Was There A Problem With Car Keys?

So my wife got a car a couple years ago that was “push to start.” In other words, it doesn’t have a key, and you push a button to start it. You only get a fob to unlock it or for remote start and the like. I had never heard of this until then. My first thought was, “oh, I never had a problem with keys, but cool.”

Fast-forward two years, and I’ve learned just how uncool it is.

Firstly, last winter the car battery died, so I couldn’t unlock the car. Great, I’m locked out of my own car for no good reason. If only it had a key.

Well, my wife informed me there is a little key hidden inside the fob, so after yanking the thing so hard I thought it would break, the little sucker popped out. Then I had to rip off this little plastic thing on the door handle to reveal a hidden keyhole. Okay, that’s one crisis averted. Except, if it was just like normal keys, there never would have been an issue to begin with. Why are all companies trying to make all their products smooth and flawless-looking? Does anybody actually want that? Even the site I’m writing this on is guilty of this smooth and blank appearance at the cost of user-friendliness.

Like TV’s for instance; they’ve got to hide the buttons on the back or make them these invisible little things you press your fingers on that are impossible to see unless you squat right in front of it and shine light on them.

Anyway…getting off topic here.

The biggest issue I’ve had, when again there shouldn’t be one at all, is what do you do when the battery in the fob dies?

My wife told me the car will warn you when the battery is low. Okay, great. I don’t drive the car very often. It’s been like over a year. So when I went to drive it a couple weeks ago, the car wouldn’t unlock, so I had to use the trusty hidden key trick, only to discover that when I tried to start the car, it told me no fob detected or something like that.

Well that’s great. Thankfully I was at home, though it did cause major inconvenience for others and I nearly missed my nieces third-birthday party because of it…

But what if someone was at work or somewhere else when it happened? You would have to call a tow-truck in some scenarios. That’s a great conversation to have.

Tow-Truck Guy: So what’s wrong with the car?

Poor Person Swindled Into Buying A Keyless Car: Oh man, the batteries dead.”

Tow-Truck Guy: Oh okay, I can just jump you.

Poor Person Swindled Into Buying A Keyless Car: No man, the battery in my fob.

WTF? How is there not a backup plan in case this happens to someone? And okay, the car warns you when you need to replace the battery. 90% of people are forgetful and/or huge procrastinators, so I guarantee this happens to people all the time.

And how did the battery in the fob die? It’s only four years old! I’ve had cars four times that old and the fob always worked.

They just don’t make em’ like they used to, I guess. And that’s a real big problem. I mean seriously, who looked at car keys and said, “man, I wish they would get rid of these.” Especially after they make those nice little ones that tuck into the fob. Ugh…this world…

Jurassic Park Series Ranked

Thanks to an Amazon Prime Day sale, I finally was able to see all the Jurassic Park movies. Having only seen the first two several times way back in the 90’s, and Jurassic World a few years ago, I’ve always wanted to see the entire series again in this millennium. Plus I’ve wanted to see the third one since I heard it was coming out. It took 15 years, but I finally did! Oh yeah, and the fifth one too. I didn’t have to wait too long for that one.

Any who, here are all five movies ranked from my least favorite to most favorite! See how it compares to your own opinion!

#5 Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom

jurassic world fallen kingdom

This is a good movie, it just kind of went in a weird direction, what with auctioning off dinosaurs like they are sex slaves or something. Though it makes sense, since it builds off of a story in it’s prequel. It just feels very different, since they are not roaming around in a dinosaur habitat, with all that lovely suspense that comes with it.

Also, I’m not sure if the Jurassic World movies only acknowledge the first movie, because when they are trying to clear out the island, they have to find some other island that the dinosaurs can live on, and no one seems to mention the fact that there already is an entire island with self-sustaining dinosaurs on it…

#4 Jurassic Park

jurassic park

There is nothing wrong with this movie, but something about it seemed lacking. I guess because this is more of a suspenseful, almost horror-like film, it seems kind of slower-paced. Or maybe I was just adjusting to the style of Jurassic Park, where all the carnivores seem to exist for the sole-purpose of devouring everything in sight, whether they are hungry or not. That and the ludicrous idea that these animals could actually survive in today’s environment/climate was hard to swallow at first. But really that’s not the point, and scientific facts should not take away from this movie.

The effects are absolutely incredible for a movie made in the early 90’s, and they still look great today. So props to the crew on that one!

