Apocalypse Log: Part 3

Again, crossposting the stuff I’ve been writing to amuse myself and my family to hopefully amuse you guys too.

Apocalypse Log: Day 18

Scavenged at the grocery store today. Barely escaped with my life. Mutants were everywhere.

Apocalypse Log: Day 19

Apparently Chaos Demons feed off of each other. When you separate them, you have considerably less Chaos Energy to dispel. Without her younger sister, the older one periodically decides to just clean the house when she gets bored. Or she’ll do her homework. She’s generally out of the way. This is amazing. Takes me back to a fonder day, one I can barely remember now.

Apocalypse Log: Day 25

I had to drive to Denver today. For essential business, yes, but it’s always a pain going to Denver. For those of you who aren’t familiar with it, Denver is what, in the old world, we used to call a city. It runs younger and more hipstery than most, and has inexplicably summoned a murderous horse-devil to a place of honor in its airport, but otherwise, mostly typical. It does have one fatal flaw however. Some years ago, as far as I can tell, Denver decided it didn’t have enough space in its schedule for both drivers ed classes and its autoerotic asphyxiation course, so apparently it decided to just teach people to do both at the same time the way everyone in Denver drives.

So, even though there was only a fraction of the usual traffic on the road, two times, I still had to combat mutants driving two ton death machines trying to murder me. I’m not sure whether that’s because of the apocalypse, or just business as usual for Denver.

Apocalypse Log: Day 31

Went scavenging at Costco today. Supplies were surprisingly intact, likely because Costco itself exists inside a separate dimension of which only the select few may enter with their sanity intact. Costco can be very dangerous in the best of times. The Madness of Stuff it instills can drive a strong soul to a sobbing quiver. It is impossible to accurately describe to one who has not already endured it. Costco is a test of character, it likely has what you desire, but you must walk the shifting halls in a realm where time has no meaning while gremlins offer you samples seeking to fill your shallow physical needs to distract you on the path there. There is no rhyme or reason to that place. Shredded cheese is not located near the sliced cheese. Fresh fruits are in a garage connected to the butcher’s station. Port existed there last week, it’s gone now. You could die in Costco, and nobody would ever notice in those winding halls.

It is a true peril to your physical life and your mortal soul, but it was fully stocked with supplies, so I unlocked the dimensional portal with my membership card and headed inside. In spite of the cabal’s initial advice that this was utterly useless, now, we’re supposed to wear masks, I assume so the mutants don’t see how beautiful we are and attack us out of jealousy of what they have lost. Following this guidance, I shrouded myself in an American Flag bandanna and put on my leather gloves for safety. Thus dressed like I was going to rob the place, I walked into the portal as if I was going to rob the place. Nobody batted an eye. I assume because they’ve been robbed plenty of times since the apocalypse started already. I did not proceed to rob the place.

It seems a few of the mutants have glommed onto the idea that those of use still clean have started to wear masks, but don’t quite seem to understand why. I spotted one older mutant wearing what was clearly a pair of Pokemon underpants as a mask. An odd sight, but it makes me stand out less, so I rolled with it. Walking among the mutants was a strange experience, but not an eventful one. I did manage to escape intact, but not entirely successful. Costco has still buried my port under the waves of time.

Apocalypse Log: Day 32

As part of my employer’s efforts to make me a hero and save people from being cast out into the cold, probably Infected streets, I’ve talked to hundreds of people with our emergency assistance interview processes. I’ve started to notice that perhaps there’s a tell, in this stranger apocalypse where you never know who is truly safe to be around, as to what affiliation they might belong to. Many, many people will answer the questions “Do you have any children living with you?” with something along the lines of “Oh yeah, I have my dog/cat/mongoose/whatever.” Those people are almost certainly Toilet Paper Hoarders and should be either avoided or exterminated with extreme prejudice. If they refer to their pets as “furbabies” in their answer to that question, they are probably also mutants.

Take this information. Use it to survive. Be a Survivor.

Apocalypse Log: Day 35

Ended my week of helping people with emergency assistance by approving a rather significant amount of money for someone I’m pretty sure was outright lying to me about their need, but I had to approve anyways because I have no way within the constraints we’re working with of knowing with certainty.

Being in customer service mode all day long has left me totally fine with staying in the stronghold all day, because I don’t want to deal with the people in the outside world anymore anyways.

