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Irontruth's page

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The value of an AI (or algorithm, or whatever) in TTRPG is not the replacement of GM's. For one, to completely replace a GM, the AI (or whatever) would have to completely replicate the functionality of a human. I doubt we will ever reach such capabilities, especially not with electronic-based technologies.

The real value is in reducing/eliminating GM prep.

Imagine if all you had to do was read a 3 paragraph synopsis of an adventure path... and you were now done preparing for the campaign. Some small amount of record keeping would be necessary throughout, and note taking, but the AI would track everything else for you.

Having the option to run a campaign, but not invest multiple hours into it before it even starts sounds like a great option.


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I tried a chana masala recently. I liked it enough, and the girlfriend liked it enough that I immediately made it again a few days later. It will probably go into my regular rotation of things to make because it was super easy and I could make a full pot of it to make leftovers.

We had a snowstorm hit yesterday, and she and I are both on winter break. I bought potatoes, brussel sprouts, and some frozen meal options.

I'm super happy with my fried rice now. I marinade some diced EF tofu in honey, dark soy sauce, and chili crisp oil, then I fry it until I'm too hungry to wait any longer. I season the rice with chili crisp and dark soy sauce as well.

For Christmas, I'm bringing my savory bread pudding and squash. 3 kinds of cheese melted into a pile of sourdough bread. I made it for thanksgiving, but I skimped on the cheese and cream. It was good, but not as gooey as I wanted it to be. Closer to the consistency of normal stuffing. I bake it on top of the spaghetti squash in the dutch oven normally, but I may have to use the crock pot.


The last episode immediately felt like a series finale to me.

That said, while I still overall enjoyed the season, it was the weakest by far. It had a lot of nearly fatal flaws that would have absolutely wrecked a more poorly run show (GOT anyone?), but in the end, the landing was okay. Not great, not necessarily even good, but okay.

I'd still recommend the show overall, though I would caveat that by saying it's okay to stop watching the show after any of the season finales. The overall quality/intensity of the show drops off every season.


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Fergie wrote:
Irontruth wrote:
If my dad robs a bank, and leaves me the money, should I keep the money?

Hell yes! The banks are faceless corporations that have been robbing the masses for generations.

"In 2005, JP Morgan Chase, currently the biggest bank in the US, admitted that two of its subsidiaries - Citizens' Bank and Canal Bank in Louisiana - accepted enslaved people as collateral for loans. If plantation owners defaulted on loan payment the banks took ownership of these slaves.

JP Morgan was not alone. The predecessors that made up Citibank, Bank of America and Wells Fargo are among a list of well-known US financial firms that benefited from the slave trade."

Now if your father robbed the people, the way the monarchy did, then you should absolutely make an effort to return the money.

The two primary shareholders/founders of the Royal Africa Company were members of the British royal family. I doubt it'll take 3 guesses what Atlantic trade network they started.

King Charles II
King James II (Duke of York at the time of the royal charter)

It's not possible to give an ammount (gross or percentage) of how much wealth the royals accrued from slavery, but it profited both them and the whole of England immensely.


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jocundthejolly wrote:
A human being lived and died. I'm sure, like the rest of us, she did some good things and some bad things. She happened to be in a position which gave her greater scope for either/both than most of us get. Was she as great as her family says? Probably not. Should we lay at her feet every bad thing Britain did over the last 70 years (or more, as some want to)? Also no.

If my dad robs a bank, and leaves me the money, should I keep the money?


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Tone policing reactions to a celebrity's death seems very... well... I only have impolite words.

She represented an institution that has murdered and oppressed millions of people for centuries around the globe, and she personally ensured that institution would continue to exist. She also seemed like a somewhat nice lady. I'm not sure those two things really balance out.


I'll second the water+corn starch marinade. I learned it from a very good kung pao chicken recipe. Now that you brought it up, DQ, I'm wondering if it or something similar would work with tofu.


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I dropped my cholesterol by 90 points and my triglycerides by 1400 points (I was previously at a level indicating my pancreas was in serious danger, now I'm just at a level that's highly concerning).

I've added a very simple panang curry to my weeknight rotation of meals. I don't start work until September, so I made dinner for the girlfriend last night (and gave her the leftovers for lunches). Her favorite Thai curry is panang, so I just bought a container of premade curry paste. I want to try making it from scratch some time, but this is sufficient for a weeknight. I've done it with both a prepacked frozen veggies and cutting fresh veggies.

