Wednesday, September 30, 2015

New Job

At the start of the month, I talked about getting a new job. Well, I finally got one! I'm a delivery driver for Round Table Pizza.

It's an okay job. The downside is that if there are no deliveries, I have to stay inside and wash dishes for hours. And take care of the salad buffet. And now they want me to learn how to work phones and the ordering system, which must have been designed by an outside company, because no way someone who takes pizza orders for a living decided this is the best way to organize orders.

Actually, no, the downside is that wages, tips and gas reimbursement are three completely different pay categories, according to the IRS. So I need to keep separate records for all three. It's pretty rough.

Currently, I'm working during the daytime, which means I don't get to watch my soap operas anymore, and I have much less time for YouTube stuff. That's kind of a shame, actually. A lot of my livestreaming stuff has been geared towards speedrunning, 'cause that's what I'm into right now. But I could use another hour each day, just for speedrunning stuff. Like, Segment 1 of Haunting of Castle Malloy is about 40 minutes long. How many tries will it take to reach optimum time on that? I dunno, but if I want to do it, I need more practice time than just "maybe one attempt per week".

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Monday, September 28, 2015

Was Jesus Married?

Q: Was Jesus married?

A: Almost certainly not. None of the biographies, written in the century after his death, mention him being married. Some people think that Jesus was married, and everyone knew it, but there was a massive coverup when Pope Saint Gregory VII made it mandatory for all priests to be celibate. This is impossible for two reasons.

#1, there is a 900 to 1000 year gap, in between Jesus' death and the Gregorian reforms. That's way too long for any coverup to be plausible; there's just too much that would have to be suppressed. Imagine launching a coverup program, to conceal the fact that George Washington was the first United States President. Now multiply that difficulty by four. That's how impossible it would be.

#2, the Eastern Orthodox Church split from the Catholic Church, before the Gregorian reforms. There's no way that they would have gone along with a huge cover-up by a Catholic Pope. Also, they have married priests, so if anyone would have promoted the idea of a married Jesus, it's them.

I know they made a movie (movies?) out of the idea that Jesus was married. I'm told the inspiration was an old piece of paper with chunks missing. It read something like "Mary Magdalene [gap] kissed [gap] Jesus".

Um...yeah. I think it's jumping to conclusions, to say they were married based on that. I want to see what the missing parts of the sentence are, first. I bet five bucks that it's a version of the story, where Mary washes Jesus' feet with fancy perfume, then dries them with her hair and kisses them. (John 12, Luke 7).

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Castle Malloy Speedrun, 3

When you talk to Kyler about the wedding program, the conversation changes slightly, depending on whether or not you've talked to Kit. If you know Kit, Nancy asks why he's not the best man. If you don't know Kit, Nancy asks when Alan will arrive. It takes three seconds more to talk about Kit.

Another difference? When you make programs, Nancy says something along the lines of "looks like the best man is Alan Payne". If she knows Kit, she adds something along the lines of "That's kinda weird.". It's not a timewaster, because you can skip Nancy's line of dialogue by trying to back away, mid-sentence.

The conversation with Alan does NOT change, whether or not you know Kit.

Overall, it looks like it's faster to ignore Kit in the first main part of the game! It only saves three seconds, but that's better than nothing, I guess.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Detective Barbie

I was going to play Detective Barbie, but the video came out weird. Here's the startup screen:



I should note that the game looks perfectly fine, on my computer. I see this as a normal rainbow. The recording equipment turns it into that weird form.

The walkthrough is getting put on hold, now. I have one final recording method to try, which is to trick the computer into thinking it's duplicating the screen onto a projector. The "projector" will be the machine I use to record Wii games. Maybe that'll work? That's how I recorded The Pagemaster, but that was seven years ago at this point.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Saturday Streams

I'm trying out Saturday Streams. That is, I'm going to livestream every Saturday this month. If it's popular, I'll probably continue. If it's not, I'll probably stop.





Thursday, September 24, 2015

Pope Francis in the United States

Pope Francis is in the United States! When he landed, he was greeted by President Obama, and he gave a brief speech. The speech included several political buzzwords, which makes me suspect that Pope Francis didn't write it himself. He said nice things about America, and he touched on the topic of religious freedom. Mostly, he talked about the environment and climate change, which is a safe topic because he and Obama mostly agree on it.

Yesterday, the Pope was welcomed into the White House and had a parade at the national mall, before doing midday prayer with the United States Bishops. He gave a sizeable homily to the Bishops, which I thought was good and interesting. He also canonized Fr. Junipero Serra as a saint, despite concerns that Fr. Serra worked too closely with Spanish colonialists (aka the conquistadors).

