When Hiring Your Commander in Chief

If you are going to be the boss, I think that you should have a general idea of the inner workings of the company you are in charge of. For instance, if you’ve never cooked or worked in a kitchen in any capacity, what makes you think that you can run a restaurant? That can only lead to disaster. Why should we hold the President of the United States to a lower standard than what we would expect in any other business? They need to be qualified.

My issue with past presidents include the simple fact that they never served any time in the military. Presidents Trump, Obama, and Clinton never served their country. Here are 3 people, two of which at least had experience with governing and that silly little paper known as “The Constitution”, but never had the experience of boot camp. They never had to sit in the desert, wondering if the enemy, a spider, or the heat was going to kill them. They were qualified for half of the job of President, not the whole thing.

But the President is our Commander in Chief, the head of our armed services. You want to put someone in there who has served his country proudly. Who will be less hesitant to “just send troops wherever” because they have been there. They know that strategically it may not be the best call. Because of experience. Experience in the military should be a minimum requirement of the President. The ideal candidate will have both legislative and military experience. Maybe if we expect more, we will stop settling for… well, you know.

I’m on the fence of requiring military service for all citizens, mostly because my “mom” fears overrule my logic here. But at a minimum, a person who hopes to be president some day should perform military duty. I’d trust my country’s military better in the hands of someone who has experienced what every other soldier has. I want a leader who is an excellent role model, who can empathize with the military and their families. This will give them more compassion when they are handling things like improving the VA programs. The President should be a proud veteran of the United States Armed Forces. In fact, maybe we should be sure to hire only people with experience for their roles. Maybe the Secretary of Education should have a degree and work experience in, oh I don’t know… education. Maybe the head of the intelligence community or the Secretary of Defense should be decorated individuals of their fields. I have this silly idea of hiring people for jobs who have at least some experience in what they are doing, not just because they had the money to win.

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It’s All So Sad

By now, the outrage seems to disappear anytime there is major gun violence. It’s just a thing that happens now, not some rare tragedy. Some thing that we are seemingly helpless to stop. Thoughts and prayers mean nothing to those who are dead, who are mourning. It’s just all so sad. This time it was another “mentally ill, lone wolf”. Code words for “an insane white guy with a gun, who may or may not actually be an alt-right or white supremacist or something but we really don’t want to talk about it”. If it were a Muslim or an illegal immigrant, we’d hear outrage of how liberal policies caused this to happen. But it wasn’t. So you just hear all about how it was some crazy guy, who doesn’t reflect the majority of legal gun owners.

The problem is that there are no real solutions. You can ban guns, but bad guys tend to not listen to silly things like laws. You could make stronger laws and spend more time enforcing those than arresting people who have a dime bag of pot on them. But ultimately, bad guys are going to find ways to do bad things. That’s kinda what they do. That doesn’t mean we can’t cut out a lot of it by making rules like stricter wait periods or allowing laws that take guns away from people who could potentially do harm to others. As they tried to do with the Parkland Shooter, a person who should never have been able to legally obtain the gun with his long list of issues. However, infringement of rights or whatever people are going to argue. The point is, these are things that will never, ever change.

Then you can focus on better mental health care. Look at ways to make mental illness less of a “taboo” and more of a “normal” illness. Maybe even make mental health care more accessible to everyone, and not just the rich people. State funding is always short for everything and private hospitals are just businesses. Again, this is a great idea but no one wants to actually put in the time to make these changes. Insurance companies and hospitals get to rake in the cash, and the people who need help can just suck it up and deal with it. It’s all so sad.

The problem comes down to money. Gun laws won’t change because of the substantial amount of money gun lobbyists toss towards politicians to ensure these laws don’t change. The health industry won’t change because of all of the money that insurance companies throw at politicians. (Notice a pattern here?) Money talks and the rest of the American people can just follow blindly because they don’t know any better. Not that what’s best for the American people has ever been a concern for politicians aside from talking points that end up being bought off anyways.

Actually, the problem comes down to the politicians that take the money. The ones who understand that American’s have a short attention span. By the time they forget about the outrage of tragic events like the one at the Garlic Festival, they are already posting selfies and live video of themselves as they do the most mundane thing while the masses are more concerned about that than what is going on around them. Politicians know that they can ride the wave while it’s there, but they don’t have to do anything about it. Because unfortunately, no one cares until it happens again. It’s all so sad.

There are no great solutions. That doesn’t mean that people don’t have to try.

