Half -Life: Alyx & Vader Immortal VR

HL Alyx name logo

Haven’t posted in a while about much or Virtual Reality.
With the release of Alyx on Steam from Valve it has brought me back into VR at the right time. A time when a pandemic has damned the whole world to imprisonment to their own homes.
Only way out truly today is VR.
If this had happened 30 years ago people would never have been able to just sit at home for a few months they wouldn’t be able to work from home or entertain themselves in VR. Not everyone has VR but they should.

Back to the games Half-Life Alyx is THE best FPS game ever made on VR there was a few contenders but none play or feel like Alyx.
If you have played HL 2 then you know about the zero point energy field manipulator aka: gravity gun is no more in Alyx now she uses gloves to manipulate gravity we should call then Grav- Gloves.
And it is a blast you can interact with almost everything in the environment by using your grav-gloves or by just picking it up with your hand or hands..
Another pretty cool thing I find entertaining and cool if you see something behind a glass window or pane you can use your gun to break the window and the edges so you can go through.

Your weapons are upgradable using a machine but the upgrades require resin.
Resin is throughout the whole game you have to look for it they can be hidden behind boxes or under them they can be in cabinets, closets ,filing cabinets even inside freezers and refrigerators.
All the resin ,ammo you collect can be put in your back pack just reach behind you and let go and you’ll feel a little rumble in the controller to let you know it’s stored. To get them out you just reach behind you and pull it out when needed.

Using weapons is cool you have to reload and cock your weapons so be smart or try to be really quick when your in a gun fight.

All I can say is it’s a must play game I don’t want to say to much because this isn’t a review or anything just a great game to talk about and even better to play it.

Now onto Vader Immortal.
vader_immortal_episode_i_ name label

First entrance into a  Star Wars game in VR and it’s pretty awesome your in the cockpit of your ship with what appears to be your partner android.
And almost immediately your asked to engage in warp drive.
Okay geek love here it’s really cool being in the ship and watching as you warp right above a planet., Really amazing feeling it really is some super awesome Star Wars geek coolness.

It’s controls are much like Half-Life Alyx but not quite as smooth or clean but still done well enough.
You are immediately caught by an Imperial Star Destroyer let me tell you seeing one to scale it would be a very shit your pants moment.  To make matter worse your brought directly to lord Vader. Fuckin scary shit Vader is an imposing dude.
He asks you to solve a puzzle right there you do and apparently this is where your story begins after a short but cool escape you get to training with a light saber.
The task you realize you are on is to stop Vader from learning to cheat death it self to hold immortality.

Again this is no review it’s just me saying this is a cool ass VR game and one worth getting into it is $9.99 an episode in the Oculus store and there are 3 episodes in total.
As I stated before with things going on in the real world with being self quarantined or some forced. And an un-curable virus running amuck in the real world getting away to a Star Wars one is nice even if it’s only a few hours a day. Helps me cope a little better hopefully will you as well once you read this.
Vader-facing Vader 1

Cattle Decapitations 8th Full Album release imminent.

I discovered Cattle Decapitation a bit late into their careers. I had heard them a few times in the early 2000’s they were already formed in 1995.
That said I did not appreciate what I had heard back then in the early 2000s’ when I say early I mean 2000-2002. Which places the stuff I heard from their 1st full album To Serve Man.
They had prior releases but were EPs Human Jerky, Homovore & Decapitacion! “2000” I may have heard something from this as well?
Regardless I couldn’t tell you the songs I heard since as I said did not find myself the least interested at the time I felt the music was just a mess had little to offer.
Then I heard the album Monolith of Inhumanity I did like the sound but still wasn’t something I found myself wanting to jam to regularly at all this would have been around 2013 or so when I started listening to music somewhat again. Monolith grows on you it is a good album don’t let my initial thoughts on this avert you from it.
Then I got into Vinyl and Turntables this changed me I then pulled all my old skool Metallica & Slayer stuff I still had from the late 80’s early 1990.
FF to 2015 I was loving vinyl by 2016 I was full on collecting again and I picked up Cattle Decapitations The Anthropocene Extinction my ears were hearing a band that has honed their skill to perfection!
This album was.. IS excellent I believe Monolith is when they found their sound and Anthropocene was their perfection of that sound.

So coming November 29th they will be releasing their 8th studio album Death Atlas.
Am excited to see how it sounds. Even more excited to see what Vinyl I get and how well it was pressed.

Cattle Decap Monolith Of Inhumanity cover
CattleDecapitation-TheAnthropoceneExtinction
Death Atlas Pre-Orders start on Sept 5th 2019 & Releases on Black Friday November 29th 2019.
Cattle-Decapitation Death Atlas

Euro-Thrash Metal let the LP’s hit the Turntable and spin, spin, spin.

Haven’t posted much on the blog lately.
Life happens.
Between life and here I have been listening to many new bands some many have heard and maybe some you have not.

Most recent LP I have on the way is Pestilence Testimony Of The Ancients the album that followed the insanely good Consuming Impulse.
Pestilence Testimony Of The Ancients Cover
This posting is about albums I have tracked down and are on their way here from all over the world. But are not in my hand yet.