Last night was fresh veggies, and I sauteed the the carrots in the garlic/ginger/curry paste for about 4 minutes before adding the coconut milk, and they came out great. Cooked all the way through, but not mushy. I probably put a little too much curry paste in, we both had runny noses from the spice level (like a 3 out of 5 on a farang scale).


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I made my own broth for the first time a couple weeks ago. I made ribs, saved the bones and some of the trimmed fat. I made a ramen broth with lots of aromatics: star anise, cardamom, cloves, ginger, garlic, szechuan peppercorn (I don't have any white peppercorn, so just wanted something else unusual). It turned out really good, and I was super happy with it.

Tonight I made a mushroom broth for the girlfriend, ramen again. I only cheated with one can of pre-made veggie broth, but I added about 6 more cups of water. Mushrooms, some dried kelp (dashi), and all the above aromatics. It worked really well again. I have enough broth leftover for one big meal, or two smaller ones.

I tried poaching eggs in the shell, but they were under done. I tried the ratio of boiling water and adding a cup of cold water, then letting it sit for 5 minutes. I might have had the time wrong as well.


I was attempting to analyze the justification for knowing whether the points of a circle were basic or contingent upon each other when it occurred to me that my conclusion was based on circular reasoning.


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The hard part of doing meat on a campfire is how to actually suspend the meat over the fire. Some campgrounds have grates, but for example I was at a state park in Nevada a few weeks ago, and the grate was so high above the fire I couldn't get the water to boil (I eventually just put my pot directly on the coals for about 2-3 minutes).

That said, an semi-easy thing to do is potatoes. Wrap them in foil, put a little fat on the skin, and tuck them in near the base of the fire. I'd do a couple extra, just in case one gets burned. If all survive, use the extras for a breakfast skillet. And of course, with potatoes you can just do whatever your favorite thing to do with potatoes is after their cooked. You can also cut and season them prior to cooking if preferred.

I've been doing a lot of brussel sprouts lately. They've been fine (the gf loves them), but I've not been happy. I haven't managed to get them crispy. I think I have to get just a bit higher heat.


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Just came back from another camping trip. This one was in a car instead of a canoe, so I had a lot of luxuries I could bring with. This included packing charcoal and heavy cookware.

I only cooked one breakfast (technically I cooked breakfast twice, but the second was food provided by others and for like 30 people). Roasted potatoes and scrambled eggs. Potatoes were just on a skillet with some seasoning until done. Set aside, then made some JustEgg (I love this stuff) with garlic and goat cheese (cheddar).

I tried making MinuteRice a couple times. It went okay. I can see why it wouldn't be recommended for normal use. It had a strange texture. It worked much better though, and is a lot more forgiving when not in my home kitchen. It was better when I could swamp it with lots of flavor, and not good as a central part of the dish. We packed some prepackaged Indian food and that was the best meal with the MinuteRice.


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I took a canoe trip the past few days.

I've been doing canoe-camping trips almost my whole life (my first trip was probably 37 years ago, my first solo trip was almost 13 years ago). Normally I do boil-in-bag premade meals, but trying to be healthier I attempted to actually cook this time. It went horribly wrong. Both meals I couldn't get the rice cooked AND I burned it. I used a light-weight cooking pot with an MSR pocket-rocket, and even with the burner turned all the way down (sometimes accidentally turning it off), I still burned two meals. The third dinner was packaged ramen, and it's hard to burn water.

I have a couple of days of turn-around and we're doing a car-camping trip that starts on Friday, so I have until then to see what solutions I can come up with. We need to cook all our own meals to save money so we can pay for gas. At least this time I can bring heavier cookware.


Mark Hoover 330 wrote:
Did anyone notice that Erica called her character a "rogue" in the D&D session? In '86 we had AD&D, Basic, Expert and Immortals; there were no "Rogue" classes. You could play a THIEF, but not a rogue. Just thought I'd throw that out there.

The d20 struck me as possibly anachronistic as well.


Ambrosia Slaad wrote:
I spent almost an hour this morning dulling a good knife trying to get that massive humerus bone out of one half of the roast.

For christmas, I got myself a cheap set of sharpening stones and have been working on learning to sharpen my knives. I'm slowly getting better at it, and it's kind of fun to do while watching TV.


They rebooted the show. It's on Amazon. I was surprised to see an add banner for it, and just clicked it to see what was going on. I thought maybe it was the old series, since it said (1989), but it's a reboot. Same cast.

