Caster's Corner - Livestreaming on Twitch

Friday, August 31, 2018

Let's Play Star Wars: X-Wing Alliance - B5M7 - Pirate Payback Time!

It's time for some payback! Those pirates who've been messing up the Rebel resupply plans won't be bothering anyone after this. Plus, the Alliance gets to clear its (relatively) good name.

Once again, this mission isn't really that difficult. Just keep an eye on major threats, and add another Star Destroyer to your kill count.

Thursday, August 30, 2018

I love getting opportunities to photograph the B-2A Spirit. It’s hard to believe that this is airframe whose first example rolled out into the Palmdale sunshine twenty-nine years ago, because even today it looks like an aircraft ripped straight from a science fiction movie.

Now you see me...
As other (far better) photographers have noted, one of the neat things about the B-2 is how its character changes depending on the angle of the shot. At the Offutt Air & Space show we were graced with a couple of really nice low passes. I tried to capture some different angles as best I could.

Now you don't. Well, almost, anyway.
The 2016 Offutt show had a B-2 on static display. Even twenty-seven years after rollout, it still has a cordon and armed security around it when it’s on the ground. It’s tough to get a sense of how big the bomber is when you see it in flight. It’s only on the ground that you realize this is a four-engine aircraft heavy bomber capable of slipping through enemy defenses with a 40,000lb bombload. For comparison’s sake, a B-52H can carry a 70,000 lb payload on a mixture of internal and external positions; a B-1B is capable of hauling 75,000 lbs internally with another 50,000 lbs on external hardpoints; WWII mainstay the B-17G could only carry 8,000 lbs internally for short range missions.
Not my photo. Public domain via official Air Force.

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Let's Play Ash of Gods: Redemption - Into the Wastes - Chapter 5d

Do these chapters seem to be getting longer? Anyway, we're back with Thorn's party after an incredibly brief interlude with Hopper, and now we're heading towards the Wasteland.

It's difficult to figure out just how close to the end we are right now. HowLongToBeat suggests we're just a few hours away, but the game seems like there's still a long way to go. We'll see!

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Around The Web - An E-4B Sighting!

The 2018 Offutt Air & Space Show kicked off festivities with an extremely rare sight: One of just four E-4B "Doomsday" birds in existence performing a pair of very low-level passes.

Two of these irreplaceable aircraft were heavily damaged when a tornado hit Offutt last year, something that you can read about in this article on The Drive.

Some might yawn and say "Oh, it's just another 747 derivative." But when there's only four in the world, getting the chance to photograph one in flight is an opportunity that doesn't come around very often.

Fly away, big birdy.

Monday, August 27, 2018

You Never Take Me Anywhere - Vlog 2018-34

Why do you almost only see Producers, Writers, Lead Designers, and maybe a Lead Artist get interviewed for a AAA game? What about QA, programmers, and artists? Do they ever get to go anywhere?

The truth is, if you want to travel for business, don't work in game development.

Friday, August 24, 2018

Let's Play Star Wars: X-Wing Alliance - B5M6 - Data Recovery

Time to take care of some more family business. With MK and Emon's help, go recover the Azzameen data core and get closer to getting some answers of who betrayed your family.

This mission isn't especially tough. Keep the fighters away from MK while he retrieves the core, and everything else will be gravy.

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Book Review: Teenage Boys: Surviving and Enjoying These Extraordinary Years

It’s time to face the reality that I’m soon going to have a teenage boy in my house. And then a teenage girl. Then another teenage boy. And another. Then finally another teenage girl, although by that time the first teen boy and girl will both be in their twenties and hopefully out of the house either in some career, college, or branch of the military. That’s getting rather far ahead of myself, but the fact remains that I’d better get used to having teenage boys around. And while I have personal experience with being a teenage boy, I could definitely use some additional perspective.
Enter Teenage Boys: Surviving and Enjoying These Extraordinary Years, the first of what will probably be a number of books I’ll end up reading over the next few years on how to raise up teen boys and teen girls. Originally written in the late early ‘00s (hence the cover of some seriously Xtreme! Teen Boys), this version has been expended with a couple of additional chapters of response material collected by the author Bill Beausay after the publication of the original book.

Overall, it’s a useful book for helping to understand the teenage mind. Again, having been a teen boy, you’d think I’d have a pretty good instinctive understanding of this, but sometimes, that’s just the problem. A lot of what teenagers do is based on instinct, not heavily considered rational processes. It’s one of the big reasons why looking back at their teen years, most people (guys, at least) have a few incidents they can recall that they now preface with “Now I don’t know what I was thinking at the time…” Because we probably weren’t.

The strategies for de-escalation, suggestions for how to establish firm ground rules, and answers to some of the most common parental concerns are especially useful.

The book is also a little bit of a time capsule, having been written just a couple of years before smartphones and social media took over everyone’s lives. Those strategies for firm ground rules, common concerns and de-escalation suddenly seem even more difficult now than they would have been ten years ago, but are more necessary than ever.

