Archive | July 2012

Off the Record. 28 July 2012

(Note this was written on the 22nd of July 2012)

Hey readers,

So I was watching this video earlier (22 July 2012) and what it was essentially, was a man giving a speech at a University commencement ceremony (University of Oregon). His message was: “Your generation will be the generation that fixes this mess”. Well, these are my thoughts about ‘your statement’.

I grow tired of their statements of “You’re the generation that is going to fix this”. Last time I checked, you’re not dead yet, so why is it that you cannot at least lay down the foundations so that our task is on its way and we simply have to continue the work? Their only excuse is: “Were getting old”. Old, means’ nothing my good friend, you can still do something, lay down the foundations, get something started so that we may simply walk the path and continue your work.

Instead, you push on us this image that we will fix everything, so that you can then return to your retirement homes and live out the rest of your days drunk and fat. Instead of an inspirational speech, all I see is this: “Oh well were ‘almost’ gone so why don’t you do the fixing for us!” All I see is idleness, and what they are doing, is simply running away from their troubles and leaving someone else to fix it. Didn’t our grandparents teach them the meaning of responsibility? When you spill a glass of milk, you immediately get to work cleaning it up, not walking away and leaving the puddle for the toddler to crawl around in and for it to dry up into a mark on the floor that smells and stains.

Yeah, “You’re the generation that is going to fix all of this”. So does this mean that you will simply walk away? Is this some sort of act to make yourself feel better, “Oh I gave a speech on how they will fix things, I feel better now because I simply showed the task off to the next generation. I’m too old for this so I will now put up my feet and sip on my wine”. Well, what a useless bunch of meat. Nothing more than loud, annoying, lazy sacks of meat, existing only to leech off the hard work of the younger generations.

Great speech, maybe next time you’ll include a clause whereby it goes like this: “As we lay down the foundations in hopes of creating a better future, it is my hope that you will continue our work. For our task will take generations, and we will not live to see even a fraction of the task complete. Therefore I encourage you to take up our mantle, and carry on our work so that we may fix our current situation”.

Anyways, I’ve spoken enough. You the readers decide for yourselves whether or not my statement is relevant. I’ll see you next time.

Update. 25 June 2012

Hey readers,

Thought I’d update you on what’s going on with today’s post. At the moment, I’m spent after a today’s various duties I had to attend to as we all do in life. Therefore I am afraid the topic that was supposed to be ready for today, might not be ready until the weekend. At present it is simply a brainstorm chart on paper and has not been typed out yet.

I hope to finish the next topic sometime soon so I can post it during the weekend. If not, I’ll try to do an ‘Off the Record’ to keep things lively.

Thanks a  lot for your patience, and I’ll see you next time.

The Opinions. Section 4: Warfare on wheels.

Welcome back,

I was planning on releasing this earlier during the week, but I got a few games from steam so I decided to go ahead and sink my teeth into those games. Now enough about me, let’s get onto this week’s topic: wheeled armoured vehicles. Are they here to stay? What are the benefits over tracked vehicles, and most importantly what are the disadvantages.

Well let’s begin with what I mean by ‘armoured vehicles”? First off, they are not those Brinks armored trucks going around collecting money, no were talking military armoured vehicles such as armoured fighting vehicles. Now the current trend with military vehicles is a need to be highly mobile, able to deploy rapidly, and is cost-effective. With wheeled armoured vehicles, not only are they cost effective (wheels instead of tracks), but they offer high mobility and can carry the firepower of a main battle tank (along with a host of other variants to fulfill different roles).

When compared to tracks in regards to weight distribution, it’s no question that a tracked armoured vehicle can carry more due to the vehicle’s ability to distribute weight across the broad surface of tracks. However despite this limitation, wheeled armoured vehicles can still carry some armour, and most importantly, it can carry the firepower of a tank which is important for a rapid deployment force looking for a quick fix to their firepower problems (example being the Centauro B1 of Italy, sporting a 105mm gun, that same gun used on an M1 Abrams Main Battle Tank). However while it lacks in the amount of armour it can carry, wheeled armoured vehicles (WAVs) have greater speed and mobility, and to add a bit more armour, they simply add more wheels to the configuration. Everything else (cargo load, troop capacity etc) is a tie between the two configurations of tracks versus wheels.

