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Messages - Kevadu

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General Discussions / Re: Today In The News
« on: Yesterday at 09:14:32 PM »
That level of blind hatred is not justified towards any group of people.

...except maybe Nazis.

General Games / Re: Misc. Gaming News Topic
« on: September 22, 2017, 10:07:03 PM »
Er...while I always enjoy a good Aeolus rant, what do SRPGs have to do with this topic?

General Discussions / Re: Youtube
« on: September 22, 2017, 12:24:44 AM »
This is amazing and I can't believe I've never seen it before (it's not exactly new).

General Games / Re: Misc. Gaming News Topic
« on: September 20, 2017, 01:02:17 PM »
Why am I reminded of the whole X-Com thing...

Of course this is S-E so the odds of them changing course and actually listening to fans are basically nill.

General Games / Re: Misc. Gaming News Topic
« on: September 18, 2017, 06:43:40 PM »
So apparently this is a thing.  A Little Witch Academia game that actually looks decent that combined adventure elements with...Dragon's Crown-style brawling.

No, seriously.  The combat is very reminiscent of Dragon's Crown.  And I know Dragon's Crown didn't invent that style but it's about the only contemporary example since it's a style of gameplay that has largely died out.

Single-Player RPGs / Re: Ys VIII
« on: September 17, 2017, 05:58:31 PM »
.....Ys VIII is a really good game, everyone!
Shush, can't you see that they are hashing out for all time the debate between M&K and controller? This has never happened before, and this argument will become so definitive that it will never happen again. It will forever be cited as gospel ensuring that peace and harmony exist in gaming communities for all time! What is a single game before an argument of such importance? :p

Please, everybody knows the best input device is the SpaceOrb 360.

(Only half-joking...I actually used to have one of those and I though--and still think--that the tech is pretty cool.  It lacked polish, though, and never actually caught on...)

General Discussions / Re: Artimicia's Food aid plea
« on: September 16, 2017, 08:42:18 PM »
Experiments with Soylent pt 3:

So I still have a bunch of this Soylent powder that I don't actually like and was trying to see what else I could do with it.  When you mix the powder with just a little bit of water (much less than you would use for the drink) it has a consistency almost like bread dough.  So the idea of making some sort of baked good out of it seemed worth a shot.

I looked around a bit and there are recipes out there.  I found one for Soylent muffins that I liked because it didn't add much.  There are others that add quite a few extra ingredients but I'm trying to maintain the nutritional completeness of the original formula.  So anything with added sugar/fat/etc. is no good.  I just want it to be more palatable.

But this muffin recipe looked promising and also quite simple.  I added some nutmeg, cinnamon and vanilla extract for flavor and some steel cut oats for texture to my 'bread dough' mixture then put it in muffin cups and baked it.  Almost as simple as making something from a mix, really.  Unfortunately the end product left something to be desired...the recipe did warn that the muffins might be gooey on the inside but this was beyond simply being gooey.  I cooked them until the outside was golden brown and any more felt like it would be burning it but the inside was still practically raw.  I don't know exactly what it is about Soylent that makes it so hard to cook properly...but the outside edges that actually got cooked tasted good enough for me to give this another shot.  I think next time I will abandon the idea of making muffins at all and just put a thin layer of the dough in a jelly roll pan, and then cut it into bars or something.

And yes before anyone points it out I am aware of the irony of going through these baking experiments to use a product that is supposed to be all about bypassing baking.  But 1) I still have a bunch of this crap I want to use up.  And 2) these recipes are pretty simple and there is still some appeal to be able to make a bunch of muffins/bars/whatever in a batch that I can then eat whenever I don't want to bother cooking and still get a nutritionally complete meal out of it.

On the topic of nutritional completeness I do have some concerns about the baking process itself.  For instance it's pretty well known that vitamin C is very temperature sensitive and just the act of baking this stuff will destroy any vitamin C that was originally present.  I'm not too concerned about vitamin C itself because I can get enough from other sources, but I don't know enough to know what happens to everything else in it...

General Discussions / Re: Artimicia's Food aid plea
« on: September 14, 2017, 09:24:44 PM »
Experiments with Soylent pt 2:
OK, my first trial of Soylent was with the prepackaged bottles.  I concluded that it was...surprisingly not bad.  With the bottles you just open one up and drink it.  It goes down smooth and even comes in a couple (mild) flavors.  Heck, they even have a caffeinated version in case you want it for breakfast (though I didn't try that).

But the 'real' Soylent experience is buying their powder and then mixing it yourself.  At least that's how they started out.  The powder also has the advantage of being noticeably more economical on a per-meal basis (not that the bottles are super expensive or anything...).  So I figured why not give the powder a try...

Holy hell this crap is nasty.