The book is written by a Christian, from an Evangelical Christian perspective. As such, it may not be everyone’s cup of tea, although it certainly meets me where I live. Still, much of the advice is valuable regardless of what place religion of any sort has in the reader’s home.

Overall, highly recommended for anyone who is, or will soon be parenting a teenage boy.

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Around The Web - Three Gun F-4B

Last week, I shared the post about the unique Chico the Gunfighter F-4E configuration on Twitter. This received a comment from David M. Vanderhoof, the official Airplane Geeks podcast historian, blogger at What Just Flew By!, and all around nice guy.

Source unknown.

While the Air Force got their internal gun armed Phantoms into Vietnam with the F-4Es, the Navy and Marines stuck with the gun-less F-4B, and -4J models. While multiple Navy and Marine squadrons would use the HIPEG 20mm gun pod (Mk 4 Mod 0 pod with Mk 11 twin barrel 20mm cannon), only the Marine aviators of VMFA-122 would operate the F-4B with three underwing cannon pods.
Mk4 cannon pod mounted on an A-4. Public domain image via Wikipedia

Unfortunately, I can find neither any further good illustrations of the triple-pod F-4B, nor the original source of the illustration. A few dedicated scale model makers have done some fantastic kit bash builds to illustrate the configuration (like this one) but that's the best I could find.

Still a fun reason to go look up more F-4 pictures!

Monday, August 20, 2018

2018 Defenders of Freedom Air & Space Show - Vlog 2018-33

We got the chance to take in the airshow at Offutt AFB last weekend. What a fantastic show!

The F-22A Raptor demo is pure aerial witchcraft. The F-35A Lightning II and P-38J Lightning heritage flight was beautiful, and the Aeroshell Aerobatic Team in their four T-6 Texans were the highlight of the show. If you can make to Omaha for the 2019 edition of the show, I highly recommend it.

Friday, August 17, 2018

Let's Play Star Wars: X-Wing Alliance - B5M5 - Save The Smugglers!

Uh-oh, someone leaked the location of the smugglers aiding the Rebel Alliance to the Empire. Now it's a race against time to try and save their shuttle from both rival smugglers and the Imperials.

Jump in an A-Wing and save the day!

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Making Progress

Things are almost, kind of, getting close to back on track again. Now to see if next week's planned activities derail everything again.

Titian [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Keeping the content buffer fed kind of feels like Sisyphus some days. Then again, I did this to myself. On the other hand, so did Sisyphus.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Let's Play Ash of Gods: Redemption - Hopper Catches Up - Chapter 5a

Hopper Rowley finally catches up with Thorn Brennin and his party in the city of Ursus. After visiting Thorn in prison, and promising to help Gleda, Hopper decides to use some of his magic to help Thorn escape and avoid the morning’s execution.

Can I manage to get another episode up next Wednesday? Stay tuned...

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Around the Web - Chico The Gunfighter

While researching some history related to the Gunfighter callsign (some of which might show up here eventually), my favorite search engine served up this fascinating story.

Chico The Gunfighter by Wade Meyers
 The F-4E was the first Phantom variant to carry an internal 20mm cannon. The mental picture of a Phantom rolling out and laying into a target with Three! 20mm cannons like a jet-age successor to the P-47 flips my cool meter all the way to 11.
It doesn’t hurt that while I missed the golden age of the F-4 in U.S. military service, there were still plenty of them flying around during my impressionable youth.

I remember seeing a few flights of F-4G Wild Weasels flying out of (now long-closed) March Air Force Base back in the early ‘90s, and while I definitely love watching teen series fighters in flight, to say nothing of the pure witchcraft that is the F-22 Raptor flight demo, the Rhino will always be my definition of “Bad-ass American Jet Fighter.”
I had this poster on my bedroom wall. Try to convince me that F-15s, F-16s,
F-22s, or F-35s would look better.

Monday, August 13, 2018

Back to World of Warcraft! Vlog 2018-32

I jumped back into World of Warcraft just in time for the Battle of Azeroth.

In other news, content creation is going to continue to be a bit sparse for a while as I switch over to a new content creation plan.

Friday, August 10, 2018

Tired Puppy, Continued...

Currently making some adjustments to my content creation process. More details on Monday, tired puppy interruptions likely continuing for the next couple of weeks while I get the new processes straightened out.

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Tired Puppy - August Sports Edition

Okay, the buffer never quite recovered from April's trip, and I barely managed to tread water through the first half of summer. Now here we are in August, I'm pushing thirty miles a week of running, and Future Jedi has football practice four nights a week for two and a half hours every evening.

Photo via Amazing Creatures

In short, I have no content ready. Please read someone on the sidebar, they're usually smarter than me anyway.

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Let's Play Ash of Gods: Redemption - This Will Probably Hurt Later (Chapter 4b)

We rejoin Thorn Brennin and his group as they make their way to the triple menhir. Choices to do the compassionate thing may, or may not come back to haunt us later.

Win a copy of Ash of Gods here: