Baby Reindeer

The Bear changed TV series. Uneven length of episodes, uneven number of episodes, the intensity, the closeups when you can see the pores on someone’s nose – Baby Reindeer has it all.
Main character is made to be quite unlikable: ruffled haircut, unshaven. It’s hard to see what anyone could find in him.
It is a story of confusion. Most stories are of linear growth: a character starts low, then with ups and downs reaches the top. I’m not sure this could be said about that story. At one point he mentions that he never convicted his real abuser, and in the last episode, he even goes back to see him and get another offer, because his abuser never learned any lesson. And with how the character behaves, going back on all his choices, it wouldn’t be surprised if he accepts the offer for the second time.
I think Baby Reindeer gets a lot of difficult things right: sexual abuse, sexuality changes, and the fact that humans are, unreasonable, in the end.


HORL 2 Sharpener

I made a full circle, and bought the HORL 2 sharpener a couple of weeks ago. It stays. The great thing about it, is that it maintains the angle itself, while WorkSharp Benchtop can help you get the angle correctly, but you still need to maintain it through the motion. As simple as that.
It is also much smaller than I expected. Not a coffee mug, but more of a whiskey glass, maybe.

PS4 Sony

Persona 4 Golden


That’s my second or even third time trying to play Persona 4. It’s not bad or anything, just long.
The only bit that annoys me is the fact that character mouths are not moving.
The premise is that people start to get sucked into their TVs at night, where they have to face their Shadow, the dark self. And if they die, they die in the real world too.

The problem with the game is same as Persona 3. And honestly, with most shin Megami Tensei games. When your entire combat system is built around exploiting enemy weakness with magic, once you run out of mana, it becomes boring. And since characters are designed to compliment each other, once one character runs out of SP, you may as well end the run. Although SP recovery items seem a little less of a problem than in PS4 version than in the original PS2 release.


Fettercairn 12 Year Old

At first I wasn’t impressed by the sharp taste, despite some floran afternotes. But it does give a nice lightheadiness, that may convince me to explore if not the 12, but the 16 year old ones.

PS4 Sony

Nier Replicant

Completed Nier Replicant.
As I already mentioned, OST of Nier is something else:

Being grown up means mostly you revisit same locations again, and with the Junkyard, I think even twice.
Some of those are better, like the Octopus Girl boss. of them are meh, like the Wolf boss.
Devola and Popola, the town major and her twin sister, turn out to be evil witches. And everyone turns out to be android, while the Shades are the real humans. This is all explained in a sneaky burst of images at the very end of the game. Not a real surprise, as the subtitle of the remake is “Replicant”. Akin to “The Island”, the plan was for people souls to return into the android “shells” after the pandemic is over, but souls turned into monsters, while shells developed conscience and rejected their owners.
There are 4 more endings, achieved by playing the second half of the game 3 more times, and then the entire game again from the start. But I think I’ll stop there. It’s great the Nier has a sane difficulty: unlike Bayonetta or Revengeance, nor like Souls games, not once I wanted to break my gamepad while playing it for 20 hours. But I played it for 20 hours, and I think that’s quite enough. No amount of post-irony and self-humor about boring dungeons and quest can hide the fact that those are indeed boring.


Razer DeathAdder V3 Pro

Razer DeathAdder V3 Pro left me confused. It feels less for more. DeathAdder V2 supported both 2.4 and Bluetooth, a feature I liked to use, because it allowed me to switch between PC and laptop seamlessly. V3 supports only 2.4. V2 had a dongle storage. V3 doesn’t. V2 had RGB (which I didn’t use). V3 doesn’t. And now I’m expected to attach the grip tape myself? Why?
The only advantage is that V3 charges from USB-C, while V2 used micro USB.

PS4 Sony

Nier Replicant

A game makes a timejump 5 years. Timejumps aren’t new: Ocarina of Time pulled it, Breath of Fire 2 pulled it too. But I still respect every game that manages to do it properly. This one does.

Now our hero isn’t a teenager anymore, although that makes him resemble Dante now much more. I was also wondering why the game mentiones that the sword you find are “one-handed”, since they all were one-handed. This is why. As an adult, the protagonist can also weild two-handed swords. Nice.
Emil, the kid that is able to petrify with his stare, discovers that his mansion has a laboratory underneath (another Resident Evil reference), and there his sister, turned into a huge monster, is kept. And he was given his capabilities to stop her. The game perspective switches to 2.5D isometric ARPG-like for a while.