Snap Judgements: A Random-Ass PC Game Party

If you game on the PC, it’s not hard to get a massive collection built up for very little money if you’re not particular about what makes it in there.  Steam sales will aggressively discount games.  Humble Bundle can get you a curated collection for very cheap, and if you get their Choice option they will shove 60-some DRM free games right in your face.  If you’re on Amazon Prime, they will give you 5 games a month through Twitch.  The Epic Games Store drops at least 2 free games on you a week.  So yeah, my PC backlog has become unmanageable, really.  Hell, this month’s Humble Choice has two games I’ve specifically had my eye on for a long while, and I can get those and 8 others for well less than the MSRP for each, and I’ve been refraining because I don’t want my Steam list to grow anymore until I’ve actually played a bunch more of the games on it.  When I was a cub owning a game was a big deal.  You thoroughly explored that game, you came to know it better than your own reflection, you mastered it as much as a gawky little kid that sucks at everything can master anything.  Nowadays, at least as far as the PC goes, it seems the various game makers and distributors want you to have a library rather than having explored every little thing; I don’t think many expect you to actually play all the games they’re throwing at you.

But that’s not how I roll.  I like to play all my stuff.  And lately, I’ve been motivated to do so.  I’m still keeping up with that focused run-through of playing all my games that I’ve done all my years, although yeah, I’m needing to adjust my expectations to deal with all these random-butt games that I’ve built up over recent years on my PC library.  And apparently, how I deal with that is I just change the rules so that I’m not expecting myself to give a full playthrough to any game I didn’t directly play through and we go from there.

So, in any case, lately, in addition to the games I’d normally be playing, I’ve also been trying out many of the random games I’ve been picking up through other means.  So here’s some quick judgements on some of the games I’ve been playing lately that I don’t think I’m going to end up doing a full post about.  Some of these I’ve given a full playthrough, some have just been a quick try, but either way, I’ve got words to put on them, so here you are.  I’ve been starting at the top of my various collections, so if you’re wondering why so many of them have titles that would pop up near the top alphabetically, well, there you go.

A Normal Lost Phone


This is a quick little experience, kind of has an interesting idea.  Essentially, you find someone’s unlocked phone, and rather than turning it into anyone, you start snooping to try and figure out whose it is.  Turns out, judging from recent messages on there, the guy unexpectedly disappeared.  So you have to read his texts and emails and break into his apps and dating profiles and other stuff to try and figure out what’s going on.  I like its approach to puzzles, they hit the right spot to me where I was never stuck and constantly able to figure the challenges pretty quickly, but they still took enough mental work that I felt rather accomplished in doing so.  I ended up rather hating the game, though, because it’s rather preachy.  Yes, being trans is a difficult thing fraught with a great deal of challenges and bigotry that I’m sure I do not understand because my knowing personal exposure to trans people has been rather limited, but an unnuanced black and white strawman-filled take on the subject that wants to hammer you on the head with the “feel the plight of trans people” hammer over and over is going to irritate me to no end even as I agree with the central thing it’s trying to push.  And it’s preachy in a way that’s just going to galvanize the base, make the people that already agree with it feel better for agreeing with it, without actually adding more to the subject matter or approach anyone on the fringe.  There were a couple of times I missed out on puzzle clues because I got tired of wading through walls of text on how horrible the strawmen were that I just stopped looking at the things that point in a direction.  Also, I take issue with the ending, the same way I did with Gone Home’s.  Spoiler: dude just ghosted his family because they’re homophobic.  At least he’s got more reason that Gone Home’s couple, but either way, ghosting your family for anything but avoiding actual danger is a sick, horrible thing to do to them.  Yes, I would say that’s worse than the homophobia.  Treating it like a romanticised ideal bothers me a lot.



I’ve heard this described as underwater Journey.  I haven’t played Journey, so I can’t really speak to that, but if you have, hey, maybe that means something to you.

So, you may call this a walking simulator, except there’s very little walking in it.  Usually you’re swimming.  You’re a diver exploring the underwater wildlife of an area, and sometimes exhibiting the strange power to create sea life where once it was missing.  You explore underwater ruins, solve a few ‘find the switch/drone/item’ puzzles to open doors, and go through a bit of a minimalist story that’s surprisingly well-presented for having no dialogue and only one real character.  Overall, it’s really just a relaxing, chill experience, one that does bring you some tension but otherwise has a rather meditative quality to it.

60 Parsecs


Yeah, it comes first alphabetically, but I don’t have much to say about it and I didn’t want to lead with this so it goes down here.  You manage a small team of space station wreck survivors as they head into an escape pod, trying to keep them alive and have them find or develop new items to increase their odds of survival until sheer random chance inevitably kills everybody and then you wonder what the hell that was all about and uninstall the game.  Not recommended.

