Kevin C. Wong

November 2020

Diary - Nov 21 to Nov 27 2020

I was working hard this week so a lot of empty notes. Working through a lonely Thanksgiving is a bit sadge.

Sat Nov 21 2020

Sleep 0700 to 1230. 1 hour nap. (6-1/2 hours)

Sun Nov 22 2020

Sleep 0415 to 1230. (8-1/4 hours)

Mon Nov 23 2020

Sleep 0830 to 1445. 2145 to 2300 (7-1/2 hours)

Tue Nov 24 2020

Sleep 0900 to 1500. (6 hours)

Wed Nov 25 2020

Sleep 0100 to 0645. 1345 to 1500. (7 hours)

  • Watched Crimson Tide. I love this film.

Thu Nov 26 2020

Sleep 0400 to 0930. (5-1/2 hours)

  • Shower (after 10 days)
  • Whole Foods for Fruit Tart and orange juice. Was fairly busy about noon.
  • KFC for $30 chicken and strips meal. Nice Thanksgiving meal.
  • Christopher dropped off a 1-person portion of their Thanksgiving meal. That was nice.

Fri Nov 27 2020

Sleep 0400 to 1215. (8-1/4 hours)

Humble Bundle Explore & Expand

I like science fiction. I like 4X games. Is the Explore & Expand bundle worth it?

$1 level

  • Halcyon 6: Lightspeed Edition (Mac 32-bit, $15) - Halcyon 6 + DLC, storyline reminds me of Star Trek Trexels and some of the elements are a bit similar (e.g. you build up a space station, train crew, and man station systems).
  • Rain of Reflections: Chapter 1, Set Free (Windows, $10) - Adventure game with turn-based tactical combat.
  • Sins of the Solar Empire: Trinity (Windows, $20) - Real-time 4X game. Looks like got replaced by SotSE: Rebellion. Looks a bit too complicated.

$7 level

  • Starpoint Gemini Warlords (Windows, $35) - 4X with ship combat and RPG elements.
  • Galactic Civilizations III (Windows, $40) - A huge game with lots of expensive expansions. Actually the base game includes Crusade, Mega Events and Retribution so Humble Bundle is being a bit misleading.
  • Galactic Civilizations III: Crusade Expansion Pack ($20)
  • Galactic Civilizations III: Mega Events DLC ($4)
  • Galactic Civilizations III: Retribution Expansion ($20)

$10 level

  • Stellaris: Galaxy Edition ($50) - 4X game from Paradox Interactive and they're pretty good about keeping games updated, though there are a lot of paid expansions which is why Paradox can continue supporting the base game. Galaxy upgrade is $10 and is basically non-game content: soundtrack, collector's book, novel.

So the bundle reduces to the one game I can play on my Mac, Stellaris base game ($40) at 75% off. Does not seem worth it.

Humble Bundle Winter Indie Sale

This sale has some good prices.

Shadow Tactics: Blades of the Shogun ($6, 85% off) - 2-1/2D stealth tactics game set in medieval Japan.

The Long Journey Home ($3, 90% off) - Humanity's first starship mis-jumps and ends up far from Earth. The crew must make their way home while exploring worlds and interacting with alien races.

Caravan ($1, 90% off) - Manage a caravan traveling through Arabian lands.

Bounty Train Trainium Edition ($3.50, 90% off) - Assemble a train and crew and travel the old west delivering cargo and fighting off bandits.

Diary - Nov 14 to Nov 20 2020

Sat Nov 14 2020

Sleep 0430 to 1330. (9 hours)

Sun Nov 15 2020

Sleep 0515 to 1045. (5-1/2 hours)

  • Firefox Monitor reported that 123RF had a data breach last March. I did use a unique password which I just changed. A lot of personal data got out too which I can't really do anything about other than be extra careful when a company communicates with me out of the blue.

Mon Nov 16 2020

Sleep 0300 to 1115. 2000 to 2100. (9-1/4 hours)

  • Safeway for groceries.
  • Night conference call both started late (2330) and ran 2-1/2 hours. Yikes.

Tue Nov 17 2020

Sleep 0645 to 1300. (6-1/4 hours)

  • Yes, I still have my Columbia Games here but decided I don't need to spend $150 + shipping on an accessory I'll never use.