Today, he's giving a speech to a joint session of Congress. He decided to skip the reception with questionable guests, in favor of giving food out at a temporary homeless shelter. The shelter is temporary, because the local church had to move it, to be closer to where the Pope will be. If you've ever been to DC, you'll know the closest church to the White House is not a Catholic one.

He will leave for New York and spend a day there, where he will address the United Nations. Then he'll go to Philadelphia for the World Meeting of Families, which is the main reason for his visit to our country.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Stock Stuff

Okay, let me log onto eTrade and see how my stocks are doing...

Oh, my. That's a lot of red. I haven't see so much red since I put one of my Latin texts into a Word document.

Well, I've got some options. Let's look at Garmin. I spent $367.5 for ten shares. On September 30th, they're giving me $5.1, for being a shareholder. 10% of that goes straight to taxes, so in reality, I'm only making $4.59.

The eTrade fees are $19.98. When I subtract the $4.59 that I'm getting, it leaves me with $15.39. I need to make over that amount, in order to profit.

I think the math works out to 38.3. If I sell my shares at that amount, I get a profit of 11 cents. If I sell my shares at that amount, I get a net profit of 6 cents. 30% of that (three cents) goes to taxes, so in reality, I get eight cents. Oh, man, I'm going to be living the high life now!

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Land Before Time 13: The Wisdom of Friends

Land Before Time 13: The Wisdom of Friends is a very bad movie. I can see why they cancelled the series, after this one (and the previous one). Although in reality, the movie series was probably cancelled because they moved to a TV show.

The movie is all about a group of yellow-bellied dinosaurs. They have huge butts, and they make weird noises. They say a lot of stupid things. They're supposed to be funny, and Mary laughed at them twice, but they are nowhere near entertaining enough to be the main focus of a movie. (Just like Minions--OH SNAP, I JUST WENT THERE!).

The yellow-bellies are vaguely based on the beipiaosaurus. I don't know why they bothered to base them on a real dinosaur.

The Yellow-Bellies want to visit Berry Valley. Littlefoot figures the Yellow-Bellies are too stupid to make the journey on their own, so our heroes guide them there. Along the way, they pick up more Yellow-Bellies and avoid carnivores. There is no subplot in the movie at all. It's 60 minutes of Yellow Bellies acting stupid.



The title of the movie comes from "the wisdoms". "The wisdoms" are vague pieces of parental advice, like "keep your eyes and ears open" or "stick together in a group". In fact, those are the ONLY wisdoms that we learn in the movie. They get mentioned at least ten times, as if they're wise advice from a prophet, and not simple safety rules.

The moral of the story is that Yellow-Bellies follow their instincts, and that's just as good as following wisdoms. Of course, this moral comes in song form. Maybe the movie is trying to say that following your heart is just as good as following your head. But it also seems like the movie is confusing "intellect", "instinct" and "conscience", even though those are three completely different things.

Overall, bad movie. I will never watch it again.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

YouTube Plans

My current YouTube plans are to do Zelda: Twilight Princess and Fire Emblem Gaiden this week. Next week is Putt-Putt Enters the Parade.

Other than that, I have these games on my to-play list:

1. Awakening 7: The Golden Age
2. Book of Legends
3. Bridge to Another World: Burnt Dreams
4. Detective Barbie
5. Phoenix Wright: Dual Destinies DLC?
6. Fire Emblem Gaiden?
7. Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective (iOS)
8. Grammar Games
9. Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess
10. McKids
11. Miles Edgeworth 2, Case 2?
12. Miss Clue
13. Nancy Drew DS
14. Nancy Drew DS
15. Nancy Drew: Blackmoor Manor - French
16. Nancy Drew: Kapu Cave - French
17. Nancy Drew: Legend of the Crystal Skull - French
18. Nancy Drew: Phantom of Venice - German
19. Pepper's Adventures in Time
20. Professor Garfield
21. Professor Garfield
22. Putt-Putt Goes to the Moon
23. Putt-Putt Travels Through Time
24. Puzzle Quest
25. Puzzle Quest 2
26. Spy Fox: Dry Cereal
27. Spy Fox: Operation Ozone
28. Spy Fox: Some Assembly Required
29. Treasure Mathstorm Speedrun

At my rate on one game per week, it'll take me...um...until April to get through them all? Oh, dear.

White House Guests for Pope Francis

Pope Francis is visiting the United States this month. He'll be speaking to a joint session of Congress, and I understand there is a dinner party or some sort of nighttime event, at the White House.

