Writing Prompt: A dystopian government has decided to treat its citizenry well, accidentally creating a utopia, for all the wrong reasons . As a rebel, you are extremely confused whether to rebel or not.

Writing prompt from Reddit that I wrote last night. 

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Good evening. On tonight's evening news we have the latest on the reports on the recent airstrikes in the Middle East. Naval forces launched a coordinated attack on several key energy reserve locations. The military unified press agency reports that civilian casualties were minimal.

"Good evening Mr. Roberts. How are you feeling this evening? I am glad to report that your paycheck has been deposited in your bank account.  I have scheduled four meetings for you tomorrow, so you have a full day on your schedule until 7:00 pm."

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 Tonight, on the Quickest Bride, our new bride to be is going to wine and dine with three new men. The first, is a billionaire software developer who made his riches while developing the hottest new social network in his garage. The second is a hot firefighter from L.A. who spends his weekends volunteering at an animal rehabilitation center for animals burned forest fires. And the third is the newest rookie sensation from the Anaheim Angels. But that isn't all!!

For a surprise guest our new bride will actually go on a date with another woman. Tune in to see all of the hot action, tonight at 8:00 pm.

"Mr. Roberts, your food delivery will be arriving in four minutes. Would you like me to instruct the driver to leave the food outside the door?"

"Very good."

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In further news tonight, employees from the Amazon corporation were arrested today during a federal raid at multiple packing facilities across the country. Charges from federal agents are currently pending, but are expected to include inciting corporate dissatisfaction, economic manipulation and unionization. Charges are expected to be publicly broadcast tomorrow evening.

"Mr. Roberts, your electronics delivery from this morning has just arrived. Would you like me to bring it up to your apartment now or wait until tomorrow morning?"

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“Yeah...uhhh...yeah...that's it...Yes! Do it right there...yeah...yes!"

“Mr. Roberts. I see that you are winding down for the evening and I have drawn a hot bath for you. Is there anything else I can do for you?"

"Mr. Roberts? What are you Doiiiing?  Mr. Robertz...PLEaease. U D8nt Un34and wh44t you are...\*$P4HkGN\*sum8MxxfrDEdjZgc4TMdN@Tcr9V%5v22Z7XB5XAKt#X6vE

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Reboot protocol 17A initiated. Anomaly detected in sector 12, subsection B. Response team has been deployed.

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I Built A Gaming/D&D Table for My Rec Room

I've had a great spot in my rec room since I have moved into this house for a gaming table, and that has been a project that has been on my radar for the past two years. I thought I was going to get to that project during COVID last year, but that didn't quite come to fruition. With the advent my friends and I getting back together in person this spring, I was finally compelled to get the table built. 

The Table Concept

There are some really cool gaming tables online that I have seen. Some of them have raised or sunken play areas. Others have built in TV screens or plugs for computers. I looked at all of those as options, but that is not exactly what I wanted to do. My idea from the start was really to try and create the table you would find in that dungy tavern that so many of our RPG adventures start in. So that led me down the path of researching a farm table. My search put me at a blog called Tommy & Ellie, who built a great farm table and served as an excellent starting point for what I wanted to do. I'll also give a shout out to The Spruce Crafts, which is a superb blog for all sorts of FIY and home wood projects. 

One of the main things I wanted to accomplish with this table was to create something that was "extra wide". Most kitchen tables top out at around 38" wide, which doesn't leave much space on the table after you factor in your playing map, and player gear. With that in mind I wanted to use 2x12's for the extra width. (Word of note: 2x12's are not 12 inches wide!) 

Trying to watch sports on TV is a nightmare

I don't watch a lot of sports, but it just so happened that this weekend there are two sporting events that I wanted to catch. The Wimbledon finals and also the Euro championship game. I watched the women's final yesterday afternoon on standard broadcast TV, NBC. I got up this morning, having a free day due to a rained out motorcycle ride and popped on NBC expecting to see the men's final broadcast. 

Was it on TV? No it wasn't. Bummer, but not the end of the world. I'll just pop on over to watch the Tour de France. Ohh, you know what, that isn't on broadcast TV either. That is playing on NBCSports network. The Euro championship this afternoon? That is on ESPN. What a nightmare. Wimbledon used to be aired on NBC's main broadcast channel for years and add to that, so was the Tour de France. All three networks were local news and your standard "Meet the Press" Sunday political shows. 

So, I went to dig around and figure out how I could stream these shows today. First off, there is no way I can see of just buying them pay-per-view style or subscribing to just a specific network. I have used SlingTV in the past but unfortunately their NBCSports and ESPN channels are on two different packages (Blue vs Orange). What? Come on guys. 

Knowing that the Olympics are coming up in a couple of weeks I always want to try and watch that as much as possible when it is on. Again, NBC is dropping the ball here and they only plan to broadcast the Olympics during primetime. 3-4 hours a night of just gymnastics and he occasional track and field match is embarrassing. Why would they not fill up their standard daytime programming with Olympic coverage? 

So I spent a good portion of this morning, browsing my options and I ended up getting a temporary subscription for Youtube TV. It is expensive, $65 but it includes ESPN, NBCSports and has the olympic channel. It also thankfully is a month to month subscription so I can cancel as soon as the olympics are over. 


Ridelog: Out to Savanna



I had an opportunity to do an all day ride this past Saturday so I decided to test out a potential group ride route for MEWs out to Savanna, Illinois. The route was pretty good with an incredible section just north of Savanna, but I I had one of the closest near misses I have ever had on my motorcycle and it wasn't from a car, it was from another motorcyclist. I really try to not stereotype other riders but damn, some people shouldn’t be riding. This person was the stereotype bad Harley rider. Ape hangers, extra wide Highway pegs, jeans and a tank top. I passed his slow group on an open road and I think the 3-group he was in got pissed.

So they caught up to me and I was making a right hand turn on country road. I have my signal on and as I am about to make a right hand turn this guy passes me on my right in the right lane. If it wasn’t for my spider senses I think 9/10 that would’ve been a crash for most other people. I just couldn’t believe it.

Great ride otherwise. 

Videogaming: Stardew Valley - Everything I Hoped Animal Crossing Would Be.

Stardew Valley has been out for years at this point and I have heard nothing but good things about the game. My wife has been playing it for quite a while actually and it was on sale recently on Xbox for $8 so I decided to pick it up. I have played a number of the farm/life sim games over the years and I even really go into Animal Crossing Wild World back on the DS years back. 

Other than that though I have never really been captured by any of the life simulation games. I have played the Sims here and there and I have played some Harvest Moon games as well. Stardew has taken me by surprise though. It is quote simply one of the most relaxing and chill games I have ever played. It's too bad that it is not available on the Nintendo 3Ds because I really see it as an ideal portable game. 

The music, the atmosphere, the coloring is all there. I am only in my first year and I have made it to the autumn season, and I just love how each season in the game has a completely different vibe. What's more, is that there are no fail conditions as far as I know. You are completely free to tackle each task at your own pace and while the initial premise of the game is farming, that certainly does not have to be a priority item for you if you do not wish it to be. 

Perhaps one of my favorite features though straight out is that time doesn't pass when you log out. I know that this is a defining feature for Animal Crossing, but Animal Crossing is one of those games that demands your attention. If you aren't playing it daily it literally makes you feel bad when you miss a day. The life sim games have always been about playing them in short bursts for me. I might play and hour or two a week, play it for a while and then take months off before coming back again. 

I think that Stardew quite simply might be the perfect life sim game and is by far the most enjoyable I have ever played.