Wed Nov 18 2020

Sleep 1200 to 1600. 30 min nap. (4-1/2 hours)

Thu Nov 19 2020

Sleep 0600 to 1130. 1545 to 1645. (6-1/2 hours)

  • Noble Knight holding their Winter Sale. Ordered 8 old issues of Strategy & Tactics and an old issue of Command magazine for $180. As I've said before, their used game prices are not cheap but they do a good job of cataloging condition and have good customer service.

Fri Nov 20 2020

Sleep 0530 to 1315. (7-3/4 hours)

  • Home insurance (including earthquake which about doubles it) is $3400.

Bundle of Holding - Symbaroum

Bundle of Holding - Symbaroum ($26)

Symbaroum - Core Rulebook ($17)
Symbaroum - Ambria and Davokar Map ($3)
Symbaroum - Advanced Player's Guide ($17)
Symbaroum - Ability & Powers Cards ($7)
Symbaroum - Adventure Pack 1 ($4)

Symbaroum - Mark of the Beast ($7) (Core Book Trilogy 2)
Symbaroum - Tomb of Dying Dreams ($9) (Core Book Trilogy 3)
Thistle Hold - Wrath of the Warden (Throne of Thorns 1) ($20)
Symbaroum - Davokar GM's Screen ($17)
The Art of Symbaroum ($20)

Bundle of Holding - Symbaroum Settings ($31)

Karvosti – The Witch Hammer (Throne of Thorns 2) ($20)
Yndaros - the Darkest Star (Throne of Thorns 3) ($24)
Symbaroum - Adventure Pack 2 ($11)

Symbar - Mother of Darkness (Throne of Thorns 4) ($20)
Symbaroum - Monster Codex ($24)
Symbaroum - Adventure Pack 3 ($16)

Symbaroum is Free League Publishing's dark fantasy RPG. Actually a good number of adventures. $57 for $236 of stuff so I think worthwhile buying.

DDO Rogue - Lvl 30 Equipment

Equipment I'm wearing at level 30. I'll probably be lazy and buy temporary equipment until I level back up to 30.


  • Eyes: Dream Visor (25) - I only use it for the +20 Spot so I probably should replace it something else.
  • Head: Legendary Wallwatch Circlet (29) - I have three Wallwatch items for a set. I like the special effect that slows down people.
  • Neck: Key of Rhukaan Draal (29) - You can only wear one artifact. This one increases my INT which helps my skills.
  • Trinket: Epic Treasure Hunter's Spyglass (28) - True Seeing and helps Search and Disable Device.
  • Armor: Legendary Wildwood Vest (29) - It's ok. My main defense is not getting hit in the first place and even with this on I still get one-shotted a lot.
  • Cloak: Cloak of the Mimic (28) - Deathblock is nice but that's pretty much all I have it for so I'd like to upgrade.
  • Wrists: Bracers of Twisting Shade (25) - Search and Disable Device +20 which is great for me.
  • Waist: Legendary Braided Cutcord (29) - Lots of DEX, the other stuff not so important.
  • Finger 1: Epic Ring of the Buccaneer (28) - Luck +4 (all skills) is nice and Underwater Action is convenient, though again could replace it with something better.
  • Finger 2: Initiate's Ring of Assassinate 6 - I don't think you can get better Assassinate bonuses and I need that for my Consume power.
  • Feet: Blackfeather Boots (21) - Feather Falling, Freedom of Movement, Speed +30% all very useful.
  • Hands: Legendary Wildwood Gauntlets (29) - +21% Dodge is great and Distant Diversion +33% is not bad for a shooter like me.
  • Weapon: Morninglord's Great Crossbow (29) - Holy 9, Fiery 9, Undead Bane 9, Alchemical Silver make it a good all-around weapon.

Diary - Nov 07 to Nov 13 2020

Sat Nov 07 2020

Sleep 0415 to 1015. 90 minute nap. (7-1/2 hours)

  • You can use Apple Cash as a payment source. I can't seem to add it on my Mac so I guess it's an iOS feature.
  • Evening grocery shopping at Safeway.

Sun Nov 08 2020

Sleep 0615 to 1400. (7-3/4 hours)

  • Reading some articles and I guess Trump's strategy makes Machiavellian sense. Undermine the USPS, encourage Republican voters to vote in person on election day (which also means having to downplay anti-COVID measures), discredit counting mailing ballots after the election (note some states don't start counting mail-ins until after in-person ballots are counted). Democrats tend to do more mail-ins so it was a way to disenfranchise a slice of voters which would overall affect more Democrats than Republicans.
  • 49ers lose at home to the Packers, 34-17 though it was 34-3 going to the 4th quarter.