I laughed my ass off.

It's NSFW.


I took a lot of inspiration from HelloFresh. I had to cancel my subscription when I had to reduce carbs and meat (their veggie meals are heavy on pasta/potatoes/rice, cheap starches to fill you up).

That said, I'm still using some of the things I learned from their recipes, and it is a really good, easy way to improve confidence and skill at cooking.

I'm absolutely loving making the egg fried rice. Since I don't measure anything, it turns out slightly different every time. We roasted a bunch of broccoli, cauliflower, and bell pepper to add the fiber I needed.

I've also been living off KIND bars recently. They have a little bit of added sugar, but it's only a couple of grams, and there's so much fiber, I think I can get away with it.

Otherwise, I've been really lazy and ordered way too much delivery/takeout. Definitely did not maintain my goals the past 7-10 days.


The core problem with IM2 is that they wrote it to set up the MCU, and so it was just kinda dumb. Some other movies did pick up the pieces of IM2 and ran with them, but the movie itself didn't really tell a coherent story. Some storylines essentially contradicted each other in theme... it's fine if a character explores contradictions in their goals, and the resolution of which can make for an interesting story. It's bad when your C-plot and D-plot don't intersect AND kinda contradict each other and some completely divorced. It's why the movie doesn't sit well with you.

IM3 is coherent, even if you don't like the plot.


Iron Man 2 was far worse than Iron Man 3.


As melee, I smashed through her so fast on my first two play throughs that I had no clue how to actually beat her on my third game. When she didn't die immediately, I was very confused.

I might try to finish it today/tomorrow.


Sure, my comments were specifically about this movie, not about the general Batman oeuvre.

The conceit is that Batman is trying to solve crime in general. Common crimes, like robbery, mugging, assault, etc.

The movie does address the violent vs supportive dynamic. For example, the first person he saves is afraid of him, and the movie ends with Batman using light to lead people to safety. I think that's actually a good dynamic, but I also think the movie could have gone slightly further. For example, some comments from the young new mayor about how the city needs to focus more on helping people and less on caped crusaders. My guess is that the writers/directors/studio may have nixed that because it would too accurately reflect some of the recent political tensions in the real world, but at least overtly acknowledging these ideas from the real world would have made it feel even more relevant and real IMO.

Partly, I think this would make it resonate more because no Batman movie is going to be a timeless classic. They're always making a new Batman, so just trying to reflect the time of it's making would help Batman continuously feel relevant. He can be a very malleable character, and it'd be cool to see that used more.


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The girlfriend and I had an extra day off Monday, so we made:
Hummus
beet deep
tzatziki sauce
pickled radishes/beets
(google doc with recipes I stole from various places on the internet)

She lives off veggies and dip, and I'll snack on them occasionally, so it worked really well to feed her for the week.

I then made mapo tofu, replacing the pork with diced mushrooms. I haven't made that in a little while, and I love it. I made some chili oil a couple weeks ago, so I used that and I was very happy. I've fallen in love with Korean red pepper powder. It's flavorful and has some heat, but not too much. I roasted some broccoli to go on the side. Tossed it in salt, pepper, and olive oil, roasted for 25 minutes at 400 degrees, and it was nice and crispy.

I've also probably made too much egg fried rice this week. I've been using brown rice and JUST egg, so it's a bit healthier. I had some extra mushrooms one day, then extra carrots another. Seasoned with my homemade chili oil and a touch of oyster sauce. Garnished with sprouts to make myself feel better about it.


thejeff wrote:


At least to start with - you can bring in the gadgets to help cope with the more extreme supervillains that come along. Not like a jobs program would really help with the sometimes super-powered monsters that Gotham attracts.

Who was the super villain that caused Bruce Wayne to invent the character of the Batman in this movie? Maybe I missed it.

Falcone was ultimately responsible for some of the events, but Bruce was unaware of his actions until the end of the movie.

The Riddler didn't start his first crime spree until 2 years after the Batman started his night patrols.

The Penguin was just a small-time club owner.

The concept of super-powered monsters doesn't currently exist in this movie.


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I liked it.

It had some of the grittiness of the Nolan series, but the philosophy of Batman was definitely different. There's still a failure in addressing that philosophy... investing however much money he spends fighting crime into a jobs program would likely reduce crime by several orders of magnitude more than one guy being a badass on the streets. But at least the movie looks at the efficacy to some degree.

It could have used a little more variation in the music.