The siblings merge, Emil receives magic abilities, but now looks like a skeleton, a miniature version of his sister. I always thought that the skeleton on the cover is Grimoir Weiss personified.

With that, Kaine is un-petrified, and the monster she held sealed finally beaten.


Balvenie DoubleWood 12 Year Old Whisky

10th whiskey from the Advent Calendar.

For its price, it is a very good whiskey. Sweet, if a bit sharp around the edges. With a bit of warmth.


Nier Replicant

The music in this game is something else, I must admit. Having vocals is not something many games try to pull out.

Bad mouthed Kaine is sure a good comic relief.


With her, we travel to a Sand City that has thousands of rules. Obviously the dungeon / temple puzzles are also based around following bizarre rules: no jumping in one room, no running or using magic in another.

And suddenly the game turns into a text adventure.


And then it mocks Resident Evil with its mansion and keys.


There we meet and kill Red Book, that doesn’t speak, though, and a boy, Emil, that can petrify with his gaze.

Then the village gets attacked. This episode is seriously technically impressive, with that huge boss chasing the hero:


We try to fend it off, but Kaine has to be sacrificed, turned into stone, to seal one of the Shades, and a dark twin of a protagonist appears alongside Grimoire Noir, which we were about to start chasing. Noir explains that it must unite with Weiss to bring Shades upon the world, but Weiss refuses. Still, protagonist gets stabbed, and Yona stolen by the Shadowlord.



Clarkson’s Farm S02

Finished second season of Clarkson’s Farm.
Second season is mostly dedicated to cows. Some cows appear to be notoriously hard to get pregnant. And that means they have to be converted into burgers instead. And a single cow can feed 1000 people, apparently. Sounds like a lot. But 1000 people is not even a month of a restaurant opperation.


Also, there are badgers, that can transfer their tuberculosis to the cows, and are protected animals, so you can’t shoot them.


Salomon Quest 4 GTX

I love Salomon. Specifically, I love their X Ultra 4 so much that once I wore a pair down, I just bought a new pair.
And when I decided a need a mid Salomon boots, I at first just thought of buying the mid version of X Ultra 4. But then I decided to try something else.
It didn’t worked out. Got blisters in all the unexpected places. One above my thumb, another just above the ankle joint. And that wasn’t a rough walk, it was literally a walk in the park.
So I’m sending those back.
Next in line are X Ultra 360 now.

PC Gaming

Call of Duty Vanguard

Completed Call of Duty Vanguard.
And… we’re back to Stalingrad. And now there are sniper duels. Can’t escape this, I guess. There’s an episode similar to Modern Warfare 2020, when you have to sneak around and stab a boss multiple times before he dies. And also there are hard-to-kill machine wielding brutes that came out of Wolfenstein.

Then we’re in Lybia. There are a few fun guns there: ITRA Burst, NZ-41. Nothing ground-breaking, but again, a nice set of missions. Oh, and you get to play with the Warmachine, but only for a few minutes.

Then there’s the Berlin ’45 episode. I mentioned that I like when Call of Duty games switch characters. But that’s the first time they do it mid-mission, and it’s great, actually.

I won’t lament about the game being “too short”. It’s just long enough for me. What I do like is that unlike Call of Duty Cold War it’s a complete story: you don’t need to play 4 more seasons of multiplayer or buy some comics to see it through.

*.DOC *.MP3

Dragon Reborn, Robert Jordan

Started listening to the 3rd book of the Wheel of Time. It feels like Jordan was paid for every word.

Here’s a typical “dialog”:
— Can they?
— This is something known only to a few, child, even in the Tower. You should not learn it now, if ever, but I will tell you. There is—a weakness in being able to channel. That we learn to open ourselves to the True Source means that we can be—opened to other things. Calm yourself, child. It is not so easily done.
It is a thing not done, so far as I know—Light send it has not been done!—since the Trolloc Wars. It took thirteen Dreadlords—Darkfriends who could channel—weaving the flows through thirteen Myrddraal. You see? Not easily done. There are no Dreadlords today. This is a secret of the Tower, child. If others knew, we could never convince them they were safe. Only one who can channel can be turned in this way. The weakness of our strength. Everyone else is as safe as a fortress; only their own deeds and
will can turn them to the Shadow.

One character, usually a younger one, asks a simple question, then another character spills that bullshit load of lore on them without blinking. That is not how people talk.

