Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Stargate Atlantis Season 3 Episode 4 (and Star Wars 40th anniversary.)

Stargate Atlantis Season 3 Episode 4:  What a fantastic episode!

Stargate Atlantis seems to be the most fun of all the Stargate series, but I thought that Season 2 was a little slow.  Season 3 seems has gotten off to a great start.

This is actually my third time through the series, but it has been a few years, so I don't remember all the details.  When you have a series this entertaining, it is worth seeing again.

Star Wars is approaching its 40th anniversary next month.  What other movie has such a serious social impact 40 years after its release?

How many times have I seen the original Star Wars?    My guess is 18 times.  Maybe five times in the first couple of years.  How did I arrive at the number 18?   I don't know.  I have been sort of keeping a running count, but maybe I have overestimated.  Maybe not.

Star Wars helped give rise the video game industry.  In the years after its release, there were an explosion of "space" video games.  In the late 70's, I was playing a space game called "Tail Gunner", which has to be the first 3D shoot-em-up.  For its time, it was amazing.

If Star Wars helped shape the video game industry, then the video game industry helped shape me.  I was already interested in computers in the 1970's, but because of my interest in video games, I was writing and selling games by the mid 80's.  Eventually, I was employed at a major video game development company working on all sorts of games.


Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Third place.

I'll take what I can get.  I still have some difficulty in the chess.com USCF rated speed tournament.  Usually, I am lucky just to place.  I don't think that I have ever won the speed tournament, although I have on rare occasion won some of the slower online tournaments.  (Sometimes, we get strong masters who show up and win the tournaments.  Sometimes we don't.)

I also need to either replace my mouse or get a mousepad and see if that helps.  My mouse is not as responsive as it should be.  When trying to play tournament speed chess online, it makes a difference.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

ACLU 1 | Trump 0

In response to:

ACLU 1 | Trump 0

​I wrote:

I don't want to stir the pot more than I already have, but I feel compelled to say something: American people: 0. This reminds me about the pre-911 debate about racial profiling. That pretty much went out the window after 9-11. Do we need another 9-11 to make people worried about terrorism again? I say NEVER FORGET. What happens when somebody sets off a nuke on American soil? It will make this whole debate look pretty silly. Every September 11th I watch this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z1gpJyFHETw&t=46s (I'll shut up now. People are entitiled to their opinion. I understand people's desire to be compassionate and I completely sympathize. I just think that the world is an extremely dangerious place right now.)

Sunday, January 22, 2017

What is good about the Star Wars Prequels.

In response to this video ...

I made the following comments ...

I was 17 when the original Star Wars came out. I have seen it maybe 18 times, but my favorite movie of all time is The Empire Strikes Back. But I also think that The Phantom Menace is the second or third best Star Wars movie. It is very good. Every Star Wars movie has been different. Each one has had a unique flavor to it. It is a testament to how strong the Star Wars movies are. However, some people are disappointed when a particular movie doesn't turn out like they expected. I can't imagine why anyone would dislike The Phantom Menace, but I suspect that it is because they dislike the character of Jar Jar. Every serious move needs some comic relief to relieve the tension, so I enjoyed the character of Jar Jar quite a bit. From a science fiction point of view, if you had two sapient races sharing a planet, it might make sense for one to be less intelligent and/or less sophisticated. It would be unlikely that both species would have the same level of intelligence and sophistication.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Copy of My Facebook post

Events in recent years have impressed upon me the fragility of human life. I have lost friends, family, and associates. This happens with greater frequency as we get older, because most everyone we know is getting older too. However, I have also seen young people die from accidents. For example, a young couple I worked with were hiking in the mountains during a storm and were killed by lightning.

Cancer has claimed the lives of a few people I know.

What can we do about? I think that the first rule of living should be don't do stupid stuff. Stupid stuff can get you killed. Don't take unnecessary risks. Obey the law. Don't do drugs. Drive defensively. Obey the speed limit. Keep your vehicle, especially your tires, properly maintained.

Keep fire extinguishers and working smoke detectors in your home. Get at least two carbon monoxide detectors, because if both alarms go off at the same time then you know it is not just a defective detector. This happened to me, but I also know a whole family that got carbon monoxide poisoning and had to be treated at the hospital.

I think that the second rule of living should be to take reasonable steps to protect your health. Don't smoke. Drink in moderation or not at all. Eat as healthy as you can. Consume more plant based foods and less red meat. Eat fewer processed foods and more fresh foods.

By the way, there is much research to indicate that sugar is very bad for you and addictive. For this reason, I don't keep any sweets in my home, otherwise I know I would eat them.