As for "movie of the year", I don't think this holds any sort of candle to Everything Everywhere All at Once. I don't know if that one will be the best movie of the year, but it was the most fun I've had in a theater in many, many years. My eyes genuinely hurt after the movie, caused by the combination of laughing and crying so much.


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I made this on Wednesday, I'm going to make it again tonight.

Carb heavy noodles are out, so I replaced them with a combination of zucchini spirals and brown rice. It worked really well. Also, it was very easy to make.

I've made tofu in a couple other dishes before, and they always end up looking like scrambled eggs anyways, so a recipe that just tells me to do that ahead of time was right up my alley.

He has another video on chili oil that I'm going to try making next week.


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So many deaths when the boss has a so little health that it just looks like an empty bar.


Yeah, I started journey 2, and Tiche and I are dismantling bosses pretty quickly.

I started the Age of Stars the first time. This time I want to see what happens with Goldmask.


What do people think the "level cap" is? Not the max possible level, but the natural matchmaking stopping point?

Conditioned by previous games, I was thinking it's 125, but I've so easily blown past that (and still getting enough runes for 2 levels from some bosses), I think the common stopping point is going to be much higher, like between 150-200.

Not the dueling meta level either... I suck at dueling, and I'm seeing some hardcore players still pushing the DS3 cap of 125. Those people are going to do whatever, and I don't mind leveling past them since they'll invade me less.


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I love Oleg. His damage isn't massive, but it's pretty good, and he has a ton of HP when upgraded.


Went back to sword and board. I just like the feel of the game better.

I know I'm supposed to run dual katanas right now, but I'm happy with just one. Rivers of Blood is pretty strong. I've also been using the godskin peeler with frost on it and I like it. It applies a lot of frost, and anything susceptible to frost takes the extra damage in about 4 hits.


Hitting a wall today in Castle Sol. Mostly been practicing as a summoned player, but with 25-30 attempts I didn't get a single kill.

It's a little frustrating too, because there's an obvious strategy that would make it like 25-30% easier and precisely zero people seem to be aware of it. As I'm writing, I'm going to try a couple of attempts solo tomorrow with a summons.

I'm trying a sword and sorcery build, and it feels so different from my traditional sword and board.


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And a couple bosses have 3-4 hit combos that can kill nearly anyone in 2 hits, but these tend to be the major bosses of each region.

The freedom to just go somewhere else does make the difficulty of the game much easier to handle. If a dungeon is just too hard, go do other stuff for an hour or two, come back to it tomorrow.

I do enjoy the fact that the horse is sometimes better than the help of 2 random summoned players.


captain yesterday wrote:
captain yesterday wrote:
How does the combat compare to Ghost of Tsushima?
I'm still wondering how the combat in this game stacks up against Ghost of Tsushima. Obviously they are different games but for me Ghost is the gold standard for fluid and intuitive combat so just curious.

I never played Ghost of Tsushima, so I can't tell you.


Some thoughts after waaaaay too many hours this week.

I hesitate to put Elden Ring in the pantheon of greatest games ever, though I'm tempted. Partially it's because it feels like the result of small changes. There's nothing truly new or innovative in this game, but... everything it has in it is being done to perfection. The open world design is amazing. It feels huge, varied, and you are rewarded for exploring it constantly (both in finding secrets, and just the experience of seeing the landscape). The combat is just the best combat I've ever experienced in a game IMO. The designers occasionally hold your hand to explain a concept, but it's usually done in subtle ways, and afterwards they definitely expect you to figure it out on your own.

I think it should be compared to Skyrim, or possibly Breath of the Wild (though I only watched that some, never played it). Having spent a lot of time on Skyrim, Elden Ring is miles better as a final product IMO. Skyrim has two advantages. It has a better explained narrative, and can be customized with mods. The multiplayer aspect of ER precludes the latter, and having multiplayer is a huge bonus, so I think that's a wash. ER's story is good and still there, and it's much more explained than any previous Souls game, but it's still something you have to piece together kind of, and it's easy to miss elements.

All that said, I think it's one of the most perfected games ever. It is the culmination of a design ethos and technical possibilities. It runs counter to so many design philosophies in other games, but it makes those choices intentionally. I know it's early in the year, but I have a hard time believing that there will be a better made game this year. I even suspect this may be one of the best games of this decade. I hesitate to call it the best ever, but it has a place in that conversation.


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Curry with mushrooms, red peppers, and lentils.