PC Gaming

Call of Duty Vanguard

Of course there’s Stalingrad. But I’m not complaining. I like the storytelling approach where we switch between characters, instead of having a single character that is a Mary Sue. Stalingrad is alright, no sniper battles at least.


Then there’s Midway. I don’t know why Call of Duty insist on putting planes in those games. It’s not annoying, but also not very fun.


Then we’re in jungles of Papua New Guinea. Wade for some reason has a “slomo”+”see through walls” focus ability, something other characters lack. Since we’re fighting against Japanese, there’s plenty of exotic weapons, like Type 100 SMG and Type 11 LMG, that requires you to aim with your left eye 😬


PC Gaming

Reacher S01

Finished first season of Reacher.

It’s nice, if you look at it as another version of Punisher. Not the TV series, I didn’t actually like those. But Punisher as a concept. It’s a story about a huge guy that refuses to die, and solves every injustice by killing everyone who’s unjust.

I couldn’t care less about the childhood memories. Everything else was fine, though. The dialogues are punchy, and the fighting scenes don’t make you cringe.


Slam Dunk

It’s a sports manga about basketball. The good part is that I at least know basketball rules. It’s rather realistic, there are no broken hoops or burned nets or anything like that. Just high-school basketball.
The protagonist, Sakuragi, is a boastful idiot, though. Which is annoying. Then, there’s the school drama around hooligans trying to bully the players, which I’d rather skip.

PC Gaming

Call of Duty Vanguard

With the mounting mechanic, the game feels like Battlefield, may it rest in peace. But I’m not complaining, this makes the campaign far less chaotic. Interesting that you can also mount corners.
The entire game feels like a tribute to Inglorious Bastards, so it’s no wonder that the Nazi villain cosplaying Landa.

From 1945, we jump to 1944, D-Day, but at least not Omaha Beach this time. A paradrop instead. Just a cutscene, really, nothing fancy. We then have a brief stealth episode. Stealth never worked in Call of Duty, because they never bothered with visibility or sound markers or queues. But we’re taught that you can shoot through wooden floors.

The violence is a surprise. A mean, it’s a 2000s level of violence, with heads and arms blown off. I got used to dolls without even bullet holes in them.



Garmin Venu 3

I’ve been using Garmin Vivoactive 4 for quite some time. But a couple of months ago, I discovered that Vivoactive 5 was released, so I thought I’d give it a try. It turns out, though, that Vivoactive is now the budget solution that lacks some features like a step counter, and the Venu 3 is instead the upgrade path from Vivoactive 4 moving forward.
Externally, Venu 3 looks very similar to Vivoactive 4. You really need to squint to see the differences: three buttons instead of two, and the bezel is now ridged. The screen is different, though. The technology has moved forward at least there, and now it’s always-on AMOLED. Much brighter and nicer for sure. Sound is back as well.
Which is funny, I had a Casio 20 years ago that had an alarm, but then I moved to Pebble and Pebble Time, which were silent, and to Vivoactive 4, which was silent as well. So it’s the first time in 20 years I hear a watch beep on my hand.

PC Gaming

Excavation of Hob’s Barrow

Completed Excavation of Hob’s Barrow.
What a beautiful game.
I like how modern point’n’click adventures respect your time. I suck at those games, I really do. But with this game, I didn’t need a walkthrough once. I didn’t even get stuck for more than 10 minutes. Even at the barrow, when you have to do some password picking, there are plenty of clues, and the password is pretty much written down in front of you.
It is indeed very lovecraftian. It doesn’t try to scare you, though, not directly. There are no “screamers”, and nobody actually dies, imagine that!
An archeologist is invited to excavate a barrow. She discovers that her father, who fell into a coma 25 years ago, is the one that excavated it previously. She’s then told that if she removed the seal that he placed, he will come back to his senses.
But it’s all an elaborate lie, of course. Some of the villagers are interested in releasing the ancient god that was sealed in the barrow, and it seeks revenge. Beautiful story, brilliantly voiced by some great actors.


I am Pilgrim, Terry Hayes

Completed “I am Pilgrim”. Officially the worst book I’ve read in years.
The only positive thing about this book is that the author shoots in all directions, so to say.
He criticizes EU immigration policies, and failures to expel illegal migrants even with radical Islamist background.
Funny how the book constantly betrays the idea of “show don’t tell”. The reader is constantly told how good of an agent and investigator Scott is. But he’s nothing but. He’s impatient, anxious, arrogant, can’t control his temper, falls for the simplest of tricks and speaks to himself in front of others betraying literal secrets. Almost a parody.