Overwatch League: The Final Stage of the Season Begins and a Watch Party

Stage 4 and the 2-2-2 lock has officially begun and honestly, there were some surprises but mostly things have gone as people thought. A big surprise was that the analysts thought that the Boston Uprising would start destroying this stage, since their DPS duo had such great potential. I guess that’s what happens when analysts finally believe in the Uprising. Here is a brief summary of what happened with this massive change to the league this week, and my more in-depth Boston Uprising discussion.

The fact that Houston lost to Paris was a little shocking to me, but they took a win home against the Gladiators to go 1-1 this week. NYXL struggled this week and Shanghai is still on a tear, especially since pulling out what is now known as “Roadfrog” with Geguri making a solid tank line with her Roadhog and Gamsu’s Orisa. Honestly, she was spectacular and it was great to see her back on the stage. It was also great to see Fragi and Bischu make their first appearances on the stage this season. All that’s left really is to see Pine freed from GOATs jail and all will be right again. Most of the other games went pretty much exactly how you thought they would, such as Titans showing that they aren’t GOATs one-tricks and it paid off for Shock to stack their team with star DPS players.

Boston Uprising Watch Party in Foxborough

Normally they do the watch parties in Boston, so to have one that was easier to get to in Foxborough was really exciting. Naturally, we had to attend. We left earlier in the morning to ensure that even with Cape Cod traffic, we would make the event in time. I’m glad we did. We ended up with a great parking spot, got to enjoy walking around the facility without the mass amounts of people that were there during my first trip to Patriot Place. (Apparently there was an Irish festival going on.) We ventured to the ProShop, happy to see that they had a lot more Uprising gear there. Then after some waiting, we went to the place where the watch party was being held.

The restaurant was pretty big, but honestly the fact that they had such a small section for the watch party setup was a little disappointing. The fact that all of the chairs were a foot off the ground was also a little annoying. (Plus the food was meh at best.) Still, they had giveaways and free Uprising stuff so that made up for some of the annoyance. To my surprise, every other television in the bar was switched to Overwatch League. This was good considering that about 80% of the people in there were there for the Uprising match. There were some “oohs” and “aws” during the Valiant match, but the real excitement came when the Uprising were on.

Until.. there was nothing to cheer about. The match was a quick 4-0 domination by the Charge. It was awful. As a fan, it was painful. There have been some bad losses, but this felt different. This was the first time that I was actually really salty over the game. Primarily because I think that my points have been proven about this team. Obviously I have no insider information or even know how their scrims go, but they did so poorly that you have to wonder if they even scrimmed during the break. Fusions is only good at GOATs Rein. I said that he was a “GOATs Rein One-Trick” so many times that I feel like a broken record pointing that out again. The one reason we picked up rCk was his versatility to switch between a mediocre D.Va and a decent Sombra. We gave away NotE because he could only really D.Va and Roadhog. Well.. now we’re in a 2-2-2 lock so we can’t use rCk for his versatility. But NotE… now NotE gets to shine on D.Va and Roadhog. On another team. The tank line is definitely one of the weakest links so far in this stage. They have no synergy and they just can’t seem to get the job done. On one map it almost looked like Ameng got his Hammod alt 3 times before Fusions even got one. That shouldn’t happen. But it’s been a consistent problem for him… since he’s a GOATs Rein one-trick.

The DPS line did well enough. Colourhex seems much more comfortable now than when he played Zarya. There were some shots that I found myself screaming “You need to make those”, but overall he had a solid performance. People were mocking blasé but honestly I felt like he was doing the things that he was supposed to be doing. That’s always been the problem with blasé. He does what he’s supposed to do, maybe without Colourhex’s flash, but he gets the job done. I don’t think the DPS was the problem.

Then.. there is the support line. Kellex has been doing well, and I admit I have been very critical of him since the beginning. But he has shown to be a versatile support that makes the big plays when he needs to. But then there’s Persia. Admittedly, he did better this weekend than he has in the past. But even in this “better” state, he’s still not even close (in my opinion) to Aimgod. You can count on Aimgod to also make those big plays… and to survive most fights. Sure, Persia made some good sleeps and his Moira was fantastic. But I didn’t see a lot of purple enemy players when he played Ana. I saw Colourhex ask for heals to not get any from Persia as he was standing next to him. I saw his problems with positioning and staying alive. Persia may be doing better in scrims but that has not translated to him playing better on stage.