First problem: It's surprisingly hard to mix properly.  The official instructions say all you have to do is combine the powder and water and then shake, and they even give you an appropriately sized pitcher with a screw top so you can close it firmly and shake away.  But the solid to liquid ratio here is a lot higher than most drink mix type things and even after several minutes of shaking (they claim it takes like a minute...) I still had doughy chunks floating around in it.  And they're as gross as that sounds.  Even the parts without doughy chunks never really felt a little grainy, nowhere near as smooth as the bottled stuff.  A blender would probably do a better job, but again there's nothing in the official instructions about needing a blender.  It's kind of deceptive to pretend you don't need one if you actually do.

Second problem: The total lack of flavor.  I said the bottled stuff was bland and for sure it didn't have a strong flavor or anything, but there were flavored versions.  There was something there.  But the powder only comes in plain and it's on another level of bland.  It's like drinking plain pure white flour mixed with water.  Feels like a chore...maybe I'll try adding a little cocoa powder or something myself.

I don't know if I'll even be able to finish all these pouches I got...

General Games / Re: Underrated Classic Games
« on: September 07, 2017, 12:30:40 AM »
C'mon folks, best D&D game is Baldur's Gate 2.

Close, but it's actually Planescape: Torment.

General Discussions / Re: Artimicia's Food aid plea
« on: September 06, 2017, 04:43:46 PM »
I think Arti needs some Soylent...

General Discussions / Re: Artimicia's Food aid plea
« on: September 06, 2017, 03:06:43 AM »
Yes, the name is intentional.  I suppose you could call it an homage, but it's a strange thing to name your product after...

I can't imagine its any better (and probably cheaper) than making some Protein Powder Milkshakes and then taking a multivitamin, but maybe I'm wrong. How would you compare the flavor to that (assuming you've had Protein powder before). All I need for a tolerable protein milkshake is the powder (usually Chocolate), milk, and a frozen banana. Although it does seem like Soylent is better as far as fiber goes.

I've never tried protein powder before.  But from what I understand, protein powder is made for a very different purpose.  It's not trying to be a complete source of nutrition at all, just a supplement.  And it's obviously very high in protein, actually more protein than you would need if it was all you were eating.

Balance is hard.  There's stuff like Ensure that's obviously been around for a while too, but Ensure has a surprising amount of sugar in it.  Enough that if you actually tried to live off of it you would be consuming considerably more sugar than you really ought to be.  It's probably because they made it sweet so people would actually want to drink (and therefore buy) it.

That's why I prefer Soylent's philosophy: Try to make something that you could theoretically live off of if it was all you ever consumed.  Not because I want to live off of it, but because even if all I'm going to be using it for is the occasional meal replacement that's still the best metric to make sure it's a healthy meal replacement.

Of course the science of nutrition is ever changing and it's entirely possible there's something missing from the Soylent formula.  But it's still bound to be better than most of the alternatives...

Game Journals / Re: A Game Journal Reborn
« on: September 05, 2017, 12:26:55 AM »

Fate Grand Order:  Why am I still playing this?

You remind me of my own Japanese free-to-play game addiction about which I ask myself the same question all the time.  Namely: KanColle.  Now that I think about it I've been playing KC for nearly four years's remarkable how such a simple game can consume so much time.

But at least KC is not a gacha game!  It's monetization model is a bit unique and while there are many things you can spend money on the benefit of most of them is questionable and few players actually do.  What people do spend money on is more slots (when you start you can only have 100 ship girls at one time and there are more than 100 in the game so if you want to collect them all you have to spend money) and rings for "marrying" your ship girls (yeah...) which raises their level cap.  But I find this more tolerable because it's a simple transaction:  Pay your money, get the benefit (permanently).

General Discussions / Re: Artimicia's Food aid plea
« on: September 04, 2017, 11:53:22 PM »
Since we have a nutrition-ish thread already this seemed like a good place to put this...

I recently tried Soylent for the first time.  The cleverly(?) named complete meal in a drink thingy that's been around a few years now but I never really gave it a chance before.  The idea behind this product is to make something that somebody could theoretically live healthily off of if it was all they ever ate (or drank I guess...).  It has 100% of the nutrition the human body needs, and not anything it doesn't.  Supposedly, anyway.  That's actually a pretty complex thing to test in practice.

I know a lot of people are grossed out at the concept, but let me just say: I like real food.  I even like cooking occasionally, but it's not necessarily something I want to do all the time.  I have no intention of giving up real food and consuming nothing but Soylent.  However, sometimes you just want to eat only because your body needs food and you want to do so with minimal fuss.  This is especially true (at least I think it is...) for single people living alone like me.  I don't need every meal to be fancy, and frankly keeping stuff like fresh fruits and vegetables in my kitchen all the time can be a pain given their short shelf lives.

Often times when one wants food with no fuss you can end up turning to junk food, most of which is horrible for you.  But it's cheap and convenient and it will fill you up.  I see Soylent as a pretty good replacement there.  It will fill you up and even if its nutritional formulation isn't perfect, it has got to be better than junk food.  And it's even more convenient than ordering a pizza or something (if you already have it around anyway...).

