to get adb to connect. Then more swearing when I run the install script. The fatal flaw? The bootloader image doesn’t like my system. I do some googling, someone on the XDM-developers forums has found that this other bootloader image, with the same version number, works. I use this image, and it flashes just fine. So now the install script also works. Hooray!

One more piece of drama, the reboot after the install is stuck on the splash screen. I start googling this problem. There’s people saying that they can’t get past the splash screen, even after a hard reset. I do a hard reset – hold the power button and both volume buttons at the same time for 10 seconds. I am very pessimistic. I continue searching things as it tries to boot up again. This time it breaks through, and boots to the launcher. Much triumphant!

So there you have it. For the first time in nearly 2 years, my Nexus 7 is updated to the latest official version of Android. I know, I know, so very dramatic. The next test is when Lollipop has an incremental update – will my stubborn Nexus 7 accept it? Stay tuned.

Elites

I want “Elites” running this country. By “Elites”, I mean smart and intelligent, not rich and wealthy. Too many elected officials are charismatic, but lack the scruples to run the country.