I love Death Metal I have a pretty large collection of Death Metal on Vinyl.
Also have quite a bit of Thrash Metal and Punk and other styles of Metal.
It reminded me Thrash is what got me into metal. In the 80’s it was Metallica, Testament, Megadeth.
Thrash is where Death metal came from.
I started looking and realized in America Thrash pretty much disappeared it’s not dead but there isn’t a movement going on here is the states. As I looked I found France of all places has a thrash movement going on and it seems to be a movement in Europe as a whole.
I discovered fantastic Thrash bands:  Thrashback, Ultra-Violence, Bio-Cancer, Infinite Translation the list is huge I have only plucked a few bands out of what seems to be many.
While MP3s and some CD’s can be purchased here in the states all the LPs “Vinyl” releases are not here they are over in Europe.

I discovered Bio-Cancer a few weeks back they formed in 2010. And hail from Athens, Greece.
When I heard them for the 1st time I was instantly on the search for the LP.
On it’s way the excellent album is called Ear Piercing Thrash.
It’s seriously a must hear Thrash metal band. This is their 1st full album release.
Bio-Cancer Ear Piercing Thrash

A month or so back maybe more I discovered another excellent band Ultra-Violence.
Another great band again from over in Europe they hail from Italy.
my introduction to them was their 1st full length album Privilege to Overcome and absolutely heavy n fast album it will blow you away.
Another LP on it’s way is Ultra-Violence Wildcrash E.P their very 1st release but a mini album of 5 songs which after followed Privilege to Overcome.
Ultra- ViolenceWildcrash Cover

Since the majority of purchases lately were from Europe I wanted to add at least 1 Thrash band and they are from my area Tampa Florida so that makes them cool before I even heard them.
They do have some rough Death metal like vocals in the music but it is ultimately Thrash.
The band is Generichrist they hail from the good ole US of A right here in Tampa Florida.
The albums title I have on way is Rotting In The Swamp. One of the songs is called “Tampa Morgue”
Good thing about this Thrash band is if you can find the LPs on sale you don’t have to spend expensive European shipping charges.
The LP I have on the way is a Mini-Album 12″ Vinyl with 3 songs.
I have listened to them and yes they are good. Are they as good as the 2 European bands I listed here in my opinion No. But go ahead and get some of these albums compare yourself you tell me.
Generichrist Rotting In The Swamp cover

What can I say about Thrash today?! It KICKS FUCKIN ASS is what I say!
Go ahead see if I’m wrong these European bands know what was missing and they are doing it right!

11th year on my blog.

It’s been 11 years this month! Wow a lot has happened since starting my blog at first was just a place to talk about whatever I was into at that time to some personal shit.

But ultimately I wanted it to be an anything I want to post blog. A place about Tablets & Media Center PC’s and Os choices Kodi.  What it really has been more than anything is just in general home entertainment. From Tv’s to Turntables and anything in between even TV repairs or Tablet repairs.

Went with the family to St. Pete Florida where my oldest daughter lives to hit a bar where you throw axes at a target. Was really cool. I love being with my family I love them all so much. It’s almost sad the way I was before I had a family I wanted to be alone or thought I did. Now I couldn’t imagine anything else.

After my wife & I went to Daddy Kool records got some Vinyl then went to a little Ice Cream store called Urban Creamery they made waffle cones from scratch was some really good shit!
Was a great day with my wife and children and their significant others husband & girlfriend.

When I started this blog all my children were at home with me here ages 7, 9, 14, 15. Now all my daughters have moved out and my son has turned 18 in February.
How time flys.
It’s sad to see them go but I am very proud of all my children.
And my wife is awesome she has put up with some of the craziest shit from me I am really lucky Jenn is with me she is my life.
Hopefully I’ll be posting many more blog stuff for another 20 years.

Happy 11th:-)

Rega Planar 2 Turntable

My 1st Turntable not my true 1st but first I purchased after 20+ years of not having one.
Really just wanted one that worked and I purchased the Encore Turntable $80 after shipping. This is your base drop your record on and it will give you sound.
This Turntable is for those that never listened to vinyl and will let you know if you have more interest.
The Encore TT is not belt driven it’s direct drive motor with a basic needle. No upgrades are available on this TT at all. But it’s capable of ripping your records to MP3 if that’s of interest.  I don’t care about this aspect at all I would never rip my LP’s to Mp3.
Encore Turntable

 

My turntable & vinyl interest piqued after I upgraded my Turntable to the Audio Technica LP60.

Audio Technica LP60 TT

This is a entry level Turntable “Non-USB” that is belt driven which I prefer because I’m not a DJ that spins records.
It’s a $99 Turntable and let me say this before I move on. For the money this TT can NOT be beat. Unlike other TTs that lack bass and drowns mids from overly powerful highs that crackle this TT hits hard and sounds great it can not be beat and is awesome for those that never used a Turntable or are getting back into Vinyl.
Downside the cartridge can not be replaced so this leaves very little sound upgradeability. But it does have a built in Pre-amp that can be turned off or on so if you have a Pre-Amp or a Tuner that has a Phono output that is powered you can turn off the  built in amp.
While the Cart can not be upgraded Audio Technica do make great needles the stock  TT  comes with the needle ATN3600L and can upgrade the needle to – Audio-Technica ATN95E for $35 and will improve your sound. But that is the only upgrade besides the belt upgrade that can be done to this TT. No other needle can be used on this besides the 2 I listed here.
Guaranteed to make any CD fan realize what they are missing by not owning their favorite albums on Vinyl.

