Comic of the Week: Daredevil #7

daredevil7

I haven’t done a comic of the week recommendation in a while because frankly, nothing has really blown my skirt that much lately in the world of comics, until today. Mark Waid’s run on Daredevil has been nothing short of excellent and issue #7 of the current run should be looked upon as a classic issue.

After the Original Sin event Matt Murdock has a flashback to his dad who he idolized. Except the memory shows Matt that his dad may not have been the man he thought he was so Matt suits up as Daredevil to find the only person who can tell him the truth, his mother.

I guess the reason I liked this issue a lot is it because it touched upon a lot of things that I experienced in my life both young and old but I won’t spoil it for you. Pick up this issue as soon as you can.

Why the States’ bad deals with tobacco are bad for vaping

graft

Recently ProPublica published an extensive article about their investigations into the U.S. states and how they’ve used the money from tobacco settlements. Turns out, not so good. Too many states entered “it’s my money and I want it now” type deals with Wall Street think that the tobacco money would be as steady source of capital.

While I wouldn’t be foolish enough to say that this is the main reason why so many states are eager to regulate vaping and e-cigarettes I would definitely say that it is a major contributing factor. Since they bled the tobacco well dry they’re going to follow its old users and try to collect the money from their new, albeit less addictive, hobby.

Wal-Mart sells vaping products; why this is a good thing

The Haus Personal Vaporizer

The Haus Personal Vaporizer

First let’s get this out of the way. In the interest of transparency I am not adverse to selling out but this is a non-sponsored post.

Since I’m poor I have to shop at Wal-Mart to help get by. It’s not new that they sell e-cigs but imagine my surprise when I see that they’re selling vaporizers and e-juice too. Just one brand though, The Haus Personal Vaporizer by the same company who makes Mistic e-cigs.

I didn’t purchase one due to funds being tight and I don’t feel knowledgeable enough to do a product review on one of these but allow me to present this informative review that I found on YouTube at the Gear Obsession channel.

So it appears to be a decent product.

What really caught my attention is that it says it’s cheaper than a trip to the vape store. After looking at the prices on their website I wouldn’t necessarily say cheaper but Wal-Marts, and some gas stations, are definitely closer to home than my vape store.

While it may cut into the vape store profits a little bit I think this is good for the vaping community as a whole. If a large-scale retailer like Wal-Mart is backing vaping even on a starter kit like this it could mean having a very big dog in the fight against over-regulation by the FDA. I think this is also good for vape stores because the Haus e-juice is only available in one nicotine strength and that’s full flavored. They list it as 2.4% nicotine. If I had to hazard a guess I would say it was at 18mg or above. Anyone looking to decrease their nicotine intake would inevitably end up in their local vape shop.

I realize this is all ‘perfect world’ theorizing on my part but you never know.

Trench’s adventures in Linux: Zorin OS 9 Lite takes the EEE PC challenge

zorin

Recently Zorin OS released the Lite version of their Ubuntu based Linux distro. It is intended for older and low powered computers so I was anxious to see how it would fare on my Asus EEE PC 701 4G Surf. For those of you new to this feature the 4G means it only has a 4GB hard drive.

The good news is that it Zorin OS 9 Lite does fit on the 4GB hard drive after install. The bad news is there’s not enough hard drive space left to do any updates.

However if you have an older or low-powered computer that is in need of repurposing that has a hard drive larger than 4GB I would highly recommend Zorin OS 9 Lite. Zorin always makes a solid distro without a steep learning curve for new users. OS 9 Lite is no different.

Suicide is selfish

typeonegativesuicide

So as we all have heard by now a renowned celebrity killed himself recently. When my wife told me the news I said that I don’t get it. She said to me that I of all people should get it. What she means is that I suffer from depression, horribly. Also in my younger years I have attempted suicide. I tried in my teens because of a hellish situation at home and in my mid 20s because I experienced a drastic life change for the worse at the time. I have not made any attempts since then. That’s not to say the thought never enters my mind but I digress.

Getting back to the celebrity in question, the reason I don’t get it is because as far as I can tell he had the means and resources to get help. I’ve heard reports that he committed suicide due to financial issues but how bad could they have been? Would they be to the level where he would have to live on the street? I doubt it. I’m not faulting him for being successful in his career but he should have taken advantage of that success in order to get help.

Suicide mostly has to do with mental illness, no one knows that better than me, however it is also an act of selfishness. No matter who you are if you take your own life it will have repercussions among those closest to you for years to come and may affect someone in a negative way for the rest of their life.

Take me for example. Like I’ve mention ad nauseam I suffer from depression. I take medication for it which helps but there are still bad days. For example right now I’m unemployed. I have been for the past 7 months. I didn’t work at my previous job, which was a temp job, long enough to be able to collect unemployment. What little money I’m able to scrounge up comes from panhandling to friends and strangers on the internet. I can’t even get hired by retail or fast food let alone my own field.

My car is in a serious state of disrepair. Because of my financial situation I am unable to get the car repaired which means I can’t get inspected or registered for the year. Because of that the car has been ticketed multiple times for having expired tags. In less than 30 days I have to do one of the following, pay a $250 fine which only delays getting ticketed again, turn in the tags which leaves me with no transportation, or go to jail for not doing the previous two.

Speaking of my meds, I have to ration them because I don’t know when I’ll be able to afford them again or be able to afford a visit to the doctor’s.

