The Weekend: April 25-26, 2020

The dad-blamed internet keeps dropping in and out again. Started doing it yesterday afternoon. Maddening. Apart from the lack of good smoke, this is the worst aspect of living in the boonies. Yeah, I know, where’s my benefit concert.

We’re wrapping up an incredibly dumbass week. The President of the United States of America, at the very least, showed the entire world that he didn’t think a lick before opening his big gob and that he would refuse to own it to his dying breath. I wrote a Deep Dive on the matter for Friday’s News, and I still think it’s worth checking out. So do that. Otherwise, let’s catch up on the Blogger stuff.

Actually, apart from Saturday’s sweeping up, it’s fairly disjointed. I had some Actual Paying Work this week, and lucky for me the deadline dates were in such a way that Tuesday and Thursday were squeezed in when I had the time. I also slapped together a fairly dark little missive exploring my general sense of this whole COVID-19 business getting much, much worse before it even starts coming close to getting better. Long story short, we’re short sighted, selfish, and self-centered as a culture and that is going to bite our asses completely off.

Though I got a lot of clicks for older stuff, this marks the second week in a row that the Tumblr site saw nothing beyond the odd quote I found clever or a really keen video of Otis Spann and Willie Dixon laying down some slick blues. Though it’s not eaten up as much of my time I was worried it might, the APW is taking up a good bit of energy. Writing for someone else’s pleasure and making it interesting saps some strength, but that’s why it’s called work.

So what did I do? Started a new blog, of course. The main reason I did this was just because between this, the Blogger site and the Tumblr site, it’s all sort of messy. Right now, it’s just a place to put links of articles or stories I find interesting or that I might use for the News and I really don’t know where I’m going with it from there. I’m half-tempted to make it my “clean site”. That is, the one where I keep a bit of a lid on the whole “foul-mouthed, flippant borderline anarchist dope fanatic” thing. Something that could be used as clips or to show prospective clients, that sort of thing.

Granted, I still have no idea what I’m doing or why it’s worth reading as a general rule. I’ve about come to grips that whatever I am doing, it’s basically this and any hint of quality fiction just isn’t going to come. The Weird Western is still kicking around, but I can’t come up with a story. Making up a world is fun, but you don’t want too much plot getting away of a good story. I also have an idea for a space heist sort of thing, like Cowboy Bebop meets Ocean’s 11. Hard-ish science fiction, no aliens and takes place in our Solar System. Again, though the world-building is fun but no actual story.

It occurred to me on today’s constitutional that maybe the closest comparison of what I’m doing is what Will Rogers did back in the day. Granted, I wouldn’t call myself a “humorist”, dark humor and cynical flippancy aside. Beyond that, though, it’s essentially his “All I know is what I read in the papers, folks” shtick. I read the news and try to explain what it means, and since this is an absurd universe, sometimes it’s funny.

Anyhow. Enough of that. I write more about writing than I actually write, if that makes any sense. XCOM: Chimera Squad dropped Friday and I managed to make it 12 hours before I bought it. It’s a worthy buy, especially at the 50% discount. The cheapest you can find it is at Fanatical, which is a quality site.

While the game mechanics are pretty much the same, with some positive tweaks, the story takes place five years after the second game. The big baddies were defeated and the world is trying to adjust to humans, aliens and hybrids living together. You head up a peace-keeping force that’s under the XCOM umbrella. I haven’t got deep into the story, but there’s some investigation aspects and, similar to the first game, you need to work to keep neighborhoods from falling into anarchy (rather than countries).

Of course, playing it got me wanting to play the first two games again, so that happened. I don’t have to say it, but those are great games and the ne plus ultra of turn-based strategy games. There are some other good ones with different stories, like Hard WestInvisible Inc., and Phantom Doctrine, but none of them really improve on the game mechanics. I might get around to reviewing XCOM: Chimera Squad before the week’s out, I don’t know.

Well, I don’t know what else. Trump’s been ducking his daily mini-rallies since he shat the bed so badly Thursday. I doubt it’ll last, and give him maybe until Tuesday. We here in Mississippi start a “soft opening” of businesses across the state, so cross your fingers. The administration has taken their penchant for snagging all the PPE’s for themselves to the point where they’re ripping off the Veteran’s Administration. I think that might be next week’s story that bubbles under the radar, especially given how Trump’s bragging about “helping” other countries with equipment. But we’ll see.

And maybe I’m wrong, and we as a nation will shake off this mess. I’m not holding my breath, though.

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