Friday, February 27. 2015 | Comments (0)
The reason the Alamo siege didn't last longer, or wasn't over immediately, can be exemplified by this day's activities. In his haste to reach Bexar, Santa Anna had rushed his infantry ahead of his supply chain and artillery. By the fifth day of the siege, the Mexican Army was out of food and had to ransack Bexar. The supplies thus gained only lasted a short time, after which Santa Anna sent men to acquire food from nearby ranches and farms. Santa Anna also sent a letter requesting more men, and by some accounts, assuming that the artillery attached to the units requested would be sent along as well. The recipient of the request; however, fearing Santa Anna's reprisals, complied with the exact letter of the request and sent only men, no heavy artillery. The walls of the Alamo mission were mostly decrepit and failing, barely able to withstand the light artillery that Santa Anna had already. Heavy artillery would have reduced the fort to rubble and likely saved the lives of hundreds of men.
Meanwhile, the Alamo defenders were making mistakes of their own. They largely wasted ammunition by keeping Mexican work crews under ineffective fire and attempted to dig a trench between the cattle pen parapet and the wall. This ultimately failed, both weakening the wall in places and removing the walkway between t he parapet and wall.
Thursday, February 26. 2015 | Comments (0)
Thursday, February 26. 2015 | Comments (0)
Most people I know take the oft-repeated stories of Santa Anna "arranging hasty marriages" in order to have sex without "damaging" his reputation as an exaggeration for effect of common infidelity or even a fabrication meant to demean the man's reputation further in the eyes of Americans. However, there are multiple accounts of Santa Anna engaging in this practice, as well as the fact that he preferred young teens to "be his bride". Upon his death, he acknowledged several of his illegitimate children through his will, and several others have been identified since. Although he has been looked at recently as a "hero" for fighting the Catholic church's power (when he wasn't allying with it) and for instituting a ban on slavery when he abolished the constitution of 1824; he was thoroughly a monster professionally and personally.
Tuesday, February 24. 2015 | Comments (0)
Commandancy of the Alamo
Bejar, Feby. 24, 1836
To the People of Texas & All Americans in the World
Fellow citizens & compatriots
I am besieged, by a thousand or more of the Mexicans under Santa Anna I have sustained a continual Bombardment & cannonade for 24 hours & have not lost a man The enemy has demanded a surrender at discretion, otherwise, the garrison are to be put to the sword, if the fort is taken I have answered the demand with a cannon shot, & our flag still waves proudly from the walls I shall never surrender or retreat. Then, I call on you in the name of Liberty, of patriotism & everything dear to the American character, to come to our aid, with all dispatch The enemy is receiving reinforcements daily & will no doubt increase to three or four thousand in four or five days. If this call is neglected, I am determined to sustain myself as long as possible & die like a soldier who never forgets what is due to his own honor & that of his country VICTORY OR DEATH.
William Barret Travis,
Lt. Col. comdt.
P.S. The Lord is on our side. When the enemy appeared in sight we had not three bushels of corn. We have since found in deserted houses 80 or 90 bushels and got into the walls 20 or 30 head of Beeves.
Monday, February 23. 2015 | Comments (0)
Friday, February 20. 2015 | Comments (0)
UPDATE: I'm going to put this here so that someone experiencing the same problem will maybe find the solution. Classic, Vanilla World of Warcraft does support widescreen resolutions, if your monitor supports it. However, a lot of people have the problem of WoW not even making the widescreen resolutions available, and changing the config.wtf file doesn't help. One notable sign for many is if the refresh rate box is empty. Solutions: 1) If you're playing on a laptop or a computer that has an "on-board" or "built-in" video graphics card *that you are NOT using*, then your secondary or add-on card is considered by windows to be a secondary monitor, and classic WoW will not read that connection properly. You need to figure out how to disable your built-in card; this is usually done through device manager. 2) If you have two monitors connected to your video card, playing on whichever monitor is designated as the second monitor will produce the same results. The monitor you use must be designated the primary or first monitor. 3) If you have TWO or MORE video cards in a Crossfire or SLI configuration, or you have multiple monitors on multiple cards, then classic WoW will ONLY read the primary card/first card properly. LATER versions of WoW do not have this problem.
I have been preoccupied, ever since I started playing World of Warcraft, with finding some way to play through the game's entire storyline. Of course, as I was told repeatedly, and as I ultimately proved conclusively to myself: it is an impossible achievement. World of Warcraft, in it's original state, no longer exists; and hasn't for a number of years. I linked a Joystiq story several months ago that touched on this issue, but the issue, briefly, is this: In the beginning, you played World of Warcraft through 60 character levels and resolved one of a handful of plots. The single big story, although it was easy to miss, was stopping the resurrection of an old god. Of course, you would only know the ends to any of the stories if you played dungeon or raid content. A couple of years later, the Burning Crusade expansion added ten more character levels, and all of the action occurred in a new area. Wrath of the Lich King did the same. THEN, however, came the Cataclysm. Cataclysm rebuilt the entire world, including redoing all almost all 1 - 60 quests. They were updated to reflect current events, which meant that the 1 - 60 "area" of Azeroth took place AFTER the Cataclysm. Cataclysm high-level content became available at something like level 78. It may have been restricted to level 80's at the time; I don't know (yet). Now, if you can do math, you might notice there's a "gap". The Cataclysm storyline runs from character creation to level 60, then skips to level 80. In between, you went, literally, back in time to the Burning Crusade, and then on to Wrath. If you were a new player, as I was...this was very, very confusing. The expansions that followed Cataclysm didn't do as much damage to the storyline, but they did add some eccentricities; you'll find references to Mists of Panderia and Warlords of Draenor early in the game, despite neither having their precipitating events occurring yet.
