Category: Literature

Brookstone Axent Cat Headphone Review and Gaming Compatibility Fixes

The following post includes affiliate links to products on amazon.com. If you buy these things via these links, I get a commission at no additional cost to you. They haven’t sent me any of these things for free, nor have they asked me to write about these products. I just figured if I send them business, I may as well get compensated for it.

For my birthday a few months ago, my boyfriend Simon bought me a pair of these Cat Ear Headphones. Not only do they feature the pointy cat ears, but they also light up and can be used as speakers in order to share one’s music; or in my case inflict it on others. They are incredibly novel and also incredibly expensive. So it was incredibly harrumphing that they do not work as expected straight out of the box.

I mean, they work just fine as headphones so I’m not exactly crying false advertisement. And I suppose technically they could be used for gaming, if that game were on a cellphone or possibly the Nintendo DS. Because the headset uses a 4-pin jack, which combines the headphones and the mic into a single cable, you can’t use it with most PC’s which have separate jacks for audio and mic. I am to understand that the current generation of gaming consoles are compatible with the 4-pin jack, but it leaves us last-gen plebians with our dicks hangin’ out.

Nonetheless, it is possible to make these headphones interface with both the PC and the PlayStation 3. It requires more equipment, sure, but for some it is a worthwhile endeavor.

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Jumping Ship

“Man, used to be, if a driver didn’ show up to a Syndicate job,” Dixie said, “they’d track his ass down’n break his legs for us.”

“Seriously,” Cleo agreed. “What are we even paying them for anymore? We shouldn’t have to pull this fucking 1930’s shit.”

The job was technically successful, but it had been a logistical disaster. The driver assigned to their crew had never shown. They had tried to hold out, and their lookout had been shot and killed in the street. Once the two of them realized they were on their own, they’d had to improvise. They fought their way to the parking lot of the bank, a pitiful two bags of cash between them. Dixie held off the cops while Cleo hot-wired a car, and they made a sloppy escape. Not being getaway drivers themselves, and therefore not having a git prepared, it was a miracle they managed to lose the cops. They’d made a lot of handbrake U-turns and finally stashed themselves in an alleyway while the cops flew by.

“We need to get out of this car. It’s hot as hell now,” Cleo said, getting out. She peeled her nitrile gloves off and stuffed them on her pants pocket. She then began peeling her Syndicate-required domino mask off, the eyelash glue holding it on tugging at her skin and leaving little rubber cement-like blobs in the mask’s wake. Dixie yanked the bags of cash out of the backseat, tossed them out, and then followed her example.

“Lose the jackets too,” Cleo said, shrugging out of hers. “The less Syndicate we look, the better.”

Dixie pulled her jacket off begrudgingly.

“They make us pay for these,” she complained, holding it out to Cleo’s outstretched hand.

“Tough shit,” Cleo said, tossing them both back in the car. She then started rolling up her sleeves and loosening her tie. Dixie chose instead to undo her ponytail, lose the tie altogether, and untuck her shirt, tying the tails into a crop top. Syndicate operatives were required to wear a very strict and tidy uniform, so the more disheveled they looked, the less suspicious they would be if they were spotted.

Cleo gave Dixie a once over, snorted at the slapdash shirt re-imagining, but ultimately accepted the change in appearance. They both collected their duffel bags and sneaked several alleys away from the ditched car before stopping to decide how to proceed.

“What’re we gonna do now?” Dixie asked, setting her bag down and sitting on it. “I mean, we can call the Syndicate and tell them to send someone, but we wouldn’t be here in the first place if they could arrange a fuckin’ ride worth a damn.”

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Don’t Make Overkill’s Mistake: The Art of the Tease

So let’s talk about teasing. Overkill has had a inconsistent record in using the tease to garner (sigh) hype, sometimes to great effect, sometimes to the annoyance of their playerbase.

Specifically, though, I want to talk about the Clover teasers from Crimefest, the Halloween 2014 event, and the Historical Pack.

The Clover teasing started out well but then devolved into inelegance near the end.

Don’t make Overkill’s mistake…

Don’t Make Overkill’s Mistake: Release Scheduling

So most of you are probably already aware of the term “Valve Time”, but for the uninitiated, Valve Time works like this. Valve Software will say that they’re going to release a thing by a certain date. That date comes and goes with no word. Maybe three months or so later they release the thing, but the thing is beautiful, complete, and for the most part, glitch free.

By contrast, there’s Overkill Time. Which is not really a thing, just something I’ve made up.

Overkill doesn’t really do release dates. There have been some vague ones. May for the Alesso Heist. Next Fall for sound updates. For the most part, they seem to prefer the surprise element of springing updates on players. I assume the surprise of it is what they like about not having a public production schedule because Overkill actually doesn’t take advantage of the opening they give themselves. Even without needing to meet a deadline, they publish glitchy, broken, ugly shit.