Mon Nov 09 2020

Sleep 0300 to 1200. (9 hours)

  • DriveThruComics was having a 50% off sale for Valiant comics so I bought a few graphics novels. I like X-O Manowar and so-so on their other characters.

Tue Nov 10 2020

Sleep 0400 to 1100. (7 hours)

  • Been using my Apple Card more and more. $300 Twitch payment went through and $3500 home insurance payment so I'm getting more confidence in the card.

Wed Nov 11 2020

Sleep 0430 to 1230. (8 hours)

  • Veteran's Day holiday. Sadly, worked most of the day because it was a quiet day.

Thu Nov 12 2020

Sleep 0330 to 0930. (6 hours)

  • Bought Humble Bundle for Dungeon Crawl Classics. Looking at the products, the print prices are pretty cheap but the pdf prices are kind of high.

Fri Nov 13 2020

Sleep 0630 to 1430. (8 hours)

  • Finished reading GURPS WWII: Iron Cross. Making good speed. 1 hour a day is 16 pages (if all text) to 32 pages (of text and stats).

DDO Rogue - Shadowdancer Tree

We're going to do Epic Reincarnation and I'm too lazy to figure out a new Epic Destiny track or my equipment so I'm going to aim for the same setup I have now.


Epic Destiny: Shadowdancer

Tier 1: Shadow Lance x3 (I never use this)
Tier 1: Technician x3 (Must have for finding and removing traps)
Tier 2: Lithe x3 (Reflex save bonus is actually good for Rogues)
Tier 3: Grim Precision x3 (All fortification bypass bonuses are useful for Rogues)
Tier 4: Improved Invisibility x3 (Rarely used)
Tier 4: Pierce the Gloom (I'm rarely blinded and always forget to use this)
Tier 5: Untouchable (Extra dodge is nice)
Tier 5: Sealed Soul (Energy Drain immunity is really nice when you need it)
Tier 6: Consume (I finally figured out how to use this and it's great)
Tier 6: Shadow Form (I turn it on just for the cool floating effect)
Tier 6: Dark Imbuement (Useful enhancement to my attacks)

Pretty much everything was useful except for Shadow Lance. I'll replace with Stealthy x3 and I hope the +6 Assassinate DC also helps with Consume [postscript: it does help].

Twists of Fate

* Healing Spring - A little bit of extra healing is sometimes useful
* Stay Frosty - Half the time I forget to turn it on, but a bit of extra cold damage + slow down people is nice
* Fast Healing - This remains very useful, if nothing else means I almost always recover when I'm knocked below 0 HP.

Humble Sweet Farm Fall Bundle

Sweet Farm Bundle looks ok

Out There: Omega Edition ($2) - I have this on iOS. It's a pretty fun rouge-like space exploration game where all the equipment is used to upgrade your space ship.

Toejam & Earl: Back in the Groove ($5) - Some sort of cartoony adventure game.

Superhot ($10) - An fps where if you don't move the universe also doesn't move. Let's you think but there is no health regen or extra ammo so I guess it makes it a puzzle fps. Sounds interesting.

Moonlighter ($7) - Action rpg where you play a shopkeeper who moonlights as an adventurer.

Chuchel: Cherry Edition ($4) - Chuchel + soundtrak and art book. A puzzle game.

A Hat in Time ($15) - 3d platformer.

Coffee Talk ($10) - Sort of a bartender game but you're a barista. Hear your customers' stories then make the appropriate coffee drink for each. It's different.

Sigma Theory: Global Cold War ($11) - Strategy game of dueling national science teams. In order to be the first to develop the Sigma Theory you recruit a team and then research and attack the other teams. Looks kind of interesting.

Necronator: Dead Wrong ($12, Windows) - Deckbuilding roguelike. Build an undead army and conquer the surface world.

Bundle value = $73
Value I can use = $59 (minus Out There, Necronator)
Value I want = $31 (Superhot, Coffee Talk, Sigma Theory)

Paying $12 is still good value.