Saturday was a disaster, but at least Sunday wasn’t as awful. It’s still disheartening to see as an Uprising fan. This is supposed to be a meta where we were going to shine. Instead, management seems to want to throw the matches rather than win. Why isn’t Aimgod playing? Why hasn’t Axxiom scrimmed or been given a chance? You’ve given Persia plenty of chances on stage, but not Axxiom. Axxiom is supposed to be an amazing and versatile tank who probably only didn’t start because Fusions’ GOATs Rein was better. But we’re not in GOATs anymore. I hope during this bye-week that Uprising figures it out, because it’s one thing to lose because we’re being outplayed. It’s another thing to lose because you’re too stubborn to stick with what works or try something completely new. I think the fans deserve better from the management, or at least some answers.

Sigma: The Hero We Didn’t Know We Needed

But we do know that he needs shoes. Discuss.

As I correctly predicted in my last blog, the announcement for Sigma came at 2pm and he was then playable on the PTR. Since then, there has been a mass of people swearing to be Sigma mains when he goes live. While I admittedly haven’t gotten around to play him myself yet, there’s a lot of videos from everyone else that has given me plenty to think about.

First of all, his Origin story. The minute I watched it, I called my husband and told him that it was easily the best one they have released. Their team that handles these shorts are fantastic and I always look forward to new short stories from them. They are so well done that I almost think that they could have their own Overwatch web series. Almost. Usually people screw those up to the point of turning your love to hatred. But, it could be good. The Origin story gave me chills, the music was flawless, and the lore behind the character was amazing. This made me excited to try the new character.

Why haven’t I tried him yet? One reason is because I always like to use the Training Bots to try out he character and for some reason the Training mode won’t work for me on the PTR right now. Another reason is because as interesting as the story is, I’m not sure I’m as interested in playing his character. The playstyle seems more like a Zenyatta with a throwable Rein shield. I’m a D.Va main. I like the excitement of flying around and blocking alts or plowing into the backline. He just doesn’t look as fun to me as I want him to be. Maybe I’ll change my mind when I actually get to play him. The only thing that makes his character really cool to me is his Ult, where he tosses people up in the air and throws them back down again.

How will he change the meta? I’m not entirely sure. From what I’ve seen, he can be an excellent counter to Pharah and Widow, which are 2 characters that are played heavily right now. Is he an off-tank or a main-tank? I think he may be more of an off-tank, maybe as part of a tank line with a Hammond main tank. His shield doesn’t seem to be as good as a Rein or Orisa, but it could be better than Winston’s. It’s really too soon to tell, though you know teams are already scrimming with him to see how he fits into their strategies. When the pros get to play him, we’ll all have a better idea of his utility and true potential.

I like how Overwatch seems to be moving forward and progressing. This seems like a team who wants to keep players as engaged by making changes that will improve their experience. Adding a unique character like Sigma is one way, but another way is the great addition of the 2-2-2 lock. I don’t know what their plan is for Overwatch 2, but the current game is still something I love to play.

What’s Next for WoW?

After trying to figure out what today’s blog about, I realized that the news depressed me and all I can whine about here is how our beautiful television met its end after 5 years. It was a good run, though the picture quality on this new one is quite beautiful, I must say. Back to the main point. So I decided to focus on another gaming topic this week, making this entire week’s worth of blogs about gaming. I could hit a popular topic in Overwatch right now (Sigma, obviously), but I think I’ll hold that off until Thursday’s blog. My gut is telling me there will be a Developer Update released probably between 11:00am and 3pm Eastern to announce Sigma will be on the PTR today. I’d rather save my love of this new character and anticipation when I can talk about his gameplay.

Instead, I’d like to think about my predictions for the next expansion of World of Warcraft. I admit, I haven’t completed the latest raid yet. I like the new loner world of not having to deal with other people in WoW, saving my socializing skills for when Classic is released next month. I may be completely wrong about these predictions, but I was right about the demon hunters, Pandaren, and Nightborne. Just sayin’.

My theories come from what I’ve seen in the game and from the “Before the Storm” prequel novel. So spoilers ahead if you haven’t read it yet.

At the end of the novel, Calia Menethil wanted to save her people (the residents of Lordaeron, aka “The Forsaken”) from Sylvanas’ attack. A cause that led to her death at the hands of Sylvanas herself. Calia was later risen in the same manner as the other Forsaken, only she was raised by the light. While in the book she said she wasn’t ready to lead her people, that doesn’t mean that she won’t now with all of the other events that have taken place since then. After Sylvanas is inevitably overthrown from power, I think that Calia will become the new leader of the Forsaken. It makes sense since most of the Horde is against her and while I’m not sure of the Forsaken’s reaction to Sylvanas slaughtering her own, I have a feeling that they aren’t even on her side right now.