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The Benefits Rant

This is not going to be a fun post.  It’s not even a post for any of you.  This is one for me.  I need to vent my feelings about something for a bit, and I can’t do it on any channels that bear my slave name for fear of the local press picking up on it, so here it is.  Feel free to ignore this one, and we’ll get right back to the usual fun, entertainment-oriented content next week.

If you’ve been following my Apocalypse Log bits, you may have seen that I’ve started helping my employer, a local government agency, process applications for emergency assistance in the Corona Crisis.  I’m actually really proud of that, I enjoy actually being able to help so directly in this situation.  Basically, my agency set aside a bunch of money to help with April’s rents and major living expenses, thousands of people applied to it, and I follow up on applications and conduct interviews to determine if they get financial help and how much they get.  It’s good work.  It’s also pretty stressful, but it’s not necessarily a bad kind of stress.  But there’s one thing that’s just sticking in my craw.

Most people get denied. And its getting to be frustrating.  Really frustrating.  I got to approve two people for funding today, and that’s the first I’ve been able to all week.  After processing a couple of dozen cases.  There are hordes and hordes of people applying for benefits that are completely ineligible in the first place.  And on the one hand, in my usual job, I’m usually all for having people apply to what they could reasonably get, and not having them pre-sort themselves out unless it’s clear they wouldn’t get it.  That’s having some rather serious consequences, here.  We are slow to respond just because of the sheer amount of cases on there.  A few weeks on, and we’re still working through the applications we got just three days after we opened it, most of whom we cannot help.  There are tons of people on this list who do actually need the help, but we cannot reach them yet just because we’re still having to sort through the massive amount of people who don’t.  Particularly as April’s rent is a week past due in some cases, us not being able to reach these people in time is having some dire consequences as landlords start trying for eviction proceedings.

Some people are just coming for help at the wrong place.  We’re not paying rents for people when there are already other programs with state or federal funding that can help them.  So the tons of people with children coming to me, I have to deny and refer to another program that can directly pay their rent, because that one’s designed to help people with kids and this one we need to stretch the available funding as far as we can for the people that can’t get help elsewhere.  It is a major task to reach out to them and make sure they’re getting to the right place, but I can understand it because it’s not like these people have the same encyclopedic knowledge of available benefits and resources like I have to maintain for my usual job.  For a lot of them, this is the first point of contact with the system they’ve had, and they apply here because they don’t know where they’re really supposed to go.  It’s still a burden on our system, and it’s still keeping us from being able to help the people who really need it, but I can understand where their coming from.

What I’m really starting to burn from is the people who have the means to pay their expenses yet apply anyways.  Again, I can understand where this is coming from.  I’ve never been unemployed, I’ve had the right combination of skills, choices, and luck to avoid that.  But I work entirely with people who are, and I know how worrying and panic inducing it is, particularly when you’re dealing with a system with no end in sight.  Moreover, if I was faced with having my savings rapidly exhausted and an uncertain future, I’m sure I’d be on the lookout for potential sources of help as well.  As I said, I understand.

But I don’t sympathize.  The past couple of weeks, hundreds of people learned I don’t care about sparing their savings.  A statement said to me today; “So the fact that I’m only going to have $200 left at the end of this month, that means nothing to you?” That’s right.  It doesn’t.  Nor am I swayed by the many people I’ve talked to who say that they need help now even though they can pay their rent and all expenses for the next several months because who knows what the future will bring, or who have accounts set aside that they don’t want to dip into, or who have already paid their rents and want us to pay them back.  Nor am I going to spare you from awkward conversations.  If you haven’t yet, you will still need to have a probably not-fun talk with your bank in which you discuss your options for keeping your home or car, and it’s only if there aren’t any options there that I will step in.  If you haven’t been working on getting unemployment, I’m going to ask about it, and push you in that direction if applicable. We need to stretch these funds as far as possible, because frankly, we may not even have enough already for everyone who’s applied.   And moreover, as is always a factor with government, all the dollars we’re putting towards this have to come from somewhere.  In giving money out like this, we’re either going to have to recoup through taxes or cut other, beneficial programs later.  This is all going to have ripple effects that we’re not even sure of yet.