Current military trends (with the demand for a mobile, hard-hitting strike force that can deploy anywhere and, hopefully be air transportable), show that wheeled armoured vehicles are not only more cost effective, but with the anti-tank capabilities easily added on, they are the prime choice for the rapid strike forces of today’s battlefield. Now let me be clear, there is no way tracked vehicles (especially main battle tanks) will ever be replaced with these lighter vehicles. However when engaging in rapid deployment operations, WAVs are the way to go when it comes to speed and mobility. Not only that, some variants can even be air-lifted, thus giving it advantage over a tracked vehicle which is heavier and requires either assembly when deployed, or must be landed on a coast, of which if the enemy country were landlocked, would prove a near impossible task.

With various nations looking to get more bang for their buck as they say, WAVs can be that cost-effective alternative for a couple of reasons. One, they are cheaper to repair than tanks, whereby the track assembly requires various parts in order to make the vehicle function. In the case of a wheeled armoured vehicle, only the tires or wheels themselves need to be replaced, at worst the axel along with the tire and wheel. Two, wheeled armoured vehicles are also easier to maintain, as the job of washing them can be done with a high-pressure hose while a tracked vehicle will require a complete disassembly of the tracks in order to clean between each piece.

While all this quick deployment and the “ease to use, easy to maintain” element makes a wheeled armoured vehicle sound better in the long run, there is one role a wheeled armoured vehicle might have difficulty fulfilling. A main battle tank has enough armour to spearhead an assault, whereas wheeled armoured vehicles can only be used to either conduct flank protection, low level harassment of the enemy positions, or utility tasks. The amount of armour available to a wheeled armoured vehicle is not strong enough to resist heavy anti-tank rounds that would be employed against them. To this end, a main battle tank is still useful on the battlefield, for its role in punching through the enemy line, is a must have asset for any military force wishing to have strong offensive capabilities to repel an invader or secure a beachhead for other friendly forces to land.

One of the fears amongst western military strategists in particular of the current trend, is whether or not the knowledge of how to make advanced heavy armour would be lost in time due to the near absolute reliance on wheeled armoured vehicles. While a valid fear, in my opinion no one within the military community is naive enough to simply throw away heavy armour manufacturing techniques and rely on something that is lighter and while could be massed produced, could also be destroyed en masse.

So to summarize, while speed and mobility are a definite asset, wheeled armoured vehicles can never truly replace battle tanks as they lack the heavy armour necessary to fulfill the role of spearheading assaults into enemy territory. With that said, they still have their uses as troop carriers and as scouting vehicles to be used for the purposes of gathering intelligence on enemy positions so that commanders can better plan their strategy. Whether or not one is better than the other is entirely up to the reader, but for the most part I say both are valuable.

Anyways this has been your long awaited Opinions topic. I hope you enjoyed reading about this interesting trend in the military, and I’ll see you next time.

Update. 21 July 2012

Evening readers (PST 10pm),

So right now I’m still working on the topic that I was hoping to post this weekend. If I do, it might be later than usual (let’s say, midnight or tomorrow morning). Regardless I just thought I’d update you guys on what’s going on with that topic.

I also have in mind another Off the Record, but I’ll pursue that on Monday (hopefully). So my weekend is going well thus far, sad to say I did not make use of this lovely day (it was sunny here on the west coast), and instead sat like a bag of bricks, and played minecraft essentially all day. I just feel terrible (slightly), it’s just I had all these ideas in my head, and I ended up being swamped by them and not being able to decide what to do with my day.

Thus time kept on going while I was thinking of what to do, all while making a fortress in minecraft (which is somewhat Inspired by Castle Black from Game of Thrones, yes I made a giant great wall). At any rate, I hope I will do something tomorrow as the forecast says it will be sunny with isolated showers, so fingers crossed for that. As for the Opinions topic, it is nearly ready, I just want to make some final touches to it before I publish it so that it isn’t a pile of crap, slapped together last minute and published. Good lord, some people’s articles, spelling errors left, right, and center and they show disinterest in prof-reading it.

Anyways, just thought I’d update you all on what’s happening. Thanks for your patience, and I’ll see you next time.

Off the Record. 18 July 2012

Hey everyone,
So I’ve ran into a scenario I like to call “ideas in head, on paper, one typed, feels that it is low quality” syndrome. What this means is I have the next topic ready to go 75% (complete), however I feel that it is, well, low quality. I don’t know I’ll probably post it later on this week but thus far I’ve had little motivation to write a whole bunch like in the first few weeks of this blog being up.

