What Teh Zelda!

I'm docking Skyword Sword another point. It's been over a month since I defeated Demise, and there is still this loose end that is aggravating teh crap out of me.

SPOILERS. Srsly, will be talking aboot teh end of teh gaem.

So, in this runthrough, Zelda's pretty important. In teh first part, where teh player is running around trying to "save" Zelda, she's preparing herself to hold off teh demonic force bent on world destruction by using teh sheer force of her will. For a thousand years. That's right. She goes back in times thousand years to hold teh Forces of Evil at bay until Link can get his act together enough to Triforce teh Big Bad out of existence.

Great. I am all for strong female leads. This seems a shittybway of treating her, locking her in a crystal cocoon for a millennium, constantly struggling against teh embodiment of hate and destruction, but wev.

Anyways, after Link manages to invoke teh most powerful artifact of teh universe to wipe Demise out of existence, Zelda is released for teh cocoon. She no longer needs to keep a plug on teh world destroying evil forces. It's pretty anticlimactic as there is no Final Boss fight at this point.

So, of course, teh number 1 henchd00d steals teh awakened Zelda and retreats throu teh time portal to teh thousand years ago past to sacrifice her in some crazy ritual which will release teh Big Bad to destroy teh world a thousand years prior to where Link is moping about his Epic amount of uselessness.

All of which means that teh Player has to take Link into teh past for teh Final Boss fights. When you win those, Link and Zelda go back to teh future and live happily ever after.

Have you spotted teh problem? I did while teh credits were running, and it's still bothering me.

When you go back in time with thousand-year-old Zelda, guess who's already there? Not-thousand-year-old-Zelda. In her crystal cocoon. She's right there behind teh big doors - you watched her go into teh cocoon a mere five or seven cutscenes ago. Guess who doesn't come back to teh future? Not-thousand-year-old Zelda. Who would probs be released from teh cocoon shortly after Demise meets his demise. Stuck in teh past. WTF!

Unless there's going to be a spinoff/sequel with Zelda and Impa making their way in teh devastated ancient surface world - exiled from teh future and without a connection to teh humans in Skyloft. That'd be pretty cool. But otherwise, WTF.


A Solid Cockpunching

UPDATE: For thundra, a graphical demonstration*.

I'm not a big fan of Karen Stintz. A card carrying member and supporter of teh Conservatives, she was Rob Ford's personal choice to head up the TTC. She's been a solid voice for the right-wing of LEAFS SUCK Council since she was elected.

But credit where due - about a month ago, she came out swinging for the original Transit City plan for the Eglinton Crosstown. The other Ford-ites on the TTC board blocked her. She then put together a coalition of other councillors and forced a special meeting today, capped off with a 28-15 vote to endorse the old surface route plan. She fought for rational transit, fought hard, and at the expense of cutting herself off from her political allies. Good work Stintz.

Here's teh background, and there's a lot of it. Transit City was a massive project with over 100 km of light rail across seven lines, mostly in dedicated at-grade right-of-ways. There were also some dedicated bus ROW's in the plan as well. This got cut in half after the provinical government decided how much cash was actually available for the project. Then they deferred half the money. And then David Miller who had championed the thing announced that he wasn't running for Mayor again. Then Adam Giambrone, who was the TTC chair at the time and Transit City's best spokesman in the 2010 mayoral election dropped from the race because of a sex scandal. And then Rob Ford was elected with a historically huge margin of victory, and he proclaimed Transit City dead.

Rob Ford's plan was to use the 8 billion in provincial funding to build one line, but bury it all. Because putting rails in the middle of our streets is part of Teh War on Teh Car. Or something. And he used his huge electoral win to bully the province into changing the plan yet again to ensure that cars would nevar be bothered by new rail. This is the 2011 Memorandum of Understanding plan that you'll see referenced if you're interested in this thing enough to read moar about it.