2 bell peppers (thin sliced)
8 ounces of mushrooms (thin sliced)
1 1/2 cups of dry lentils
1 can of low fat coconut milk
Peanut butter
Garlic (minced)
Curry powder

I use the peanut butter for it's sugar content, and the nutty flavor blends into the curry well, plus it adds a little bit of thickness, although with the lentils I don't think it was much of an issue.

Cooked the peppers and mushrooms in a dash of oil until browned and soft.
Cook the lentils separately (I used my rice cooker).
Set the peppers and mushrooms aside.

Dash of oil, heat up the garlic. Once aromatic, add the coconut milk. Add a decent size spoonful of peanut butter. Add curry powder until it have a strong enough curry taste to your preference (I start with about a tablespoon, and add more every 30-60 seconds until I'm happy). After 3-4 minutes, add your vegetables. When everything is nice and coated and the curry sauce thickens just a little bit, turn off heat and add the lentils.

I top it with szechuan chili crisp oil. A little bit of the solid chili flakes, but also the oil itself helps spread out the flavor.

Very little sugar, a little bit of fat, and a ton of fiber.


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I helped someone else beat a boss, and I legit took zero damage from that boss while still dishing out lots of it. I was super proud of myself. It was even on my first ever try with that boss.

Summoned someone to my world, and I immediately died due to my arrogance.

Siofra River is probably one of my favorite zones so far, at least for the aesthetic.


I always think about a magic build, but I get suckered into the big cool weapons and armor every time.


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I doubt we'll run into each other often, but I have a group password: Durin

It increases the chances of seeing each other's messages, bloodstains, and summoning symbols.

I was never an especially good DS3 player. I did get my first Great Rune tonight on the second try (with summoned help, of course). The Stormveil boss was a little more predictable than the gate boss. It was a really cool one though.


If you're a fan of Dark Souls/Bloodbourne/Sekiroh, then you probably already know the game is out. So far, I've died like 25 times to the first big story boss, and I'm loving this game.

The game mechanics feel very similar to Dark Souls 3 to me with a few quality of life improvements. The open world style is very interesting, and I love it. You run around and see an enemy... and you have no idea if it's going to be easy or hard. That knight on a horse who looks just a little too shiny? Probably a mini-boss. The game world feels dangerous, and exploring is exciting.

The story is a little more laid out than other Souls games that I've played. It is still something you have to investigate to uncover, but there's a little less trying to piece it together like you're Sherlock Holmes. More NPCs actually have plot dialogue to share.


Life goes on... or at least that's supposedly the point of eating healthier.

Going to an NBA game tonight... probably cheating on at least one aspect of my new diet.


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I tried another batch, using some regular peanut butter, and then some chocolate PB2 (and like half the honey). It's far less sweet, feels more "energy bar" than tasty treat, but it's still pretty chocolaty. I also think I accidently doubled the ratio of rolled oats. I think it'll work as a low cholesterol/low sugar/high fiber snack. I might try baking it lightly.


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Freehold DM wrote:
Irontruth wrote:

Got some bad news from the doctor. I have a couple of minor pre-diabetic symptoms, but tremendously high cholesterol and triglycerides. I love me some bacon, sausage, or BBQ, and I'm going to have to cut waaaaay back on those things. I've been craving some BBQ lately too.

I am not a heavy drinker, but I collect whiskey. On the plus side, it'll keep just fine if I don't drink it for a while.

extends arms MOURN WITH ME BROTHER

I started giving up soda on the tail end of summer 2020, but it wasn't soon enough. I relapsed a bit this fall, but I'm doing a hard cut off now. I'm probably overdoing it with the sparkling water right now... but baby steps.

I made some no-bake oatballs last night that were pretty good. Rolled oats, flax seed, chia seeds, honey, vanilla, peanut butter, sugarless vegan chocolate chips (no dairy fat). Honestly they were pretty good. I think I could even use less honey and switch to a less sweet peanut butter (used regular skippy) and I'd still like them. Tons of fiber, which is key.

Just made myself some curry noodles. Cooked the noodles. Used the same pot to heat up a bag of frozen vegetables. Garlic, ginger, lots of curry powder, and kept adding coconut milk until there was enough to coat everything. Once it was nice and combined, added the noodles, along with a little more coconut milk to ensure everything was coated.

The noodles aren't great for me, but it's what I still have on hand, and it's a winter storm out.


Got some bad news from the doctor. I have a couple of minor pre-diabetic symptoms, but tremendously high cholesterol and triglycerides. I love me some bacon, sausage, or BBQ, and I'm going to have to cut waaaaay back on those things. I've been craving some BBQ lately too.