The story is heading towards a fight against Sylvanas for the end of the expansion, with her losing it. But since she’s such a fan favorite, I have a hard time believing that they will just kill her. Instead, we’re due for a new hero class. Which could very likely be a Dark Ranger. Which would be very very cool. Sylvanas will lead the Dark Rangers, with Nathanos by her side as usual. She won’t go the way of the Garrosh, but I don’t think most people will want to be associated with her insanity right now.

So, who will lead the Horde then? The two logical choices would be to have Thrall regain the title of Warchief or have Saurfang in charge. My feelings are causing me to lean towards Thrall. Let’s be realistic here: things really started going downhill for the Horde when Thrall left. Vol’jin was a good course correction from the failure of Garrosh, but obviously that’s not an ideal choice anymore. Saurfang is a seasoned veteran who seems to more enjoy his place on the battlefield than leading, but he has been shown to be an honorable and compassionate character. Him and Zappyboi could be a great team leading the Horde.

These are just my thoughts. I think most people are in agreement that the next expansion is going to be focused on the Old Gods, which will be really cool if done well. But feel free to let me know your thoughts on the future of these characters.

Overwatch League, Season 2: Stage 4 Preview

By now, you have heard the biggest change coming to the Overwatch League this final stage of the season: the 2-2-2 lock. AKA, the GOATs killer. In case you need a recap, this is exactly what it sounds like. There must be 2 DPS, 2 support, and 2 tanks queued up to play, a change that’s coming to the next Competitive season as well. Once you queue up to a role, you are locked in that role until the end of the map. This means that there cannot be a 3-3/GOATs comp anymore.

This could potentially change everything. While Vancouver Titans are known for being a top GOATs team, they have not had much success outplaying the DPS comps. (Seriously still happy Shanghai took the Stage 3 title.) Teams like Spitfire and NYXL just didn’t quite get their footing trying to out-GOATs other teams. This could be a whole new stage for a lot of teams that have been struggling, and you can expect some interesting surprises for the next stage.

I’m going to take a closer look at the Boston Uprising here, a team that had seen some highs and lows in GOATs. What does this change mean for them? First of all, thankfully no more Colourhex on Zarya. I was never a fan of that and it almost caused me to doubt his capabilities as a player. Until I saw him play Widow. He’s a solid DPS player that can now shine. blasé has long been a solid player that performs well where they need him, even on Tracer, which leads me to wonder what their new pickup Stellar is there for. The Uprising aren’t exactly known for their tendency to sub players in and out… or really pretty much ever. What is he there for? To farm up the talent than sell him to the highest bidder? Are they getting rid of one of their other DPS? Will they actually sub him in for some maps? This will be interesting to find out.

Then there is the tank line. This 2-2-2 lock makes the trade for rCk with NotE worse for us: we lost a solid D.Va/Hog player. Will rCk now be stuck in a D.Va role, where he has made some decent plays but is overall mediocre in the role? Will Uprising give up their Sombra player for a better D.Va? Will Axxiom step into the off-tank role instead? But what about Fusions? He seems to only be a GOATs Rein one-trick? Will we see his true potential to erase this one-trick take on him? Or, will Axxiom step into the main tank role as he was supposed to prior to Gamsu’s departure? These are all great questions that will be interesting to see answered when the stage starts this week. I am looking forward to attending my first official Uprising watch party this weekend at one of my favorite places: Foxborough/Patriot’s Place. It’s going to be pretty great to cheer on the team with my boys, seeing what they can do in a 2-2-2 lock.

Shanghai might even be stronger now with this change, which is something that will be great to watch out for. The London Spitfire, Philadelphia Fusion, Houston Outlaws, and NYXL may also have a strong showing with these changes. This could potentially change everything, though it may be too late for some of the teams to really benefit from these changes. Either way, more exciting Overwatch League is on the way for fans.

My (Mis?)Adventures at a Neighborhood Meeting

I’ve written a few blogs about my issues with my neighborhood. I did end up getting the attention of the city councilman, who actually cares about doing the right thing. He listened. He was responsive and not sure how he missed my email. He immediately took a look at the street and determined there was an issue with parking. While I simply wanted the curve to be a “No Parking” zone because fire trucks couldn’t make it through the bend the way it was, it turns out there was a bigger issue.