Every politician gets to invite one guests. I know this, because one of the US Representatives invited a priest friend of mine name Arnold. I imagine most of the politicians are bringing their spouses.

Unfortunately, some people want to make a political statement about the Catholic Church, so they have invited guests that work against the Vatican. For example, California senator Barbara Boxer is bringing the leader of the pro-abortion/pro-euthanasia Catholic nuns group. There will also be several leaders from gay rights groups, which either broke off from the Catholic Church or received censures.

I think this sends a bad message, on the part of our politicians. They're going out of their way, to promote dissident Catholics in front of the Pope. I suppose some people might have good intentions for this, but overall, it feels like a slap to the face. It's like inviting Donald Trump to a dinner with Hilary Clinton. It's rude, disrespectful, and an obvious grab for attention.

If you want to make a statement that you disagree with the Catholic Church's views, then don't attend the party! Simple as that.

Note: After I wrote this blog, someone took my advice! A congressman decided not to attend Pope Francis' speech to Congress, on the grounds that Francis will probably talk about climate change. I think that's a tad silly, since no one knows for sure what the Pope is going to talk about, but that's a much more polite way to protest.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Bailey School Kids Super Special #1

Mary and I read Bailey School Kids Super Special #1: Mrs. Jeepers is Missing yesterday.

I've complained a lot about super specials in the past. My ideal Super Special is a double-length book, like Animorphs or Rainbow Magic Fairies. A Super Special can have a different/fancy premise from the regular series, but it's not necessary.

With the Bailey School Kids Super Special, the story was shorter than the average book in the series. But it's still advertised as being extra-long, because they packed forty pages of fluff at the end.

What kind of fluff? A picture of every book in the series, with a description. Puzzles, like "match the character name to the picture" and "match the character name to the picture". (Yes, they did the same basic puzzle, twice in a row.) They also had jokes and recipes, which were actually pretty good, no complaints about those.

I've stopped reviewing the Bailey School Kids books on my blog, but I just wanted to take a moment to complain about the shorter-than-normal book being touted as an extra-long book.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Awakening 6: The Redleaf Forest

This week, my walkthrough was for Awakening: The Redleaf Forest.



This is technically the final game in the series! There is a prequel called Awakening: The Golden Age, which I'll play eventually. I'm also working on a walkthrough for the freemium spinoff game, called Awakening Kingdoms. I don't know how much interest there is in that game, but hey, it's free!

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Castle Malloy Speedrun, 2

In the opening conversation with Kyler, Nancy has two options. "Why did that man...?" and "So you're here by yourself now?". Here are all the conversations that ensue at this point in the game...

  • Nancy: Why did that man...?
  • Kyler: That was the caretaker...
  • Kyler: Not Donald, mind you...
  • Nancy: Proud of his heritage, huh?
  • Kyler: Indeed. Which would be...
  • Kyler: When it comes to...
    • Nancy: You sure the wedding...?
      • Kyler: I'm telling you, he'll show. You see...
      • Kyler: Sometimes I hear him...
      • Kyler: Of course, I remember well...
      • Kyler: Find him, Nancy...
    • Nancy: Do you have any idea...?
      • No, but I know he didn't go far...
      • Sometimes I hear him...
      • Of course, I remember well...
      • Find him, Nancy...

  • Nancy: So you're by yourself now?
  • Kyler: Actually, Matt's best friend...
    • Nancy: When did he arrive?
      • Kyler: We all came out together.
      • Kyler: And then, of course...
      • Kyler: Not Donald, mind you...
      • Nancy: Proud of his heritage, huh?
      • Kyler: Indeed. Which would be...
      • Kyler: When it comes to...
        • Nancy: You sure the wedding...?
          • Kyler: I'm telling you, he'll show. You see...
          • Kyler: Sometimes I hear him...
          • Kyler: Of course, I remember well...
          • Kyler: Find him, Nancy...
        • Nancy: Do you have any idea...?
          • Kyler: No, but I know he didn't go far...
          • Kyler: Sometimes I hear him...
          • Kyler: Of course, I remember well...
          • Kyler: Find him, Nancy...
    • Nancy: Is he from London, too?
      • Kyler: He lives in London now...
        • Kyler: Not Donald, mind you...
        • Nancy: Proud of his heritage, huh?
        • Kyler: Indeed. Which would be...
        • Kyler: When it comes to...
          • Nancy: You sure the wedding...?
            • Kyler: I'm telling you, he'll show. You see...
            • Kyler: Sometimes I hear him...
            • Kyler: Of course, I remember well...
            • Kyler: Find him, Nancy...
          • Nancy: Do you have any idea...?
            • Kyler: No, but I know he didn't go far...
            • Kyler: Sometimes I hear him...
            • Kyler: Of course, I remember well...
            • Kyler: Find him, Nancy...
That's a pretty big list, but I think it's clear that the first option is the shorter one. That goes straight to the conversation about Donal, while skipping the optional conversation about Kit.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Writing

I should not be writing the next Francy Droo videogame, at the same time that I'm reviewing Nancy Drew books. The reviewer/writer sides of my brain get mixed up, and now I'm starting to pre-emptively give my work bad reviews.