WARNING once you love it then you have to upgrade. Obsession begins-
I’m not a rich man so I decided I only wanted to spend a set amount of money.
When I started looking at new Turntables I started at the $250-$300 range which put me into a moderately decent range of tables like the Audio-Technica LP120 which starts at $299. And the LP120 is not a belt drive it’s a direct drive Turntable. Great for a DJ but not for Vinyl listeners that want accurate as possible sound.
After much looking and realizing wow it lacks things I want but mostly the best sound I can get for the cheapest amount of cash.
I then moved to the $350-$400 range at this range your now into TTs that do NOT have built in Pre-Amps which means that you have to purchase a Pre-Amp as well.  The cost has just went from $350 to starting at $450-$550 after adding in the Pre-Amp.
Now you may as well start being picky about the tings you want and the things you can sacrifice.
Now I’m at the $500-$700 range for just the Turntable no Pre-amp because at this point anything under this amount starts to not make sense especially since you have already went over your price point 3x.
At $500 you can score the Fluance RT85 (W/Ortofon 2M Blue Cart $240 for this alone included!) she is awesome but they can’t make enough of these babies fast enough so you can’t get one because there aren’t any completed yet for Fluance to sell.
Then there is the Pro-Ject – Debut Carbon Esprit SB which starts at $599 this has great specs but again it lacks the powerful sound that the Fluance RT85 has gotten reviews about and costs $100 more and includes the lower end Ortofon Red cart. Not that the Ortofon 2M Red cart is bad far from it but at this point I have seen the Fluance RT85 TT with the 2M Blue Cart available at $500.
Now to the build your own U-Turn Turntable after adding all the parts I want specs like the Fluance RT85 price hits $509.
After research you realize that the Plinth and even the arm is sub-par to any of the Turntables I have listed in the $500-$600 range.
Which brings me to my final decision I went with the Rega Planar 2 aka: RP2
This has a solid plinth, Glass platter “Not to be mistaken for the Acrylic Platter” and their middle high end Arm with a Cart and needle made for the P2.
this TT starts at $675 it’s more than the ones I listed but all the parts are solid quality the Cart & needle is this TT weak point.
Since I shopped about and got an open box deal and paid $589 for it I went ahead and purchased the Ortofon 2M blue cartridge. Totaling the Turntables cost to $830.
The Pre-amp is a whole other story so I’ll save that for another day.

What do I get? A fanfuckingtastic Turntable with an excellent cart for under a grand!
After all is said and done I DO NOT regret buying it ” usually after a expensive purchase I feel guilty or it wasn’t worth it”. It sounds absolutely awesome and I say this with no exaggeration it’s sound quality beats the shit out of any CD out there it just can’t be compared fairly it sounds that much better. And those that say well yeah it may sound better but it’s not loud. Well It’s got that to this fuckin table rocks just as loud as a CD or even louder! And clearer and more detailed as well.

If Vinyl is something your already into and just haven’t spent the money to upgrade your Turntable because in back of your mind you feel well a new one can’t sound that much better and surely can’t be worth it.
I had same feelings although I knew there were TTs that sounded better than what I had at the time.
Can only say it makes a huge difference in your sound and makes it much more enjoyable.
REGA_Planar2

As I stated also needed a pre-amp so this was another $200 went with the Parasound Zphono Phono Pre Amplifier.
It creates a great clean sound and I tested the Audio Technica LP60 on it and it improved the sound on that as well.
But I wish I had spent the extra $50 for the Parasound Zphono MM/MC Phono Preamplifier with USB>
Not because the USB but because it offers a power button and 2 line in for multiple hookups and has a rumble filter option along with a mono switch and USB Gain for those that want to transfer their vinyl to MP3.
The down side to the one I have is it just has a green power light doesn’t have a power on/off button or anything else. The power button alone is worth the extra $50:-(

Parasound $200 Pre-Amp
Parasound preamp 200

Parasound $250 Pre-AmpParasound Preamp 250

Civil War 3-D anaglyph Red/Blue

I knew of these but never bothered to check them out. After going through some of my Blurays I remembered I had 2 movies that were using the old anaglyph technology.
Friday the 13th P3 and Coraline. Coraline was Green and Red which DO NOT work. Friday the 13th P3 used the Blue & Red which work with the old Civil War pictures.
Are interesting and think everyone should take a look.
A few are motion pictures which was also used back then very primitive but still cool to see.
Kick back pop on some old paper glasses with Blue & Red lenses and see Civil War in 3-D.

See how they made this process “3-D” happen back in the 1800’s
https://www.battlefields.org/learn/articles/photography-and-civil-war