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Don’t Make Overkill’s Mistake: Lack of Authenticity (or ;) )

So ;). You knew I was gonna have to talk about it.

During her dinner with Almir Listo, my friend confirmed what I had always suspected about his over-reliance on this emoticon. It’s a canned response he developed to questions he’s not at liberty to answer. It’s meant to be cheeky and coy, to offset the fact that you’re not getting a straight answer, but it just reads as evasive and smarmy since he uses it so often.

Look, anyone worth a damn knows that sometimes you just can’t answer certain questions when it comes to game development. It’s usually because you don’t want to give away surprises before release date. Sometimes, it’s because you’re testing the feasibility of a feature out and you don’t want to get people’s hopes up only to disappoint them later. I will hand it to Almir that he does know when to keep things under his hat, as opposed to Goldfarb who made promises early on that Overkill is still being asked about three years later (but that’s another post).

But 😉 isn’t just about questions Almir can’t answer. It’s become emblematic of a larger problem with his public presentation.

Don’t make Almir’s mistake.

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Don’t Make Overkill’s Mistake: Introduction

So I noted yesterday that when I began my journal with its singular post, it received a few hits from a user in Sweden who then proceeded to run a search on the rest of my site for “almir listo”. I have a feeling that Google Alerts has something to do with this curious set of coincidences, and so I’ve chosen to write this introduction. It is my guess that this series is what that person was looking for and it didn’t come up because I just haven’t mentioned Almir specifically yet.

I did say in that chat that I was going to write a piece on the Infamy 2.0 reddit AMA and how it could have been handled better. I do still plan to address certain things I saw happening in that thread. As I kept trying to get out everything I wanted to say, however, I realized that even trying to contain myself to just that one PR event was a gargantuan task. There was just no way that I could even begin to talk about how things could be so much better without being painfully tl;dr.

But moreover, as I dug deeper into Almir’s answers, the more I came to feel that trying to speak to him personally, as per an open letter format like I originally tried, was a futile task.

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Setting Up a Sideblog on WordPress

So the other day, I got it into my head that I’d like to start keeping a development log and perhaps journal. I have a LiveJournal and a dreamwidth account, but both of those sites are dead. Additionally, LJ’s interface is total shit and while I like dreamwidth’s ye olde interface, their theming options are way more complex than they need to be. I don’t have the time or patience to work on that. Getting this site’s shit together was hard enough.

I also have a Tumblr. I could use my main or set up a sideblog, but frankly, I think Tumblr is shit for actually posting things that aren’t stolen pictures or inspirational quotes.

Honestly, I like WordPress’ posting interface best, but I also didn’t want frivolous journal posting on my main site. That’s where the completed work goes. So what I needed ideally was another WordPress, except I didn’t want to install an entire other installation on my webserver.

Here is how I accomplished that.

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I Can’t Do Shit With “I’m Sorry”

I’ve spent a lot of my adult relationships accepting bullshit apologies. Part of it is just a personal failing of my own: I find it hard to make friends because I’m picky about who I spend my time on and consequently, I will put up with a lot if I think you are cool enough. I’m working on that.

I think, however, that a lot of it is a misunderstanding about the purpose of the apology. It’s taken me a long time to realize why I accept people’s I’m Sorries and then still feel resentful about whatever it is that they did for months, even years after. It’s because many people seem to think an apology is the solution to a problem. You fuck up, you say sorry, and all is forgiven. I used to think that too, thus my massive dissatisfaction. But it ain’t.

An apology is actually just the acknowledgement of a problem that you caused.

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The Men of Orange is the New Black

So there’s an article from The Atlantic going around about how under- and misrepresented the poor, poor men are in a show about a women’s prison. The bulk of it is mostly about how the show frames women as victims of misguided love to make their backstories more dramatic and sympathetic than those of the male prisoners. He complains that these male prisoners, of which we see a whole three with speaking roles, are depicted in positively stereotypical ways that give us no room to see them as victims too.

His only example of how horribly male prisoners are represented… is the single male prisoner with any real characterization at all. Darius McRae (who I might point out the author hinged this whole argument on and could not be bothered to look up his name) is a black man in prison presumably because he is also a hitman. He and two other white male prisoners are given speaking roles in the airplane scene of season two’s premiere. As opposed the white guys, whose very stereotypical depiction has them discussing what one can and cannot see in a bird’s eye view of the Midwest, McRae introduces himself by suggesting to Piper that she can ride his dick to Chicago.

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 "What's the ocassion?" "Just 'cause."  #WitteMuseum teaches you to get jiggy with it.
 Simon and I made breakfast. He made the waffles and eggs and I made the bacon.  How cool! My order of "The Art of the Teese: From A to Z" was delayed so @ditavonteese sent an autographed photo along with it. Thank you, Dita!

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