For example, the premise of Francy Droo and the Missing Mother-in-Law is that Francy is a bridesmaid, and something bad happens right before the wedding. There are at least four Nancy Drew things with that exact same premise. It's cliché and predictable, and why didn't I do something else?

The premise of the upcoming game is "Francy gets a threatening phone call". Now I'm feeling like that weak and uninteresting, and there's no good reason for that to happen, except the detective needs a mystery to solve. There's a subplot about a soap opera, and I've convinced myself that I'm the only person who will find it amusing.

For another example, the structure. The first game was very formulaic. "Francy goes to a location, meets a suspect, solves a puzzle and finds a clue." That formula repeated three times, and the ending sequence came immediately after. Not very creative, I'll admit. I'm trying a completely new structure with the new game, and I fear that I'm shooting myself in the foot, in an attempt to be different.

The pacing won't work! No one will be kept in suspense! The subplot is too large, and it takes away from the main story! The connection between the subplot and the main plot is tenuous, at best! And man, I can't decide if "confrontational scene with angry man" should come at the end of Day 1 or the start of Day 2.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Castle Malloy Speedrun, 1

I've decided to work on a speedrun for Nancy Drew: The Haunting of Caste Malloy. I did a little bit of work on it, during last week's Saturday stream. We discovered that the first main part of the game has two different conversation layouts. There's one if you've talked to Kit, and there's one if you haven't talked to Kit. Maybe it's a timesaver, if you ignore Kit's existence for as long as possible!

I figured I could do some of the busywork here on the blog, instead of on a livestream.

Let's start with the opening conversation with Kyler. At the first break in the conversation, there are two options that you can pick. Those conversations go like this:

Nancy: He disappeared as a prank?
Kyler: He adores...
Kyler: He'll show up. Mind you, it may not be...
Nancy: "Why did that man...?" or "So you're here by yourself now?"

Nancy: You mean the wedding hasn't been called off?
Kyler: Absolutely not.
Kyler: He'll show up. Mind you, it may not be...
Nancy: "Why did that man...?" or "So you're here by yourself now?"

As you can see, the conversation is basically the same, no matter which option you pick. Option 2 is about five seconds faster, since Kyler's immediate response is a two-word sentence, not two full sentences.

(More tomorrow.)

Monday, September 14, 2015

Stock Market

I've recently gotten into trading stocks on the stock market, through eTrade. eTrade charges $9.99, whenever you buy stock or sell stock.

My first move on the stock market was to buy 10 shares of Garmin, the company that makes GPS devices. I told eTrade to buy the shares, when the stock went under $37. It bought the shares at $36.75 apiece. So that means I spent $360.75.

I want to make at least $20, to cover the processing fees. So when I sell the shares, I need to get $380.75. That means, I sell when the stock reaches $38.075.

But wait, there's more! Garmin is giving out a dividend of .51 on September 30th! Also December 31st and March 31st. That means they give 51 cents, for every single piece of stock. I have 10 shares, so I get $5.1. Pretty nifty!

That gives me two options. Option One is to keep the $5.1 as profit. Now I only have to make 15 dollars when selling the stock, to get a $20 profit. Specifically, I can reach that target by selling at $37.565. Notice how that's 51 cents lower than the previous target of $38.075.

Option Two is to do a drip (dividend reinvestment program). That is, eTrade takes the $5.1 profit and uses it to buy more Garmin stock, at no charge. I don't know what Garmin's stock price will be on September 30th, obviously, but let's pretend that the stock is at $37 that day. $5.1 will buy about 14% of a share. Thanks to the drip, I'll have 10.14 shares of Garmin, not just 10.
Because I have more stock, I can make my $20 profit by selling at $37.5493. That's 52.57 cents lower than the previous target of $38.075.

I wonder which option I should pick. Obviously, Option 2 has the greater potential, but it also relies on the random factor of "what is the stock price on September 30th?". I'm leaning towards Option 1, just because I'm guaranteed to get $5.1 every three months for the next nine months, so even if the stock does badly, I still have a good chance of recouping the losses.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Days of our Lives

Days of our Lives has gotten a lot better, recently. That's because there was a big turnover in the show's staff. The new people in charge have decided to change a lot of storylines, and to fire several actors.

For example, there is Aiden Jennings. He was introduced as Hope's love interest, in January of last year. Since then, the show has been slowly building up their relationship, and he's at the point of proposing to her.

The new people have decided to get rid of Aiden as a character. So they turned him evil at the last minute, to get viewers to dislike him. The two years of Aiden/Hope love? Apparently that was all just an act! He was under orders to seduce her. That evil, scheming fiend!

They got rid of one character (Sonny Kiriakis), by having him move to Europe. The other characters? They're getting murdered. The show planned to fire them all, anyway, why not get a serial killer storyline out of it?

By coincidence (or maybe not by coincidence), this is happening at the same time as the show's 50-year anniversary. A bunch of old cast members are coming back, to celebrate the anniversary. I imagine some of them will only appear for a one-day cameo, while others will stick around for a lot longer. Hey, they've got the budget to hire some more actors, so why not?

Anyway, now that Sonny is officially off the show, let's take a look at how long his marriage to Will lasted. Hmmm...about a year and a half. Will cheated on Sonny with two different men, during that time. Not a very good track record, for the first officially-married gay couple on a soap opera.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Legal Positivism

People are talking a lot about legal positivism lately.

Legal positivism is the philosophical system where law is king. People have to follow the law, and authority has to enforce the law, no matter what. Your personal feelings don't matter.

Legal positivism is wrong. When a law is unjust, a person is morally obligated to break the law. Examples: Harboring refugee slaves, breaking segregation laws, performing life-saving surgery on a person without insurance, etc. "I was just following orders" is not an excuse for doing evil, as everyone agreed at the Nuremberg Nazi trials.

The two big topics that prompted the discussion of legal positivism are sanctuary cities for illegal immigrants, and the law requiring county clerks to perform gay marriages. Most people I've seen are split on these two topics; that is, for one, they say, "Yes! Break that law! It's a horrible law!" and for the other, they say, "Why are people breaking this law?! That's horrible! They should be put in jail!".

The Catholic Church loves to have lots of laws and rules, but it's always been against legal positivism. Why? The long answer is that civil law is founded upon God's natural law and cannot supersede it. The short answer is that Catholicism has been outlawed way too many times for Catholics to adopt a "we must follow all laws" policy.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Phoenix Wright Stuff

Yesterday, Cil asked about some Phoenix Wright game stuff.

I love your AA-reviews and they were one of the reasons I got into this franchise in the first place. If you have no complete disdain for ME and do not play it solely for clicks, please continue with it, these reviews are always a blast to watch.

(Not having you defend the whale was already sad enough as was skipping the outro of DD but I gathered you weren't that fond of DD in general or am I completely on the wrong track here?)

Dual Destinies and Miles Edgeworth 2 have the same problem: they're overly long and wordy. If there's something that can be resolved in two minutes, they discuss it for ten. They're good games, but the pacing is so not my style! I much preferred the pacing in the earlier games.

I'm probably not going to record the DLC case of Dual Destinies. I didn't like it that much; things don't get interesting until the second day of trial. The main issue in recording it, though, is the fact that recording the 3DS is a huge pain. Literally; I have to contort my body into an unnatural position to record the game without blocking the camera. I can do it for a little while, but doing it for hours on end is pretty difficult.

As for Miles Edgeworth 2, I'm interested in seeing what happens in the rest of the game. Specifically, I want to see what the main characters are like. I'm going to put it on my list of games to play, but no promises! Recording the Edgeworth videos this week was fun, but...I dunno, I feel pretty insecure about the quality of those videos. I threw out over an hour of footage, while recording those videos. Next time, if there is a next time, I'll play through the whole case, before recording.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Land Before Time 12: The Great Day of the Flyers

Land Before Time 12 was not very enjoyable. The main story was about Guido, one of those small, feathered dinosaurs. He had a rather annoying voice, which was a point against the movie's favor. I spent the entire movie wondering where I've heard that voice before. I looked it up just now; it's a Woody Allen impersonation, just more high-pitched than the real Woody.

Since Guido is so strange-looking, nobody what species he is or where he belongs. Even he doesn't know, because he has amnesia. (His amnesia is never cured, by the way; it was just an excuse to force the plot along.) So he tries to fit in with every single group of dinosaurs, and he fails miserable.

At one point, Guido starts sleepwalking. The sleepwalking sequence went on for over ten minutes, and it made me realize I don't like this movie. It was too much of a timewaster for me. The sleepwalking ended with a revelation: Guido, the winged dinosaur with feathers, can fly. Our heroes were surprised, while I facepalmed.

The movie has two subplots. First, Cera's dad (and his new wife) have an incredibly adorable baby. Guido's flying ability was connected to THIS story. What happens is that the baby falls into a river, and he must fly to save her. I guess the baby storyline was okay, mainly because the baby was so cute. Personally, I wonder what happened to Cera's nieces (and their unseen parents) from the sixth movie.

The other subplot is about the Great Day of Flyers. Apparently, it's a big flying competition, where every group of flying dinosaurs performs in front of judges. Petrie and his family are doing a V formation, but he keeps screwing up. Once, he messes up because he's distracted by his friends. The second time, he messes up because he can't handle flying through clouds.

Now, you'd think Guido's ability to fly would be tied into the flyer storyline. Nope! What happens is that Guido tells Petrie to be unique, to just be himself, to not follow along with the rest of the group. Not exactly the best advice to give someone, when they're competing in a team sport. Petrie goes off and starts doing his own thing, during the synchronized flying show. Everyone else on the team thinks that is super neat, so they start deviating from the original flight plan. There's a big finale musical number, and all the flyers start flying like crazy.

Overall, I didn't like the movie, and that's mainly because I didn't like Guido. The rest of the movie was passable; there was nothing I particularly liked or disliked about it, besides for the cute baby that I liked.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Annulment News

There was news with Pope Francis this week! And it's real news, not fake news, like last week.

Pope Francis issued two motu propio documents. Unofficial translation: "Just 'cuz I wanna". That's a type of document the Pope can issue out of the blue, which changes church rules. An example would be the previous Pope's Summa Pontificorum. In the document, Benedict said, "The 1962 Latin mass can now be said anywhere at any time. Deal with it, tradition haters!". Then he put on his sunglasses and rode off on his motorcycle.

As promised, Pope Francis' motu propio documents change the rules for annulments. In the document, Francis said, "We're going back to the 1981 rules. Deal with it, tradition haters!". Then he put on his sunglasses and rode off on his motorcycle.

Let me explain. An annulment is a legal document, stating that a marriage did not take place. For example, if I had a secret wife when Katie and I had our wedding, then a marriage would not have taken place. Some people think annulments are the Catholic version of divorce, so the issue of annulments tends to be hotly contested. I wouldn't be surprised if there are abuses on both sides of the debate.

There are three main changes that Pope Francis made to the annulment process.

#1. To get an annulment, you only have to go through one court, not two. The requirement of going through a second court was added in 1982. Getting rid of this requirement is a timesaver. Provided that the first court did its job properly, though, the second court shouldn't take up that much time; it should just rubber-stamp the first court's decision.

#2. Annulments should be provided free of charge, if possible. Obviously, the lawyers need to be paid, but some places were charging exorbitant amounts for the annulment process, and they need to knock that off, right now.

#3. The local Bishop can step in and bypass the entire annulment process. (This ability was removed in 1983, because it was being abused.) That is, he can say, "Hey, no need to go to court; I'm giving you an annulment right now." He can do this in the following cases.

a. adultery
b. insanity
c. spouse beating
d. one person had secret children
e. one person had secret incarceration
f. one person has a secret, contagious disease
g. one person was secretly infertile
h. one or both parties lack the faith to give full consent to a Catholic marriage
i. abortion or something else showing one person is unwilling to procreate
j. getting married for a reason that's completely foreign to marriage
k. getting married because the woman is pregnant
l. a short marriage (I'm not sure what this means here. "Brevitas convictus coniugalis" literally means "short living together of marriage".)
m. the list ends with "and others", so presumably, there are other cases where this applies.

The document is only in Italian and Latin right now. So we'll have to wait a while, before the specifics come in.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

YouTube Channel Plans

Here are my upcoming plans for the YouTube channel!

This week: Upload videos for Miles Edgeworth: Prosecutor's Path. I have ten videos, bringing us to the end of Case 1.
Then: Upload book reviews
Then: Do a walkthrough for the sixth game in the Awakening series!
Then: Upload the next section of the Fire Emblem Gaiden walkthrough.

Right now, I'm only 2-3 days ahead of my schedule. At some point, I'm sure, I'll be two weeks ahead of the posting schedule. Then, I'll take my Wii out of storage and record a ton of Zelda videos. Those videos take a long time to record, so it's more efficient to do many of them at once.