In addition to the story problems, there are also the long-lived complaints about how hard the game was in "vanilla" WoW, or how Cataclysm changed everything. In the interest of trying to verify the history of WoW myself, I recently signed up for a private, "vanilla" WoW server. The one I'm on runs a version of World of Warcraft that existed just prior to the release of the first expansion, Burning Crusade. Once I'm done with that, there are servers available to run Burning Crusade and Wrath of the Lich King versions of WoW. Now, I can see for myself how the story originated and existed prior to the Cataclysm rewrite. Although I still won't be able to finish any storylines; I think solo raids weren't possible until Cataclysm. I'll try, though.
I have one character at level 13 in the starting area, and a couple of things really jump out. One; the playing experience is almost EXACTLY like I remember from when I first started in Cataclysm. The leveling curve is the same; how long it takes to down a mob is the same, the talents are the same...the bottom line is that playing original WoW is almost exactly like playing during Cataclysm was. The BIG change in gameplay actually occurred with Mists of Panderia; that's when talents and specializations were streamlined and you could start feeling like a Big Damn Hero from the very beginning. Two, Cataclysm WAS World of Warcraft 2. For being the same world, the maps are so different it's insane. Tirisfal Glades is MASSIVE compared to the Cataclysm version. The graphics system is almost completely different. The difference between WoW Cataclysm and "vanilla" WoW is generational. And Mists of Panderia is where Blizzard finally started upping the pixel counts and probably doubled or tripled the number of vertices being drawn.
One other thing I've learned is that I don't like leveling a character in pre-MoP fashion. It's a chore. And I'm using advanced leveling. Of course, that's not much of a solution; WoW is so gear-based that without appropriate level gear my level-ups are almost meaningless. Also, I need to go ahead and get the Burning Crusade and Wrath servers going; if neither of those expansions changed the original storyline, then I can just level that way. Probably have at least a bit more fun.
Monday, February 2. 2015 | Comments (2)
Crunchyroll announced earlier today that digital video creator Monty Oum passed away after a sudden hospitalization this weekend. He was 33 years old. Crunchyroll mentions his Haloid video, but I first became acquainted with Oum through his Dead Fantasy videos which mashed up Final Fantasy and Dead or Alive. Most recently, and most importantly, Oum was the creator of RWBY, an anime series produced using the same techniques he mastered on the earlier videos. I haven't watched it yet despite all intentions to do so, but Brickmuppet has covered the series extensively.
Prayers and well wishes to his family and friends.
UPDATE: Brickmuppet has a short entry up with more info and commentary. Oum didn't just create something that was incredibly popular on Youtube at one point, and then use that to create a low-budget series (which would have been incredible enough); he did it in a new way. He really was an innovator in digital entertainment.
Wednesday, January 28. 2015 | Comments (0)
Data drive on the computer crashed this afternoon. Completely failed. The drive will spin up but will not initialize. I didn't lose too much all things considered; all major downloads since September and a set of documents that were updated in October. I lost almost all of my video archive; but that was mostly accrued by thinking of something I wanted to watch and going out and finding it.
So, my computer is going to be down quite a bit for a week or two. Apologies.
UPDATE: Two Silverstone air intake fans on the bottom of the case were out. It doesn't surprise me; I've never had good luck with Silverstone. However, they came pre-installed. I replaced them with a single, smaller Antec.
It appears that the SATA bus I was using burned out or something. Thankfully, my system drive still works plugged into another SATA bus. I replaced the 3TB Seagate drive I used for storage with a new external 3TB drive. It'll be slower, but for most things it won't make a difference.
Even without my video archive, the restoration process will take several hours. Plus, because one of the things I tried was doing a Windows Repair/Recovery, Windows 8 now says I'm using a different computer. So I have to re-activate.
UPDATE 2: I'm back to, not 100%, as I lost quite a bit of mostly meaningless stuff that I had decided over a year ago to stop backing up; but back running with the configuration that I'll be rolling forward with. This should allow me to do work unhindered; which is good because I still have one W2 to prepare.
Saturday, January 24. 2015 | Comments (0)
This is a problem I have with a lot of anime...
(note: not completely safe for work, but not horrible. specified start and stop times.)
Friday, January 23. 2015 | Comments (7)
So the long-awaited Kantai Collection anime has made it through three episodes now, and opinion is...mixed (LINK CONTAINS SPOILERS). Of course, KanColle is such a huge property, and expectations were so high, that I expected some level of disappointment when the series debuted. For the record, I have been...underwhelmed...and in ways I did not expect. I've been talking with friend Wonderduck about the series, as he seems to be enjoying the show so far. However, I think he went into the series with more realistic expectations; and, considering his vast knowledge of World War II naval and air battles in the Pacific he appears to get a lot more out of the fanservice details than I think a lot of other people probably are. In the interest of sharing my thoughts on what the series has done, I'm going to post some of our conversation. I'll add context where necessary, and Wonderduck will have a shot at reviewing and editing this as well, to make sure we're getting our points across clearly (that's mainly for me). Wonderduck has a short write-up, with screenshots of Episode One, Two and Three.
It is important to note a couple of good things. The art design and execution are both spectacular.
Fubuki is the main character, but thanks to the source property being a card battle game, the viewer actually splits their point of view between Fubuki and an anonymous, 1st-person "Admiral". However, 99.9% of the show is depicted from Fubuki's viewpoint, so; honestly, I kind of wish they had just left "The Admiral" out. It's a pointless fan-service prop that accomplishes nothing.
However, another pointless fan-service prop is the amount of detail put into the transformation sequence in the first episode. Granted, we probably won't see this process again in the series, unless they just reuse the same footage.
Continue reading "It should have been epic..."
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