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February 2022 Retrospective

Complaining about the minutiae of my cushy life would be in bad taste after Russia invaded Ukraine. I've tried to think about what the hell I could write that would be of an substance and I kept coming up empty. Meaningless platitudes aren't going to help the poor citizens of Ukraine who are being terrorized by Putin and his cronies. The only thing I can think to say is I hope that Canada and all of its allies effectively cut Russia off from the rest of the world. We cannot indulge these monsters and let them think they can continue to participate in a civilized society.

The Good

Completed the Pokédex in Pokémon Legends: Arceus

Last month I raved about how much I loved Pokémon Legends: Arceus and this month I drilled that point home by actually completing the Pokédex. I believe that would make it only the second Pokédex I have completed, alongside the very first one in Pokémon Blue.

With Game Freak announcing Pokémon Scarlet and Violet, the ninth-generation of games, I'm finding it difficult to get excited when it sounds like they are reusing the same tired old formula. Fingers crossed that we at least get some DLC for Pokémon Legends: Arceus in 2022.

Elden Ring

Elden Ring has received nearly universal acclaim and I would say that it is well deserved. But make no mistake, Elden Ring is exactly the type of game you'd expect FromSoftware to create. If you enjoyed previous "Soulsborne" games then you'll enjoy Elden Ring. But if Demon's Souls, Dark Souls, or Bloodborne made you throw your controller at the wall, Elden Ring is going to continue that tradition.

You still need to watch YouTube videos to learn how to play the game "properly". The controls somehow became even more arcane with the introduction of a jump button. The multiplayer still does not let you use your Xbox or PSN friend list to invite players. The UI still feels like it was ripped from a late 90s Bioware game.

But that sense of pride and accomplishment you get from finally defeating a boss after refining your skills is also still there. That joy from exploring the environment and discovering an awesome new piece of armour or weapon is still there. Everything that made you finish any previous FromSoftware game will pull you through Elden Ring.

The film Nobody

Nobody is an action film written by the same person who created John Wick and it absolutely shows. I would say that it is nearly perfect at what it attempts. This isn't some Oscar winning screenplay. It does what it needs to make you want to watch Bob Odenkirk absolutely beat the shit out of bad guys for 90 minutes.

Check out the bus fight scene and tell me that you're not interested in more.

Did the Hot Ones challenge

Frankly, it is unacceptable that it has taken me this long to attempt the Hot Ones challenge. I've been an avid fan for years now and finally got off my butt and ordered the season 17 pack from Heatonist.

I attempted the challenge alongside Elsie, my cousin Steve, and his wife. Shockingly, we all made it to the end. While there were some extremely painful moments the people at Hot Ones have done a fantastic job at assembling a delicious grouping of hot sauces. Even The Last Dab has a sweet taste before it hits you with the pain.

I would highly recommend everyone purchase a pack from Heatonist, invite some friends over, and have a one of kind experience.

The Bad

The Protégé

The Protégé is one of the worst films I have ever seen in my entire life. I would love to know how the hell Maggie Q, Michael Keaton, and Samuel L. Jackson signed up for this film because I cannot comprehend how they did it after reading the script.

Below is an actual conversation from the film:

What do you say we forget these tricks. Let’s just go for a nice hotel.

You point a gun at my pussy and then you ask me to bed? I like your style.

Said the woman with hollow-points pointed at my balls.

Well, let’s hope this doesn’t get messy, These are my favorite shoes.

Manolo’s, classic four inch pumps.

A man who knows Poe and footwear.

That riveting dialogue eventually lead to:

Make up your mind: kill me or fuck me?

If after that you still interested in watching The Protégé then there is nothing I can do to save you. May God have mercy on your soul.

The Billion Dollar Code

At a high level The Billion Dollar Code sounds right up my alley. "Don't be evil" Google stole the idea and code for Google Earth from some Berlin hackers? Please, tell me more.

The first episode was fantastic. Getting a glimpse inside the technology scene in Berlin after the Wall came down was incredibly interesting. Honestly, the first episode of The Billion Dollar Code stands completely on its own and I would recommend everyone watch it.

But you should stop there because the final three episodes are absolute garbage. Well the next two episodes are garbage. I just assume the final one also is but I could not bring myself to watch it. The first episode deals with the creation of TerraVision (the thing that was supposedly stolen) and has absolutely no mention of Google. The second and third episodes focus entirely on trying to convince you that Google stole TerraVision. What was proposed in the show seemed asinine which drove me to do some reading and I realized just how dramatized the show was. Spoiler alert, Google Earth was not stolen and this was proven in court. The Billion Dollar Code literally leaves out critical pieces of information to bait you into accepting their sob story.

These Berlin hackers created something incredible in the early 90s but to say that it became Google Earth is ludicrous.

Honourable Mentions

Finished reading The Yom Kippur War

It was not easy, but I finally finished reading The Yom Kippur War: The Epic Encounter That Transformed the Middle East.

The detail that the author goes into for every battle is flabbergasting. I was exhausted after reading each one. Some literally took me hours. For this reason I'll probably never recommend this book to anyone. But I will definitely encourage people to learn about The Yom Kippur War by watching YouTube videos or through some other more easily digestible medium.

The shit that Israel went through in the 1960s and 70s is truly astonishing and I would bet serious money that anyone born in the 80s or later is completely ignorant of this part of Israel's history. It is ironic that I read this book in the same month that Russia invaded Ukraine because I was definitely seeing some parallels. We like to think that we learn from history but more often than not it seems to repeat itself.

Season 1 of Reacher

Reacher is Amazon's attempt at adapting the Jack Reacher book series to the silver screen. The actors do a phenomenal job at bringing the characters to life. The first episode where everyone is being established is undoubtedly my favourite. But as the show progresses the cracks in the writing begin to widen and the absurdity of the plot becomes impossible to ignore. Thankfully the action scenes are very well done so I was able to shut off the judgemental part of my brain and just enjoy watching assholes getting killed.

Season 1 of Reacher feels very similar to season 1 of The Witcher. We've come to like the characters and are interested in seeing where they go next. We let the weak writing slide but want to see something better in the future. Fingers crossed season 2 of Reacher can succeed where The Witcher failed.

Watched Shiny_Flakes: The Teenage Drug Lord

Apparently a teenager in Germany became one of the largest drug dealers on the Internet by cutting and distributing MDM from his parent's home. If this is news to you like it was to me I highly recommend you watch Shiny_Flakes: The Teenage Drug Lord on Netflix.

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