#3 Jurassic Park III

jurassic park 3

This movie changes up the formula a bit, and pretty much is an edge-of-your-seat non-stop action movie, featuring several dinosaurs never seen in the first two movies. It’s super intense, and a lot of fun.

#2 Jurassic World

jurassic world

This one takes Jurassic Park a bit further, as the name “World” implies. As the first three movies focus on the idea of a park that fails miserably, this movie shows us a successful up-and-running park for the first time, where humans have more control and understanding of dinosaurs. It also takes the creation of dinosaurs a few steps further. Combine these two factors and you’ve got a recipe for ultimate disaster. This movie probably has the highest amount of deaths in it and the most fearsome dinosaur in the whole series as a result.

#1 Lost World: Jurassic Park

the-lost-world-jurassic-park-review-image-1024x587

This movie is basically just an improvement on the first movie. It does everything that movie did, and just makes it bigger and better. It has big action scenes with a lot of terrifying moments mixed in. There are more dinosaurs, both fearsome and gentle, and we get to see a T-Rex rampage through San Diego, which is pretty awesome. To me, this is the perfect Jurassic Park movie.

The thing is, all these parks would have been successful if it wasn’t for human greed. All the problems come from dirtbag humans trying to score big off of dinosaurs in illegal ways… more or less. It’s like the series is trying to tell us that the original rulers of this planet need to come back and cause the extinction of the blight that is humanity.

Aaaaannnndd, I just found out they’re making a sixth one. Mother f’er, who knows how long it’s going to take me to see that one…

Do You Want An Artist/Band to Play All Their Singles In Concert?

I’m curious if people actually prefer to hear all the singles of someone they go to see live or not.

I know why they do this. These are the songs that get radio-time and are used to promote the band and all, so I imagine a lot of people go just to see those songs performed. I get that, and it’s fair. Bands have to play what the fans want.

But are the people who go just to see the singles really, truly fans?

What about the people who are actual fans, who own every album, know every song, not just the singles?

Playing singles caters to the people who likely will only go see a band once, while the bigger fans will likely see them at any opportunity they can. But there’s no point to see them again, unless you don’t mind seeing the same set list.

It’s weird to me that artists cater more to people who like them less, but then again, there might be more of them then repeat viewers. But I doubt it, because every concert I’ve ever been to, 90% of the people somehow know every single lyric of every single song that every single band plays.

If you go to see your favorite artist, chances are they are going to play each and every single they’ve ever had. This isn’t so bad for newer artists with a couple of albums. But for the ones with lengthy careers with over 10 albums, and likely two singles from each, that’s 90% of their set list for each tour, and each concert. The other 10% is likely songs from their newest album.

It’s fine to see them once, but what’s the point ever again? Usually, the singles aren’t even their best songs, though this will be different for literally everyone, what with each person having their own tastes and all, but it’s a real shame to know you will never even see them perform anything but their singles.

There are a few bands I would love to go see a second time, but not to see a near-identical set list, despite having hundreds of songs to choose from.

And then there’s those wily artists who have so many songs that are typically long that instead of playing an entire song, play one verse and the chorus, then jump into another song.

This drives me insane! I personally would rather hear 12 full songs instead of 25 fractions of songs.

One of the only bands I’ve seen that actually play varied sets is Alkaline Trio. As a result, I am about to see them for the fifth or sixth time.

alkaline trio live blue lights

These guys have a ton of songs from nearly a dozen albums, and each set is unexpected, for they seem to choose from all of them. Of all the times I’ve seen them, they only played one song at each concert, it was their closing song, so I guess they always close with that, and they played another one of their most popular songs all but one of the concerts I’ve seen them in. I may have seen a couple more played twice over the years, but for the most part, they’ve played different songs, which is why I keep coming back for more. Heck, they even did a tour of songs they hadn’t played in a while a few years back.

Most other bands, after I realize they’ve played nothing but singles is one and done. I won’t go see them again.

So what do you think? Do you like it when artists play singles and nothing but? Or do you prefer a varied set to encourage seeing them again?

How Is Google Stadia Considered A Console? And What Is It’s Purpose? Let’s Take A Look!

I play a lot of games and own a lot of consoles, and am a serious gamer. So you know, I’m part of the target audience for Stadia, right? Maybe? Truthfully I’m not sure. Maybe it’s for more casual gamers who don’t really own any consoles?

