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    • Thanks to the internet, it's now much easier to shop. In a matter of seconds we can buy pretty much anything online, from almost anywhere in the world. Sometimes, the ease with which we can make a purchase leads to impulse buying, as opposed to a planned purchase.

      My most recent impulse buy was just a few minutes ago, which gave me the idea for this post. I was about to play a video game on Steam, and on the homepage I saw this game which was featured - A Plague Tale: Innocence. The lead image was plastered with excellent review scores, the game was awarded Steam's Outstanding Story-Rich Game Award, and it was on sale for 66% off. As someone who loves a good story, I decided to buy this game based solely on what I had learned about it in a minute. I know nothing else about the game, other than what I just saw on Steam. Textbook definition of an impulse buy.

      What was the last thing that you bough on an impulse? Maybe you were window shopping and saw something you bought a few minutes later? Maybe you saw an ad for something online and instantly bought it? Don't worry, we won't judge you.

    • Oh, nooooo... My wife better not read this or she will, on impulse, bitch slap me.

      Given the insanity of the coronavirus response, I bought this coffee mug on impulse:

    • Well, I broke down last night and bought CBS All Access on Apple TV - mostly so I could watch Picard.

      So far so good, Picard has great sets, scenes, story value, and acting. Much better than much of the drek I've been finding on Netflix. Time will tell if I decide to keep it.

    • I received the "free" Hulu when I subscribed to Spotify premium.

      I love my Spotify, but the "free" Hulu was virtually unwatchable - they apparently think I should be willing to sit through 6 or 8 consecutively run adds, interrupting the programming, every 12 minutes - literally 1/3 of the viewing time. I dropped Hulu like a hot potato. They kept sending me emails inviting me back, which I have blocked it in the email stack now.

      One thing streaming has taught me, how awful it is to watch programming that is interrupted by advertisments. I truly do not like it at all. Needless to say, broadcast TV gets little of my attention too.

    • I just can’t do ads anymore. It’s impossible to imagine not paying $10/month for YouTube Red to skip their ads, but I guess only 1% of their daily users do it.

    • One thing streaming has taught me, how awful it is to watch programming that is interrupted by advertisments. I truly do not like it at all.

      I received a free subscription to Quibi and they have one 10 second ad before each 7-8 minute episode. It’s literally over before I would think to mute it. (Tagging @gorudy since he’s interested in learning more about that streaming service.)

    • Reasons to get Hulu:

      • The Handmaid’s Tale. Brutal dystopian world where women lose all rights and are subject to a government patriarchy. Each season was brilliant.

      Devs. A near future drama on determinism starring Nick Offerman. @Victoria did a great review of this new series.

      Lodge 49. A quirky little comedy about a hopelessly lost surfer who joins a secret society.

      Future Man. A bit of a spoof on The Last Starfighter. A janitor completes a video game, which was a test to find the savior of the future.

    • I had my own gaming one a few nights ago and bought a bundle of Galaga, Pac Man, and Dig Dug for 4 bucks.

      A Plague Tale looked interesting and was on Game Pass so I installed it but haven't tried it yet. Let me know what you think of it, I need a push to start it since I have too many great games in my queue right now.

      Also Game Pass has had the benefit of cutting my impulse purchases. Since Christmas a majority of the games I've bought have turned up on there. I've had to make a rule that unless I really really want it to play right then if it's for XBox or third party I should wait. Even Untitled Goose Game is on there now.

    • I started playing it a couple of hours ago. Got through the first two chapters and so far I love it. It reminds me of Horizon Zero Dawn, another game which I absolutely loved, not just because of the game play but also because of the main character. The game looks amazing, has incredible music, and the story is already pulling me in from the very beginning. If you like good story-driven games you'll probably enjoy this as well.

    • I'm at the same point now and it seems pretty good. Have you tried Hellblade Senua's Sacrifice? Based on what you just wrote it sounds up your alley.

    • Have you gotten any further? I played another 1.5 chapters and while the overall feel and story has been great the gameplay is starting to take me away from it.

      There's all this great scenery but I'm not actually looking at it much, instead my eyes are searching for the highlighted object to pick up or use to advance.

    • I've reached chapter 9 so far and I'm still enjoying it. The looting does take precedence most times, but since loot is quite rare to find it doesn't bother me that much to take a quick glance around a room before moving on. Chapter 9 is the most gameplay-heavy chapter so far. We're on our own, no friends and no brother to look after, and we have to contend with both the Inquisition and rats at the same time. Lots of problem solving elements as we figure out how to maneuver around both enemies.

    • That's about the perfect length for me, I'm only somewhat into it because of that simple gameplay but at chapter 8 the story and emotion might keep me in until the end. Like that one pig, and Hugo talking to him, that and what happens after is a solid emotional moment which is rare in games.

      But that gameplay...

      99% of it is holding your hand where you just see what to do next being highlighted. I haven't been really stuck at any point but a few have taken a some deaths until they've built up enough of the game vocabulary* for you to look out of this other thing that's not as clear. Normally this isn't a big deal since in most games you learn it early on and it becomes a core part of the gameplay but with those sections being so rare it can take awhile.

      *By that I mean teaching the player what everything means. Like in Super Mario Bros world 1-1 you learn almost everything that you'll need to play the game with that sort level.

    • I finished it last week and my main complaint would be that really simple combat system. Not only did it not have much depth it was a little clunky so it's one of those games where when you die you think it's more the game's fault than yours. Some combat is more like an environmental puzzle which was interesting but that's limited.

      The story I think was really strong in the beginning when it was about the 2 kids trying to survive on the run in a very hostile world. But when it moved into a "save the world" plot it lost a lot of what made it unique. This doesn't mean that it was bad for that part of the game but it didn't have the same impact as the initial plot.

      Overall it's definitely worth a play.

    • I am finally buying a dash mounted cell phone holders for my 4Runner.

      As of July 1, it is no longer legal to hold a phone in a moving car in Indiana, so a phone holder mount is in order. I have had one in my truck for a couple years, but always stuck my phone in a cup holder in the console in the 4Runner - and it is way too low down there to see, and not easy to use as a navigation tool - time to upgrade.

      iOttie Easy One Touch 4 Dash & Windshield Car Mount Phone - found on Amazon,

      and recomended in an article about Road Trips goodies in WSJ

      Totally an impulse purchase, but a reasonable and appropriate one due to local law and circumstances. 😎

    • I've been liking the Anker Soundcore Q20 ANC headset that I picked up and I saw these on sale for about 25 bucks.


      For the money I'm really impressed. The audio is better than I'd expect from regular wired earbuds you'd pick up at a store for that price and they even have decent bass to them. I haven't had any issues with battery life even when listening for a few hours at a time. The one thing is whenever I'm riding the T again it'll be a look with these 2 big things sticking out my ears... it's not quite Surface Earbud level but you definitely can see them. Though the norm now is little sticks coming out your ears from earpod/similar models so I don't know how big of a deal that actually is. The little "wings" they come with are great and needed if you plan on using the buttons on them as controls.

      The only downside is that they don't have APTX so you will get a minor delay with video. It's not horrible by any means with Bluetooth 5.0 and I'm pretty sensitive to these things but it's there.xz