And then the inevitable fallout from electing a jackwad shitbag asshole fucktard pus-filled boil on teh backside of humanity started manifesting. Ford ran on a magical fairy tale - about rich fat cat swivel servants and boondoggle porkalicious bloated super waste in teh City budget which he would personally fix and teh taxpayers would suddenly get a pony. His slogan was Stop The Gravy Train. Turns out that there wasn't any gravy in the city budget. Unless you count stuff like public libraries. His "Core Services Review" was about as well received as a solid cockpunching.

So while Rob Ford had big victories early in his tenure, his influence has basically entered freefall. The first coup was when Council told him to stuff his waterfront plan (with a Monorail! yes teh inevitable Simpsons joke was bandied around a lot at teh time) and then council reversed a bunch of his budget cuts. That budget cut reversal vote was on January 17th, and was a squeaker at 23-21. Karen Stintz voted with Ford that day.

Anyways, Rob Ford's plan was obviously stupid. Here's a look at the various plans. The part of the Eglinton Crosstown that he wanted to bury is out east into Scarborough - my neighbourhood. Here Eglinton is seven lanes wide. There is space for a dedicated ROW. Also too, density is pretty low. A lot of it is strip malls and big box stores with big box parking lots. Getting the density to support a full subway would require a massive shit-ton of development. Not that it matters since Ford wasn't even actually proposing a subway. He was proposing the exact same LRVs as in the Transit City plan, just with all of the rail buried. Because cars.

But that's now a thing of the past. You see, LEAFS SUCK has a "weak mayor-strong council" system of governance. The mayor only gets one vote and he needs to build support amongst councillors for his proposals. There was in fact a legal ruling (solicited by Council) that the Mayor did not have the authority to unilaterally bind the city to the 2011 MOU. And Rob Ford is a stubborn ideologue who is actually physically incapable of compromise without becoming violently ill, so his ability to build consensus is directly tied to his ability to intimidate and bully. And now that the city has had the opportunity to see how useless and ignorant he is, he's a lot less intimidating.

Which brings us to tonight. Council got a taste of victory in the budget cut reversal. A lot of councillors are serving their first terms, but they now have some experience with the system. And Council exercised its power and basically told the mayor to go fuck himself. It is about fucking time.

*Bear cockpunch stoleded from this thread.

A Big Night for Santorum

By Dragon-King Wangchuck

If Mitt Romney thought the road to the GOP nomination was going to be smooth and easy, last night has changed his mind. Surging to victory in all three state-wide contests, Rick Santorum has shown Romney that despite his well greased entry into the frontrunner position, a lot of vigorous work still lies ahead.

It started with Iowa. Santorum's campaign to penetrate deep into America's heartland suffered when Romney showed strong in the first contest. But in the end, it was Santorum that was left as the symbol of Iowa's GOP.

Santorum trickled in the next few contests, with just a small showing on the bottom of the candidates. This led many to believe that he had blown his wad in Iowa, but that's the point about Santorum. Everyone just seems to forget about him despite the fact that he's always there at the finish.

And last night was the reminder. Spreading outwards from that first Iowa victory, in a crack right down the middle of America, Santorum has shot out to the front of the pack. Bursting forth all over the three states Republican parties, Santorum seemed to be everwhere.

He surely hopes to capitalize on this momentum, perhaps by producing a flood of donations. Who knows, maybe this underdog can come from behind and ride the Santorum wave right to the convention. If Romney is having troubles with Santorum now, a long hot summer filled with Santorum is only going to stink up his dreams of the candidacy.

Edit: added byline and cleaned up some booboos

Your Economy's Kung-Fu is Not Strong

disclaimer: I have a soft spot for Stabenow.

Anywho, teh Hoekstra ad. Hee hee. But teh really funneh part is teh doubling down where he claims that there is no racial tint at all to yellowgirl take your job.

I dunno if you've had teh chance to peruse debbiespenditnow.com, but it's no wonder he's standing by his racist ad. His entire campaign appears to be based on OOGA BOOGA TEH YELLOW MENACE!

No links because, woohoo - that's some racist shit right there.

Anyways let's run through teh checklist, shall we?
Soundtrack - gongs, taiko and quarter-tones from a chinese fiddle.
Rice paddies.
She's got a fucking straw hat on her back.
Broken Engrish.
We take your jobs.