So yeah, I have tons of people on my application list, far, far more than those who are actually facing the kind of need we can actually help with, who are clogging up our systems and keeping us from using our time to really help people.  I’ve gotten pretty good at denying people.  And many are really good with it, still remaining understanding and friendly even when told help is not forthcoming from us.  What really chafes me are those who have the gall to act out when told they don’t qualify.  Tons of people getting surly with me, or argumentative, on being told that they have to pay their own rent.  Not only are they making life worse for others by clogging up our systems in mass and keeping us from reaching them, they feel so entitled to this money that will neither have an immediate effect of keeping them from being homeless or making sure they can return to work once the world isn’t an apocalypse that they try to engage with verbal battle with me in a vain hope of… I don’t even know what they think is going to happen with it.  And I’m in good customer service mode then, so I have to use my verbal jujitsu skills to gently end the conversation rather than salting the earth and shattering the most dearly held parts of their self-image.

And the funny part of it is that you can’t tell for sure in advance who is safe to discount, because people are absolute shite at filling out applications, apparently.  It’s not like ours are even hard.  So, people suck, so we have to be careful of discounting people en masse and still have to spend the time talking with them, yet we have to do so knowing that our job is more to find the needle in the haystack than it is to be the giant money cannon.  And our job is that way, because it turns out that when you say “Hey here’s some money come get some if you need it” the line between need and want may as well not exist.

So yeah, everyone out there facing homelessness in my community who I’m hoping are not actually able to find this, I’m sorry we haven’t been able to swoop in and keep you afloat.  I would love to do so, but I have literally thousands of people standing between me and you that shouldn’t be there.

And now I’m done whining.  Next time, we’ll go back to something fun and probably super dumb in the best way.

Project G-Ebirah, Horror of the Deep

More Memorable Title: The One Where Godzilla is Really King Kong


Ebirah, Horror of the Deep is kind of an oddball entry in the Godzilla canon.  To start with, it wasn’t really set up for success.  It was originally going to be a King Kong/Mothra crossover that also ties in with a 60’s Japanese cartoon based on King Kong.  However, with Toho and the cartoon producers not coming to terms on what they wanted this film to be, they bailed on the project, taking the rights to King Kong with them, at the end of pre-production.  Toho apparently still wanted to move forward with the project but not spend any extra time or money on it, so they just crossed out all instances of “King Kong” in the script and wrote in “Godzilla” with a green crayon, pulled an old Godzilla costume out of storage, and called it a day.  Moreover, this film had like nothing for budget, so they had to scrounge the warehouse for all their special effects.  And rather than being in the hands of Ishiro Honda, who had directed most of the previous Godzilla films, this movie would be helmed by Jun Fukuda, who would go on to produce a number of probably the goofiest Godzilla movies in the Showa era, and was never really satisfied with his work on this franchise.  So, yeah.  From the sounds of it, production was kind of a mess.  All they had to go off was a hope and a dream, really.  Let’s see how they did with it!

The opening of the movie runs about as fast as its possible to go.  They waste zero time establishing things here, they want to get to the bulk of the plot as quickly as possible.  So, there’s this total dweeb whose brother was in a shipwreck and lost at sea.  Everyone thinks the brother is dead, but his mom goes to a psychic who says he’s still alive.  So this dweeb goes to the police who are all like “Oh, a psychic says he’s alive?!  We’ll totally send out all our resources for a massive manhunt right away because psychics are totally 100% accurate!”  And then they do that and the movie’s over.

Oh, no, wait, they just toss him on his butt out the door.  So the dweeb goes to the newspaper, who’s like “we’re a newspaper, what the heck are we supposed to do?”  But then he sees a flyer for a marathon dance contests where the person who dances the longest wins a yacht.  So he goes there and asks if he can enter and they’re like “We’ve already been doing this for three days, are you crazy?” So then he talks to these two guys who just lost the contest, rather than anyone who might actually have a yacht, and tells them he wants a yacht, so they just drive this random schmuck they just met down to the wharf, where they go into some random yacht, and start throwing a party.  But then it turns out that the yacht is occupied, and its apparent owner, Mr. Safecracker, holds them up with a rifle before telling them for some unknown reason that they could crash there that night but they had to leave in the morning.  But the dweeb just goes ahead and steals the boat.

In the morning, they find out that the rifle Mr. Safecracker has was just a toy, and that judging by an alert going out over the radio, the yacht wasn’t actually owned by Mr. Safecracker at all, and Mr. Safecracker is, in fact, is a Safecracker.  In spite of the fact that nobody wants to go along with the dweeb, they don’t do anything about him taking them off to who knows where.  And then one day there’s a big old storm and a giant claw comes out of the water and crushes their boat.

There.  That’s the establishing events.  It might have taken me longer to write that than it took the film to go through everything.  It was really rapid fire.

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