The past seven months have been very hard not only on me but my family as well and yes there are some days where I’m so depressed that I pray for the release of death. A situation like this I’m sure has broken people before but I persevere. I have to. There is no other way. I have no choice. I have a family who would be devastated if I were to take my own life. I care for them too much to ever do that to them no matter how bleak my situation gets. I don’t tell you this for your pity, I tell you this because suicide is not a normal or healthy thought.

If you are considering suicide I urge you to get mental help as quick as you can. There’s no shame in admitting that you need help.

Trench’s Adventures in Linux: The Android Desktop Experience

android

The other day I found a Linux distro that is supposed to turn your PC into an Android device. Not only that but the distro had a variation just for EEE PCs. So I fired up the old 4G Surf and installed this particular distro.

It installed fine and there was plenty of space left on the hard drive. As for the Android portion of it GMail took forever to load, YouTube refused to work and Chrome would crash upon launching.

So it’s exactly like Android.

Government backed study shows benefits of vaping but does it matter?

medical-Study

In a study that was partially funded by the U.S. National Institutes of Health researchers have said that the benefits of vaping outweigh the risks.

“Current evidence suggests that there is a potential for smokers to reduce their health risks if electronic cigarettes are used in place of tobacco cigarettes and are considered a step toward ending all tobacco and nicotine use,” said study researcher Thomas Eissenberg, co-director of the Center for the Study of Tobacco Products at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond.

But does any of this matter? Does the issue of vaping and e-cigs have more to do with money than the health of our country? As I’ve said before I feel that if more smokers switch to vaping or e-cigs rather than continue to use tobacco a lot of organizations that claim to be for the public good will see decreased funding. Not only that but the government will see decreased revenues since tobacco is taxed so heavily.

I feel that we are fighting a losing battle. FDA regulation is inevitable based on money alone. The only question now is how restrictive will that regulation be?

Is Red Hood DLC really retailer exclusive?

batman-arkham-knight-red-hood-dlc

I’m not as big of a gamer as I used to be however there is at least one game franchise I will drop everything for and that’s the Batman: Arkham series.

Recently, it was announced that the next game in the series, Arkham Knight, will have Red Hood DLC. You already had me sold but to add Red Hood, one of my favorite DC characters, into the mix and you just guaranteed a purchase from me, except for one thing. The DLC is said to be a pre-order exclusive for Game Stop but will it really.

My history with DLC is very limited. I usually wait for Ultimate of Game of the Year editions to come out to get all the content at a better price than buying all the DLC at the time of its release. I did this with Arkham Asylum and Fallout: New Vegas. Will they really keep the Red Hood DLC exclusive once the Ultimate edition is released of keep it from season pass buyers? I highly doubt it since that would be limiting potential revenue from future sales.

Another vaping ban based on ignorance

vapinglounge

Vaping lounges are basically coffees shops for vapers. You can go there and hang out, talk with other vapers, maybe enjoy a new flavor of e-juice, etc. You would think that people would be happy that so many people are quitting smoking that lounges are being established to encourage that kind of behavior. In Signal Hill, California not so much.

If the mayor and city council get their way all vaping lounges will be banned within their city limits. I don’t know how big Signal Hill is or if there are already any vaping lounges there. What I do care about is the idiocy in which this ban is moving forward. Let’s hear from His Honor…

Signal Hill Mayor Ed Wilson, who declared he doesn’t smoke, said his main concern with e-cigarettes is the potential for use among underage children, particularly since there are currently no federal age restrictions.
“The increase in kids doing it has been astronomical,” he said. “And the problem is we don’t know if nicotine is in [the liquid]… and nicotine is addicting. Every time I see someone who has one, they can never ever put it down. And they hold it. They walk around with it. It’s in their hand all day long.”

With all due respect Mr. Mayor, you sound like a moron. Are kids trying this any more than smoking? Somehow I doubt it since any vape store or lounge I’ve ever been in does not permit minors to be in their establishments. I wonder who told you otherwise. Was it some staffer or some talking head you saw on TV? Yes, there is nicotine in most e-juices. It’s what allows us ex-smokers to transition from smoking to the less dangerous vaping and it also allows us to decrease our nicotine intake to zero if we so desire, something that cigarettes don’t allow us to do. Lastly so what if someone has one in their hand all day? I don’t vape like that but that’s up to the individual but anytime they have a mod or e-cig in their hand is time that they are not smoking.

Politicians may just be the dumbest people of the face of the planet.

Trench’s adventures in Linux: Zorin OS 9 Core

zorin

Zorin OS Core has been one of my favorite Linux distros since OS 5 Core. Recently they announced the release of Zorin OS 9 Core. Again, this is another distro that I can’t say enough good things about.

OS 9 Core is based on Ubuntu 14.04 so it should be supported for a long time. Zorin had always prided itself on being the Linux distro that eases former Windows users into Linux. Not only does it do a great job of that but it’s a great distro for regular Linux users as well. It’s not the most customizable distro but has some great themes included. The look changer can make it feel like Windows 7, Windows XP or Gnome 2. IT also has three great looking and crisp themes in light, dark and blue. It comes pre-installed with Firefox as the browser however Zorin has a browser installer feature that will install Chrome and some other browsers as well. If you’re looking to get into Linux this is the distro for you. If you’re a current Linux user and just want something that works that you don’t have to mess around with Zorin is a great choice.

My only complaints are very minor ones. The first is that it didn’t come pre-installed with the Gdebi package manager but that can be quickly rectified. The other is that I wouldn’t really recommend Zorin OS 9 Core for older computers. It was very sluggish on my EEEBox however Zorin will more than likely be releasing their Lite version of 9 soon that is designed for older computers.