I'm guessing that teh reason she bicycles up is that they couldn't bring themselves to pay a second asian actor to pull teh rickshaw.

It's bad enough that even Hot Air thinks teh ad comes off as racist. But teh comment threads and Hoekstra's official response is teh best part. That in teh face of such a blatantly offensive bit of racist China-baiting, they are standing around saying that there's nothing going on. Totally oblivious (or at least pretending to be). Like that's a big improvement over being straight-up racist simple and plain. Whole thing reminds me of a Simpsons episode.

Looking forward to teh point when Hoekstra finally concedes that teh ad is racist and tells teh world "me so solly!"


Live and Let Diaper

TRIGGER Warning: Babby talk, plus teh proselytizing zeal of recent convert evangelism.

Teh data is still coming in, but I think I've collected enough to be positive that cloth diapers are super awesome muchly moar so than ebil planet-killing disposables. Sorry to all youse folks who didn't go cloth, I don't mean to say that you are monsters who are destroying teh world that you are passing on to your babbies, but facts are facts.

But seriously, almost everything out there regarding cloth vs disposable that isn't produced by teh diaper-industrial complex is all fair and balanced namby-pamby, there are advantages and drawbacks to each and no one is going to make me say which is bettar. Well fuck that noise. Cloth is better. Sure each and every individual babby is an unique and will have their own particulars, but cloth's advantages of so high that it don't make no nevermind. In every case except teh extremest outliers, cloth >> disposable.

Okay, here we go with teh breakdown:

Ultra Ninja's nine and a half months old. In this time, she has gone through over 3500 diapers. Mostly because she absolutely despises being in a wet diaper. The first month we used disposables, also some disposables on extended trips like teh week at teh cottage. Let's say 3000 disposables have been displaced by our Fuzzi Bunz in the UN's first 3/4 of a year - so 4000 diapers not thrown away in the first year. These would have been mostly Size 1 through 3 (since we couldn't replace the Newborn size with cloth), which if you use teh mega huge super-jumbo packs you can probably get for about $0.20 each. That works out to eight hundred dollars.

We got out Fuzzi Bunz at under $20 a piece. You can usually swing this if you're getting all of them at teh same time. Thirty is a good basis, but we got ten more than that. That works out to eight hundred dollars.

But wait. What about teh extra laundry costs? True - we're doing a load of laundry almost every day. Well first note that these diapers don't go into the dryer as it can cause extra wear on their waterproofing. Even if you have an old top loader machine, you're looking at about a third of a kWh of electricity, 40 or so gallons of water and about $0.30 in gas to heat the water. In LEAFS SUCK we have time-of-use electricity billing, but even at peak prices this is under 4 cents in power. Our water rate is $2.50 for 1000 gallons - or 5 cents in water. Price per load of detergent is about a dime (a load of diapers only need a quarter load of detergent). Even rounding up and adding a bit extra - this is like, two hundred bucks a year. For us, water usage (and therefore natural gas for heating the water) is halved by our fancy front loader and we typically run over night at a 40% discount to electricity rates - so even less.

So roughing it out, our payback period for the cloth diapers is going to be somewhere around twelve to sixteen months. Savings from that point on are just gravy on top of knowing that we've avoided the disposal of thousands of diapers.

Anyways, those are teh numbers with a babby who hates being wet and needs to be changed a lot, but even if you're changing a lot fewer diapers than we are, you are going to do better with cloth before you get to Pull-Ups.

Speaking of gravy - we heard horror stories from moar experienced parents of teh dreaded POOP geyser. This is when you get babby shit shooting out the top of the back of the diaper. Loverly. Something we discovered is that these newfangled cloth diapers and their fancy elastics and adjustable fitting bits and pieces means no POOP geysers. Even teh runniest, gassiest, POOPiest of excretions remains contained. We have had all of one incidence of POOP leakage, and it was with a disposable. Actually it was yesterday - and that's why I'm writing this post now instead of at teh end of year 1.

And in closing - some pictures. To demonstrate that hey lack of POOP geyseriness isn't related to a bland diet.

Plus one moar just because she is so adorbs.