Also, Saturday Streams! I'm gonna try to make that a thing. I asked people what game they want to see my play this Saturday, and the first vote was for Nancy Drew: The Haunting of Castle Malloy! So I guess I'll probably do that.

Monday, September 7, 2015

Labor Day

I proposed to Katie on Labor Day last year. For the holiday weekend, Katie and I are going back to the place where I proposed.

I'm so glad she agreed to marry me. Months afterwards, she told me that she had once turned down a proposal from a guy who reminds her of me, and jeez, lots of pressure there, Katie!

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Cooking Disaster

This week, I tried three new recipes! Two of them were simple ones for Mary to do. One is mini-pizzas, which is mainly tomato sauce and cheese on English muffins. The other is cheese toasties, which is mainly cheese and bacon on English muffins. She liked cooking them, but she decided she hates the way they taste, because ew, sauce is yucky.

The other recipe was chicken parmesan, which was a disaster. You're supposed to use corn flake crumbs in order to bread the chicken. We don't have those, so I put bread in a toaster and told Mary to cover the chicken with the crumbs. Instead of breaded chicken, we got chicken with random bread chunks on it. I think the bread covered less than a fourth of the chicken, instead of covering the entire chicken, like it's supposed to.

I liked the sauce, which had a bunch of seasonings and stuff. Mary and Katie decided ew, sauce is yucky. So they had chicken parmesan without the sauce or the cheese. It was basically chicken breasts, with random pieces of bread on top.

The disaster part was when I burnt a hole in the back of the microwave. Surprise! None of the pans I've been using are microwave safe! Yes, I've been using the microwave cookbook for two months now, without knowing the pans shouldn't be used in the microwave.

I have a list of 41 microwave recipes to try out; now I'll have to go through the list and eliminate a lot of them, because I don't have the right pans. The recipe I'll miss the most is the burger recipe. You put the burgers on a rack, above a pan. That way, when you cook them, all the blood/fat drips down into the pan. You cook the burgers two minutes, then flip them, then cook another two minutes. If you're making four burgers, bump up the time to two and a half minutes. This recipe is great, because it's a lot faster than cooking with a frying pan. Also, it's much easier to clean up afterwards, since all the fat is separate from the burgers.

But since my pan and rack aren't microwave safe...I can't use this recipe anymore. Sadness.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Land Before Time 11: Invasion of the Tinysauruses

At heart, Invasion of the Tinysauruses is a simple children's story where the main character lies. The character has to lie again, to cover up the original lie. The lies keep getting bigger and bigger, until the character finally admits the truth. Everyone learns that lies, even small ones, are bad.

The problem with the "lying is wrong" morality movie is that the main character doesn't actually lie. The movie acts like he did, but in reality, Littlefoot told the truth. So why is everyone giving him a hard time for lying?

Here's the situation. Littlefoot accidentally knocks the leaves off a sweet tree, way too early. The leaves fall to the ground, and they are demolished by a herd of tiny dinosaurs. When Littlefoot is confronted about it, he says the tiny dinosaurs ate the sweet leaves. Which is true. I guess you could say he lied by omission, by not mentioning he knocked the leaves off before they got eaten, but that doesn't make much of a difference.

All the dinosaurs overreact and start patrolling the area, hoping to catch and exile the tiny dinosaurs. Littlefoot makes friends with the tiny dinosaurs, and he feeds them on the sly. (That's a lot closer to lying than his earlier "lie".) Littlefoot's friends meet the tiny dinosaurs and have lots of fun with them.

The DVD skipped ahead, to the point where the tiny dinosaurs are exiled. They redeem themselves by returning to the Great Valley, just in time to save everyone from two smaller carnivores.

I didn't like the tiny dinosaurs very much, but I suppose little kids might be fascinated with them. It's sort of like Journey to the Big Water, in that how much you enjoy the movie depends on how much you like the cute new character.

Most people dislike this movie, due to the bad premise of tiny dinosaurs, and the storyline about lying, which wasn't well-done. For me, the saving grace of the movie was the subplot about Cera's father meeting an old girlfriend. It was hilarious to see the angry character get all lovey-dovey, and John Ingle did a great job the entire time. John Ingle was on both Days of Our Lives and General Hospital, so I have to imagine that love storylines were second nature to him.

Friday, September 4, 2015

Speedrunning

Most of the games available on Big Fish Games autosave. This can be a problem sometimes; if something messes up near the end of a game, I have to restart all the way from the beginning again.