I think once a week for any major topic for the “opinions of Vince” section ought to be enough with a few “off the record” posts now and then to liven up the blog. This is the plan, as I realize that doing more ‘opinions’ posts might in fact tire me out or give me more work than what I can safely handle.

So this digital distribution client called Steam is having a summer sale until July 23rd, of which I was able to acquire some games at a relatively low cost. Suffice it to say I’m really liking this digital distribution system. It’s fast, easy to use and you can get games that are on sale that would otherwise price at 30 dollars or more (games that have been out for at least 3 months. New releases there is no contest, it’s either full price or maybe 10% off). This also cuts out those annoying brick and mortar retailers that in all honesty, eat up most of the sales. Adding to the issue is at times these stores will have a used copy of a game on sale and when a customer wishes to buy the game, the store employee then dives in to offer the used game instead, thereby giving the store all the profits and the developers and publishers see nothing from that particular sale.

Totabiscuit has a point, digital is the best route to go in regards to games. Music has already gone that route, movies also (admittedly there are still stores that carry DVDs/Blue Rays, and music CDs). Nevertheless, I’m liking this digital distribution system. It’s good for this particular product.

So aside from Steam sales, I had an exam for a class, and work. Apart from those it’s thinking of how to polish up this topic I’m working on before I post it. I said I would try to do a topic at least once a week and I intend to keep that promise, but understand that it may not be on a specific day as originally intended. Hopefully it will be up to snuff when it comes out and I hope you will all enjoy reading it.

Anyways, this has been an Off the Record post/small update. Thanks for reading and I’ll see you next time.

Update. 14 July 2012.

Hey everyone,

So…turns out I will not be posting anything new on my blog for the weekend. I’ve got to review for an exam, aaand, steam sales. My library is about to expand as all these wonderful games are on sale and about to be added to my archives.

I will try to put something out later on in the coming week, but if I do not, it is because I am either still working on the pieces or taking some time off to enjoy the new additions to my library. Check back at least once a week for updates to the blog.

I apologize for any inconvenience, however since this blog is sort of a pastime, it is at my discretion when it is to be updated. Now, if you will excuse me, I have some Orcs to slay.

Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you next time.

Off the Record

Hey readers,

For those of you who have met me in person, you all know that I’m a very talkative person and that I always have something to say. Now while it is all good and dandy, most of you might wonder how I might relax in an information-flooded environment such as today with the internet, TV, and word of mouth.

I do not totally shut down during my down time. More often than not I have questions in my head that need answering, so I go online to answer them, of which this takes up the vast majority of my spare time. In my spare time I also like to be creative, and one of the ways I express this creativity is minecraft classic (because minecraft classic’s multiplayer enables free build, and there is no resource gathering as in the current build of minecraft). If the server didn’t disappear so suddenly I would direct you to it, but as it stands my 4 city-states have vanished into the void, forever forgotten and never to be found again. However this new server I am on, I have made something similar to Gilneas from World of Warcraft. That Victorian British style atmosphere (though my buildings somewhat lack such style) and the great wall that is both a defence for the country and the reason for its isolation.

In all honesty, my mind never really “shuts down” totally when it comes to answering the possibly trillions of questions in my mind. However I do manage to relax despite the numerous questions floating around in my head, and at times I do run into the brick wall of indecision of which plagues us in today’s fast-paced, choice-filled environment. Really, there are a lot of choices when it comes to leisure activities, and because I want to do them all sometimes, I end up not doing any of them simply because I just can’t decide which to start with, that or I procrastinate and wind up wasting time on youtube, watching Totalbiscuit ramble on about professional conduct in games journalism and giving first impressions on game titles of which without his series, I would have never found such treasures of which have given me countless hours of entertainment.

Of course when I do have a problem of sorts (such as questions related to careers or personal concerns), I try counseling. While there have been some good counselors, most were passive and often just spoke out in vague statements and then I was out the door. Whether or not I solved the issue at hand was my own problem, and therefore I have concluded that counselors are relatively useless, at least the ones at my University.

So to give the answer to whether or not Vince relaxes, yes I definitely do. However my spare time is not entirely comprised of sitting around sipping on drinks and watching TotalBiscuit go nuts. While that type of relaxation is not absent from the spectrum of spare time, answer searching also occurs in my downtime as that is probably the only time I get to answer all the little questions that float around in my mind.

Anyways this has been an off the record topic. I titled it off the record, because it is simply just what is on my mind rather than an opinion piece. Thank you very much for reading, and I’ll see you later.