I remember when Google first announced their plans to create a streaming console. They said something along the lines of “stream all the new big games, no console, no discs, just instant access to whatever you want to play, for nothing more than a monthly payment.” All Stadia would be is a controller that connects to your TV or what-have-you, and away you’ll play.

I was immediately turned off to the idea of a console that requires you to have a steady internet connection just to play it. So I stopped paying attention to it.

Well, thanks to the collector in me, and a very good deal, I found myself with a free controller and one month subscription (also for free) for Stadia and here’s what I’ve got to say.

So either they falsely marketed it, or did a very bad job communicating their vision, or in the years up to it’s release they changed what it’s all about. I never read anything about it after it’s initial announcement so I can’t really say what went on.

So firstly, the “console” isn’t based off the controller. The console is a Google Chrome-only accessible…website basically, that is more or less an online store like epicgames.com. The convenient thing about this is you can access this literally on any device you have Chrome and a Google account on. So you can game anywhere where there’s an internet connection, so gaming on the go on your phone is out.

The controller can be used to connect to your computer, TV, phone, whatever, by inputting button codes telling the controller what to connect to. This works very well. After you download a couple apps on your phone needed to connect to all of them. Oh, and you’ll also need a Chromecast Ultra if you want to play on your TV, which does come with the Stadia Premium Edition, which it’s cost has been lowered to $99, probably due to lack of interest. You can play straight away on PC though, no apps, controllers or other accessories required.

So as I said, Stadia is an online store. Except it’s a very, very small store. You can browse through it’s entirety in about two minutes, if that.

So when they announced it, it sounded like all you had to do is pay for the subscription and unlimited access to every game on the store is yours.

Well, I hate to inform you that this is not the case. What you have “free” access to is an ever-growing handful of games that are given to subscribers, much like Amazon, Sony, and Xbox subscribers receive each month. But unlike those consoles, the Stadia games seem to stay up forever, instead of only giving you a month to claim them. The subscription fee is $10 dollars by the way, which is pretty gosh-darn reasonable.

Once claimed, you can play these games as long as you’re subscribed. Once you unsubscribe, they will still stick to your account, but you will be unable to play them until you subscribe again.

This would be okay, but there are only like 20-30 games (though it’s always growing), and most of them are indie games, and the low amount of big name games are several years old.

As for the brand new big name games they boasted about being able to play when first announced, there’s a few. Not many, and most of them are UbiSoft games, because they seem to have some type of deal with the popular gaming company, and you can even link your Stadia account to your UPlay account.

How do you play these new games, and the small selection of other games on the store? Well you have to buy them of course! At full price? You bet! Though they do run some pretty good sales by the looks of it, and subscribers get even bigger discounts.

Games you buy are at least playable whether you subscribe or not. But there’s a small catch. If you are not subscribed, you cannot play your games in 4K or use the best sound quality. Drats…No big deal to a lot of people I imagine.

I did try out one game, the latest Hitman (maybe?) and played it for about five-ten minutes. It ran fairly well, only hiccuping a couple times for like a second, which happens plenty of times in games that aren’t being streamed, so at least it works.

And that is all the details about Stadia.

So let’s break down Google’s “console.”

If you want the Chromecast and controller to be able to play anywhere but your PC, you have to pay $100. If you want to just play on PC, all you need to do is subscribe on their website/store for $10/month.

Once done, you can play a handful of free games you don’t want as long as you subscribe, and have to pay for games you do want to play, but in worse quality if unsubscribed.

Where is the console part here? This is basically Steam, UPlay, EA Origin, like all the other DRM’s out there, except you have to pay for it, so it’s more like UbiSoft and EA’s versions that you can subscribe to, but you seem to get a whole lot more with them.

Steam has a controller. It’s not called a console. I just don’t get why it’s considered a console. And I don’t get why anyone would ever subscribe to Stadia. There’s literally no reason to. And if you don’t have a great connection, then what’s the point? There’s too much competition, and not only in just the gaming market. There’s just entirely too many streaming services in general, and Stadia just isn’t worth yet another monthly subscription to add to Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, HBO Max, and the other 2000 streaming services out there. So I really don’t get it, and I imagine most people are on the same side as me, as it appears to be flopping pretty hard.

So basically, I wouldn’t be surprised if the store shut down thus all the games you bought are lost. That’s pretty infuriating even just to think about, and will be even more so, like 100fold, when it inevitably happens.