This is all common sense, but humans in general have a tendency to ignore common sense. We think that nothing bad will happen to us, but I have seen bad things happen to too many people. There is potential disaster around every corner. This is the reality we live in.


Friday, November 4, 2016

Some Facebook posts about Carson Nuss

Abigail LeeAnna Phillips

Today wasn't goodbye it was a see you later. Carson you were the most amazing and loving person I have ever met. I don't know why you had to go you had so much going for you, but God just needed another angel, and what a perfect angel he received. I never knew you to hate any one I just knew the love and the hugs and the good memories you shared. Today I saw what an impact you made on everyone's lives... I love you so much bub! And I'll see you later

Magan Bowen in Kokomo, Indiana.
12 hrs ·

Please keep my family in your prayers, today we lay to rest a special young man.. especially pray for his mom, dad and brother...

The Carson Nuss funeral procession just went thru town. It's usually so noisy outside near hwy 26 in the heart of town, but at that moment, so quiet. I stood outside saying a prayer for the family of young man who lived here ...a family who gives so much to this community. Sherri Coffey Nuss and Matt, our hearts all break for you but this town lifts you up with our support. Bless you on this day.

This was read at my Nephew's funeral.

A most beautiful poem 'The Dash' by Linda Ellis

I read of a man who stood to speak at the funeral of a friend. He referred to the dates on her casket from beginning to the end. He noted that first came the date of her birth and spoke of the following date with tears, but he said what mattered most of all was the dash between those years. For that dash represents all the time that she spent alive on earth and now only those who loved her know what that little line is worth.

For it matters not, how much we own, the cars, the house, the cash,

What matters is how we live and love and how we spend our dash.

So think about this long and hard; Are there things you would like to change?

For you never know how much time is left that can still be rearranged.

If we could just slow down enough to consider what is true and real

and always try to understand the way other people feel.

And be less quick to anger and show appreciation more

and love the people in our lives like we have never loved before.

If we treat each other with respect and more often wear a smile,

Remembering that this special dash might only last a little while.

So when your eulogy is being read with your life's actions to rehash…

Would you be proud of the things they say about how you spent your dash?

The service celebrating the life of my nephew, Carson Nuss, could not have been done any better. The pastor, Carson's friends and family, spoke about what a smart, upbeat, energetic, loving and generous person he was.

The number of mourners was staggering, with at least 1,500 coming to the viewing yesterday. Today's service was a packed house.

Today friends and families saw a loved one for the last time. As they go through this, I ask that you pray for comfort and healing over them. Carson was such an amazing young man. He will never be forgotten. Always in my thoughts and prayers ❤️

"When my heart is overwhelmed lead me to the rock that is higher than I." Psalm 61:2

Rest easy, Carson
Sherri Coffey Nuss Codi Hurd

Caroline Conaway with Sherri Coffey Nuss and Codi Hurd.
1 hr ·

Today we laid to rest one of the kindest souls I have been blessed to know. My life will never be the same, it is altered forever. Although it is a very hard time right now, I know Carson is up with our Father watching World War II documentaries and looking down and smiling on us. I'm glad I got the privilege to know and love someone who is undoubtably one of the most influential people I have ever known. thank you for loving the person I love and being there for him always and loving me just as much. I will never forget you, rest easy, sweet boy.

Carsons funeral was the nicest celebration of life I've ever seen, from the beautiful casket, flowers and painted vault... he's going to be missed by so many but his send off was beautiful


Friday, October 7, 2016

Fwd: Facebook political discussion.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: John Coffey <john2001plus@gmail.com>
Date: Fri, Oct 7, 2016 at 2:30 PM
Subject: Facebook political discussion.

"Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in." - Michael Corleone in Godfather Part III.    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UPw-3e_pzqU

Just when I was vowing to stop worrying about politics, I get sufficiently prodded on Facebook to make me want to respond...

Norm Jenson
Norm Jenson I understand the frustration of both conservatives and liberals. Promises promises and nothing much happens.where we differ is on the causes. The conservative solution is lower taxes and less government but I think that misses the cause which I believe is corporate personhood Citizens United in short corporate money in politics. This extends to the wealthy in general they buy a larger voice in decisions made it's not one man one vote but more like one dollar one vote as long as that's the case change comes slowly if at all. I don't believe the libertarian model will work I think it just makes the problem worse
John Coffey I believe in freedom. I think that freedom leads to economic growth. I think that we need economic growth, especially since we are 20 trillion dollars in debt, not counting unfunded entitlements which are much larger. I think that there is strong evidence that larger more intrusive governments reduce economic growth. Studies have been done on this, but on simplest level you can compare countries on one extreme, like North Korea and Cuba, to countries on the other extreme like Luxembourg and Liechtenstein. All the countries between tend to be on a linear scale where the more free are the more prosperous.