So how does it actually taste?  I found it more palatable than I expected.  Which is not to say that it's delicious or anything, but it's...inoffensive if you're being generous.  Bland if you're not.  But it's not nearly as gross as the whole thing sounds.  And it's surprisingly filling for being a drink...I mean it should be considering everything in it, but it still fills a little weird to get full from drinking something.

I do feel like the pricing needs a little work...I mean it's not super expensive or anything.  It's definitely cheaper than eating out (by a lot...).  And it's competitive with, like TV dinner style instant meals.  But it's still not as cheap as going to your local grocery store, picking up some basic ingredients, and making something from scratch.

Anyway, it's interesting to experiment with.

General Discussions / Re: Whats the haps?
« on: September 02, 2017, 08:55:04 PM »
If they had time to do something as silly as that and yet still didn't bother to respond to their customer service emails then that would only lower my opinion of them...

Though I actually just checked online and my credit card was charged by them for the first time today...though I have still yet to receive any sort of shipping notification.

General Discussions / Re: Whats the haps?
« on: September 01, 2017, 11:26:37 PM »
Warning: This is a rant.

I have a burning rage towards a certain startup smartphone maker right now...

I happened to be in the market for a new phone and thought that Essential Products' PH-1 (usually just called "the Essential phone") looked pretty nice.  So right after they announced it I reserved a spot to buy it.  This was a couple months ago but there wasn't any payment information involved at the time.  It was basically just putting your name on a harm there.

Now originally they had claimed the phone would be shipping 30 days after that announcement.  That obviously didn't happen but I wasn't terribly surprised.  They're a new company and the original schedule seemed very aggressive.  Delays happen and I could live with that.  I was more annoyed by the lack of communication from Essential regarding the delay.  They missed every deadline they set but didn't really say much about it.  In retrospect that was a sign of things to come...

Over two weeks ago they finally announced that the phones were ready, they would start taking payment information, and they would be shipping them within a week.  Great!  Although I was a little reluctant about plopping down a wad of cash for a phone I hadn't seen a single review of so I held off for a bit.  A few days after that reviewers started getting their hands on some early units and posted first impressions.  It seemed...OK.  Biggest issue was the underwhelming camera but there seemed to be some software issues there and Essential was already releasing updates for it...the old release now and patch later strategy.  But hey, at least they did seem to be working on it.

So I gave them my payment information, got an order confirmation, and then heard...absolutely nothing for a while.  They obviously missed that 'shipping in a week' deadline they originally promised.   But hey, I know they're new at this.  Delays suck but I still wasn't raging at this point.

Then earlier this week the rage started.  I received an email from them so inexplicable, so bizarre, I'm just going to post it here:

There are so many things wrong with this email.  They sent the exact same email to a large number of people so it's completely missing any references to things like order numbers, etc.  Basically it looks like a phishing attempt.  A lot of people thought it was a phishing attempt, myself included.  In my 20 some odd years of buying shit online I have never had anyone request a picture of photo ID.  It's intrusive and unnecessary.  And impractical.  I feel the need to point out that the shipping and billing addresses I gave them were the same, making it rather difficult to pull off any fraud here.  I also feel the need to point out that since I moved earlier this year my driver's license still has my old address on it, so I literally could not comply with this email even if I wanted to (which I didn't).

But the incompetence doesn't stop there.  Apparently they had misconfigured the mail group they had used to sent this to people in such a way that for people who did reply, their replies got sent not just to Essential but also to everyone else who replied.  So they were spamming a list of people suspected of fraud with their personal information.  I didn't have this happen to me since I didn't actually reply, but come on.

Now Essential shut down the email address receiving those replies and issued an apology for the configuration issue.  Though they never issued an apology for sending the original email nor did they ever explain what people they sent that email to should do at this point.

Good time to get in contact with their customer service, right?  Oh wait, they shut down their entire customer service website (no, seriously, they really did...).  Well I can still email them, right?  Nope, for a while their support email address was also down, and bounced any messages you sent to it.  Of course they never provided a phone number or something in the first place so there was literally no way to get in contact with them.  Now the support email address seems to be back up at least, but I've been trying for the last couple of days and they have not sent me a single response.  Not even an automated form letter acknowledging my inquiry.  Just dead silence.

But I've been following these developments on the XDA forums and it looks like most people have finally had their phones shipped.  And there was one guy there who said he didn't even order the phone until Monday and it shipped already.  I reserved this fucking thing over two fucking months ago and mine hasn't shipped.  Why the hell is a guy who didn't bother until this Monday getting his first?!

Maybe I'm never getting mine because I'm suspected of fraud...for some reason.  Aren't the credit card companies usually the ones who deal with that?  If there is a suspect charge on your card they can get in touch with you and verify it.  They have not attempted to do so at any point during this mess.  I have no idea what Essential even expects me to do, other than provide a bunch of sensitive personal information to people who have already demonstrated incredible incompetence in handling personal information via an email address that's already been shut down...oh yeah, and I don't even have the information they want in the first place because I guess it never occurred to them that people move sometimes.

Fuck this BS, I guess I'll just get a Pixel 2.

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