I am not a heavy drinker, but I collect whiskey. On the plus side, it'll keep just fine if I don't drink it for a while.


I got a C in a philosophy class where I used the cliff notes translation of a book by Mediocrates.


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I got a dog 4 years ago (at the end of this month). He's a pitbull mix with prodigious amounts of energy. He's the most energetic dog I've ever met or heard about. When given the chance, he will play fetch for 6 hours with only short breaks to catch his breath. He will play fetch until he hurts himself. I am not exaggerating with the 6 hours either. His previous record was 5 1/2 hours, and the record before that was 5 hours.

He really enjoyed the summer of 2020. I live in a very large apartment building (nearly 400 units), and a group of friendly dog owners met at a nearby park to hang out every day during the first shut down. We'd be out there for about 2-3 hours every day playing fetch and around other dogs and people. He isn't very cuddly (we're working on it), but he loves having everyone he knows around him all the time.

I haven't taken him camping, but that's because he's crazy. He likes to swim, and has zero qualms about jumping in the water. I like to go on canoe trips, but I'm concerned about him tipping the canoe with me and all my stuff being dumped in the lake. Not so bad if you're just doing an afternoon paddle and going back to a dock, but it sucks when you're paddling in the wilderness in cold weather. We may give it a shot this summer on a trip with more people (more weight in the canoe from a person and gear).


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I made sloppy joes, but with Impossible meat. BBQ sauce, ketchup, and a touch of taco seasoning.

I tried a batch of chili this summer with Beyond meat, so I haven't tried both very many times, and not close together, but I like the Impossible better so far. The Beyond had more non-meat flavor to it and is nearly double the price.


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Finally got myself some Highland Park 12.

I haven't had a lot of scotch since I got covid in October, so my palette is still a little rough. I'm having a hard time getting past the astringent taste of the malt, though I do still like it. It is not near as soft and subtle as I remember either the 15 or 18 (though I still have some 18 to compare, I'm going to wait on that for a while). It has some smoke to it, and in general I got a fairly earthy impression from it. It's a lot less lively than Laphroaig 10, but in a good way. Far more approachable, but still definitely scotch. I can sense some decent complexity, but I can't make it all out at the moment.

For tonight, I infused some wild turkey 101 with a bunch of ingredients for the last few days (thyme, orange, apple, bitters, sugar), then I made it into an old fashioned (bitters, sugar, water). The first round of infusion was a premade gift from a friend (camp cocktails was the brand, kind of expensive though).


dirtypool wrote:

I don’t think most people consider 390 million “closing in on half a billion”

I would call it “slightly more than half of what Spider-Man made in six days”

$390 million would feel a lot like "closing in on half a billion" to me.


Kobold Catgirl wrote:
Just curious, did they go harder on the trans allegory stuff, or did they keep playing it subtle? I'm still laughing about how many guys don't realize that the red pill is literally estrogen. ^w^

I understand that this was part of the point for the filmmaker, but the ease with which their original meaning has been subverted demonstrates the lack of clarity in that allegory. It's a big reason a lot of people are unhappy with characters who are coded as being something rather than just being the thing outright. It's too easy to ignore or subvert coded references.


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It did a really bad job of establishing stakes.

There's a fight where one of the sidekicks shoots a henchmen (before the fight breaks out), and the bullet does nothing. It's not clear why they're fighting to me. I get that that character is a return from one of the sequels, but it's been forever since I saw it, and I didn't recognize them. I had no clue what their problem with Neo was. I had no idea what they were fighting over. Like... why did the good guys want to fight this out instead of running? Why did the bad guys want to instigate this fight? None of it was clear, and lo and behold... the fight doesn't really resolve itself either. It just kind of ends and moves on.

Some of the smaller scenes were fine. Reeves and Moss have okay chemistry (plays more like old friends than romantic partners to me), but certainly not "the world needs to revolve around this love" chemistry. They both play their parts well, and the smaller moments are good with them.

There are no real twists and turns... it kind of is just laid out and then proceeds exactly as laid out. Nothing is surprising.

The film includes a lot of meta commentary about itself... and it's all boring.

I never really liked the sequels, and I only saw them once each. That will probably include this one now.

The first movie was a technical spectacle, with beautifully arranged scenes, and it had some wonderful half-baked philosophy in it that was still enjoyable to mull over.

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