Out of the people who attended the meeting, 90% of them were residents of the apartments, 7% were city officials, and then only 2 homeowners on the street: myself and my husband. The ones that they blamed for the horrible situation they are in now: they can’t park all along both sides of a curved street. I was prepared. Public safety was a major concern, which should trump any convenience that they felt they were entitled to. It does suck that good people have to suffer because some people want to be inconsiderate. I felt like offering up a suggestion of permit parking in the apartment parking lot would be a great idea.

Was I pissed that my property was not just damaged once but 4 times in the 4 years I had lived there up until that point? Absolutely. But there was a bigger issue. There were ambulances that had to park in my driveway because they couldn’t park close enough to the apartments. That’s time that could matter in life and death situations. What if a house catches fire and the fire truck can’t make it around the bend to save people? That should be a concern. Not “but it’s too far to walk”, despite the fact that the people who complained at the meeting either a) didn’t have a car or b) already parked where the “No Parking” spaces end. They should be happy the fire trucks and ambulances can better reach them. That their public transportation can get to them easier.

But no. I’m an evil, horrible human being that is targeting the apartment people because I hate poor people. Because I have an in with the government because obviously I’m rich since I’m a homeowner. First of all, I was a single, teen mom who worked long hours to make ends meet and still failed and needed public assistance. I know what it’s like to be poor and I never forget sacrificing my own meals so my son never starved. Second of all, if I were rich I would be living on the other side of the school where the houses are bigger and have better lawns. I didn’t know that my complaint would get “No Parking” signs along half the street on both sides. The thing is… it wasn’t just me.

Sure, my complaint may have started the snowball effect but it was them who turned it into a snowman. The fire department said that they had issues and wanted the “No Parking” signs. But still, it was my fault. Somehow a nobody like me can apparently influence an entire city government. I can’t. If I could, my blog would be a lot bigger and I’d be much more famous. And rich. And living on the other side of the school.

The meeting itself was a mess. They were yelling over each other. They pointed in my direction, saying “just because some flower pots got destroyed” as if that mattered. It didn’t. It was the catalyst; not the cause. The government officials there explained the case and I understood. I didn’t like that I can’t have guests parked outside of my house but it was a logical choice from the city engineer standpoint. As the councilor said, “It may not have been the popular choice, but it was the right choice.” I agree with the signs even more today than I did before. Plus, they should be happy now that they have have more room to sprawl out their lawn chairs and grills in the street. It really is a win/win.

We explained that we wanted a safer neighborhood for everyone to enjoy. Some understood. Others stormed out of the meeting feeling like they were ignored. Again, those were the people that were unaffected by this. They felt as though they were entitled to park in the street and didn’t like it when our councilor told them that they aren’t. That the street isn’t a parking lot, it’s a public street that the city dictates what can and cannot happen. He made sense. He listened. He tried to explain the point repeatedly of how the signs were really fixing a mistake of the past. He was kind to them, only to have them disrespect him and the very kind head of the DPW.

I admit that I’m a misanthrope, but my intentions were good. I didn’t ask for parking to be banned outside of my house. I suggested that there should be no parking around the curb and that people blocking the sidewalk to the school should be dealt with. I didn’t know that the other city departments complained about the issue. When I complained, he did what he had to do and he found out there were a lot of complaints and concerns. He was just the only person who cared enough to fix it.

They are planning to re-address this at a meeting in August. What do I think will happen then? I think they will make things worse for themselves. I predict that they think the street will become a one-way street and it will fix the problem, not acknowledging the fact that the fire department said they wanted that side to be “No Parking”. They will get permits for their cars, but then they have to worry about the legal repercussions of that. That’s assuming anything will change, which it probably won’t. As much as this inconveniences me, it’s the right call. I’m okay with the sacrifice for the greater good of the neighborhood. There are a lot of elderly people on this street and having access to emergency vehicles should be the top priority, not what’s convenient.

I don’t want to go in August, so I can have the evil stares and people actually attack me as if I’m the cause of their problems. But it’s all about making a change when you feel one is needed to make things better. And I can go to sleep very comfortably knowing that I did just that. My conscience is clear. I saw an issue, I took the steps to resolve the issue, and the issue was resolved. That really should have been the end of it. And that is the end of my experience with participating in the local government.