It is not consistent with Freedom to have the government steal from one person to give to another. The Libertarian solution is to not give the government so much power that the powerful can influence it. (Right Steve Kusaba?)
Norm Jenson
Norm Jenson and I believe in fairness. If there are no restrictions on freedom there is no justice. Freedom unchecked is slavery. Take monopolies as an example
Norm Jenson
Norm Jenson or take Trumps business practices he sometimes doesn't pay people he hires and they have no recourse because the costs of fighting his big bucks is prohibitive. That's the kind of fairness I'm talking about. He's free to use his money to screw people.
John Coffey
John Coffey This resembles the book 1984 doublespeak quote stating "Freedom is slavery." "Unchecked freedom" is hard to define, but I am not pure libertarian because I believe in regulations to prevent abuses. I think that government can and should protect its citizens.
John Coffey
John Coffey The left never ceases in its distortions about Trump. If you are as big of a businessman as Trump is, then there are going to be contract and labor disputes. Said Trump, "Let's say that they do a job that's not good, or a job that they didn't finish, or a job that was way late. I'll deduct from their contract, absolutely," Trump said. "That's what the country should be doing."

'To be sure, Trump and his companies have prevailed in many legal disputes over missing payments.' http://www.usatoday.com/.../donald-trump-unpaid.../85297274/
John Coffey
John Coffey I am sorry that we disagree. I think that a free society is the most fair. I think that the poor benefit the most from a free society. The poor are far better off in free societies than they are in less free societies, even if those societies are less "fair." Although we have different views, we want the same thing, which is to help people.
Norm Jenson
Norm Jenson I think the fact that the rich can and do take advantage by threatening to tie people up in court which denied them justice. What regulations would you favor to prevent that kind of abuse? Be specific
John Coffey
John Coffey You are always commanding me to say something, when in this case I had finished all I had wanted to say. I think that our laws and are courts are nightmarishly complex, which is a symptom of too much government. I have frequently advocated scrapping all our regulations, and starting over with something that is much simpler and more reasonable. I especially believe this about the tax code, which is one of the positions advocated by Donald Trump. We should look for ways to simplify the court system too.
Norm Jenson
Norm Jenson As a practical matter we can't simply scrap everything and start over. The structural problem will remain money determining policy and laws until those structural problems are addressed were doomed corporate personhood citizens united will slow meaningful change. The rich like a system where they pay little or no taxes. They have the power and trumps tax policies will simply increase that power
John Coffey
John Coffey I think that all this concern about whether the system is "fair" could and has lead to a loss of freedom because the government becomes intrusive in its enforcement of fairness. You have a system where the top 1% pay 24% of all federal taxes and the top 10% pay 53% of all federal taxes, and people still perpetuate the myth that the rich pay no taxes. http://www.cnsnews.com/.../1-percenters-pay-24-percent...
Norm Jenson
Norm Jenson well it seems clear Donald Trump doesn't pay much in taxes. I'm perfectly willing to sacrifice some freedom for a fairer and more compassionate society. That's something each individual decides for themselves that's why I'm a liberal. We have different things we find valuable.
John Coffey
John Coffey I think that the intrusiveness of government is so detrimental that it outweighs the benefits. I think that in the interest of fairness, we are half way to totalitarianism, or at least a third of the way there. This is in the name of fairness, which to me is a false god. Free societies are inherently unfair, because some benefit more than others, but people are by far better off in a free society. Societies with big governments and socialism are equally unfair, if not more so, where the distribution of wealth is just as maladjusted, because people use government and power to their benefit, like they do with our government. Best wishes, John
Norm Jenson
Norm Jenson Well as usual we'll just have to disagree.
John Coffey
John Coffey Thanks.  :-)


Thursday, July 14, 2016

Pre-video games

When video games took off in the late 70's, it seemed like my destiny to work in the video game industry, which I eventually did.  I got hooked on video games about the same time I got hooked on chess.

Prior to the video games becoming popular, there were a number of mechanical games that simulated a video game feel.  I saw this periscope game in the late 60's and to my young child mind, it was a great deal of fun:

I saw a number of shooting games that were mechanical, and I remember a mechanical racing game that rear projected cars onto a screen.

A game arcade opened in Columbus Indiana around 1974.  Most of the games were pinball, but there were a number of mechanical games that were popular until videogames took off.   I remember playing a "flying game" which simply had a miniature airplane that flew in a circle and all you could do was control the height to avoid obstacles.

Almost all the early video games did not have a processor, but instead used dedicated logic chips.  The game "Breakout" was that way, but there were other more crude games based on dedicated logic.