I finally figured out where they keep the various save files! It's in AppData-->Roaming, where the files are sorted by company name. This helps me get around the autosave feature, in a sense. If I copy/paste a save file, I can duplicate the effect of reloading from an earlier save.

I think this would be most useful, with speedrunning. Specifically, it'd help with segmented runs; those are runs where you use save states to help you get your maximum speed. Normally, people save before randomly-determined puzzles. That way, if you get a really bad puzzle setup, you can reload and try again. I'm thinking this would be super useful with hidden objects challenges. You know, I save as soon as a hidden objects challenge appears. I figure out where all the items are located, then I reload.

Just out of curiosity, which non-Nancy Drew games would you readers like to see me speedrun? I think Dana Knightstone and Haunted Halls are the most popular non-Nancy Drew game series that I play. I wouldn't mind having a go at Phoenix Wright, if I could get the equipment to record handheld games.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Three Things Thursday - Wedding Music

I made some basic oversights, when it came to the music at our wedding.

#1. The song for the presentation of the gifts was "The Servant Song". Turns out there are two songs with that name. The musicians played the wrong one. No big deal, though. Both songs are pretty good, and no one noticed.

#2. I spent at least a few hours, teaching Mary all the various songs at the wedding. I put a lot of focus on the opening song, Hear Us Now, Our God and Father, because it was the easiest for her to read/sing. Also, it was the first on the list. I didn't realize, duh, Mary is the Flower Girl. She didn't sing the song, because she was part of the procession.

#3. Similarly, with the ending song. We picked Battle Hymn of the Republic, because the wedding was on the Fourth of July, and it's a nice patriotic tune. (I purposely left that out of the music list I shared on this blog, since that probably would have revealed the wedding date). People didn't really focus on singing the song, since they were too busy watching us leave the church together.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

New Vlog

There was big news with Pope Francis yesterday. I was going to talk about it here on my blog, but it turns out that the entire thing is kind of a non-story. All he did was write a short letter, which mentions an abortion policy that's been in place since at least the 1980's. The media mistook this for a brand-new policy, and they went wild, because "the Pope changes Catholic Church's rules on abortion" makes for good, clickbait headlines.

So, since there isn't any real news to talk about, here's a vlog! I talk about my YouTube channel and my vague plans for the future. Mainly, my plan is to do walkthroughs for all the games I own, before buying any new games. The huge majority of the views on my channel are for old Nancy Drew walkthroughs, so...I'm super-open to suggestions, as to what I can do that will interest people.



I think the title is a little clickbaity, myself, but Katie preferred it to my original title, "Arglefumph State of the Union Address".

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Land Before Time 10: The Great Longneck Migration

The Land Before Time 10 is the first movie in the series to use fully computer-generated dinosaurs. You can tell that the animators had a lot of fun, playing with new computer effects. Remember when Tarzan first came out, and they bragged about how they used computers to animate the trees while he slid all over them? They do that special effect all the time in this movie. They also do a lot of 360 degree shots. Here, watch the first song of the movie; it has a bunch of crazy camera pans, all in a row.

The story is that Littlefoot and all the other longnecks are having strange dreams. They get up and migrate to a far-off place, even though they don't know the destination. Hundreds of other longnecks are also making this migration. It takes them to a huge crater, where Littlefoot meets his long-lost father.

The storyline with Littlefoot's father was pretty emotional and well done. It's probably the closest that the sequels have ever come to the first movie, in that we're discussing the effects of a mother's death upon her family. The actor, Keith Sutherland, did a good job. I teared up a bit at the end, when Littlefoot had to leave his father forever.

Littlefoot's friends don't have much to do, so they try to follow. They almost get eaten in a swamp, and it occurs to me that we haven't had any talking villains in this series since the fourth movie. Odd. The villains in movies 2-4 all talked and even sang. Now all the villains are carnivores, and they don't do anything besides roar.

Anyway, the kids make friends with another longneck named Pat, who helps them along the way. In the big finale, there's a huge fight with the dinosaurs and three vicious meat-eaters. It was fun to watch. I was less impressed by the ending, though. It turns out that the longnecks all migrated to the crater, in order to watch a solar eclipse.

They think that, if they stretch their necks out really high, they will prevent the sun from falling. I know science, so...yeah. That's a silly premise. The dinosaurs believe it, though, and they are convinced that longnecks saved the world.

Overall, a pretty good movie! It took me a while to get used to the animation, but it's definitely much better than the previous film.

I'm told that after this one, they drove the series into the ground. We'll see about that!