Diary - Oct 31 to Nov 06 2020

Sat Oct 31 2020

Sleep 0545 to 1345 (8 hours)

  • Apparently my AAA renewal went through Apple Card which I thought had been suspended. I wonder if I can start using my Apple Card again?

Sun Nov 01 2020

Sleep 0330 to 0730. 1330 to 1630. (7 hours)

Mon Nov 02 2020

Sleep 0500 to 1000. 90 min nap. (6-1/2 hours)

  • Paid my Xfinity bill with my Apple Card so apparently it's been unlocked since I have a bank account attached (I did before, I guess they finally noticed).

Tue Nov 03 2020

Sleep 0300 to 0715. (4-1/4 hours)

  • 0700 conference call and woke up late. Oops.

Wed Nov 04 2020

Sleep 0130 to 1100. (10-1/2 hours)

  • I think at this point my hand feels fine. So once I noticed the problem and tried to alleviate it still took a year to heal.
  • Wrote a check today (for dentist). Last check I wrote was back in March because almost everything can be paid online nowadays.

Thu Nov 05 2020

Sleep 0530 to 1200. (6-12 hours)

  • Election votes are still being counted. It's a despairingly close race.

Fri Nov 06 2020

Sleep 0200 to 0845. (6-3/4 hours)

  • Biden declared winner by AP. Things look good though Trump wants to get all legal about mail-in votes. It's only the first step though to a long road to recovery. It's easier to destroy than create and Trump did a lot of destroying.


EastFront Series Wargaming Map and Bundle - "A massive 68" x 44" neoprene wargaming mat for the entire EastFront WWII series by Columbia Games" (Ends Nov 30)

I was a little confused but the series is called EastFront, named after the first game with two additional games -- WestFront and EuroFront -- to do all of World War II. This map covers the maps in EastFront and WestFront so it is for all of World War II. $150 plus shipping (I presume) is a bit expensive but it is something that at most you'll have like 200 sales.

They Were Soldiers - "The board game of the battle that changed the war in Vietnam! 450 Americans faced long odds against the NVA at LZ X-Ray. Nov 14, 1965." (Ends Nov 15)

This game uses miniature soldiers with chips to indicate how many soldiers each figure represents. Each figure is five soldiers and each chip is an additional 5 or 10 soldiers (5 soldiers per combat step). So in general the scale seems to be squad to platoon level. I'm not into generic soldier figures; I do prefer counters with real unit designations (there is a "counters" version for $20 less and the counters do have unit IDs, at least for the US side). $70 for counters version + $15 shipping.

The Long Road - WW3 with a paranormal twist - "A story-driven, military-horror World War III strategy/wargame. Cannon and Bullet. Fang and Claw." (Ends Dec 03)

Mark H Walker developed World at War, a platoon level wargame series set in Europe after WW3 starts in the mid-1980s. Towards the end before he sold his company he was moving the series to having more supernatural elements, e.g. werewolves and vampires. Now Walker is back with another platoon level WW3 in the 1980s game (probably starting a series) but this time the paranormal stuff is there right away. The paranormal stuff is not interesting to me so good luck with that Mr Walker. $90 for the game + $20 shipping to continental USA.


Of the three the EastFront series map is most interesting.

DMCA and Twitch

So many Twitch people complain about DMCA but I'm not sure they understand why other than they can't play (for streamers) or listen (for viewers) to good music. One thing that seems obvious to me is that if the music is that wanted on stream then it has value and why are we blaming the labels for enforcing their copyrights?

The next thing is blaming DMCA itself. Before DMCA copyright holders had to sue directly both the service and infringing broadcasters (or at least threaten legal action). There are various problems with that (services have to either monitor aggressively or simply ban certain activities) and it lead to copyright extortion where you are threatened with a lawsuit unless you pay a hefty licensing fee.

DMCA is there to both decrease lawsuits (by having an administrative process for complaint, response, and strikes) which also promotes new social-type services since they don't have to worry about lawsuits if they have protocols in place. Remove DMCA and streamers would still have problems except it would be lawsuits rather than getting banned from a platform.

Why do old clips get copyright strikes? Copyright does not have a statute of limitation the same way as crimes. The time does not start when the infringement occurs but when the copyright holder knows about it. So everything on the Internet can get a strike no matter the age (because all new content on the Internet is less than 50 years old).

Can I avoid strikes by making VODs sub-only and not having clips? Yes, but realize that you're still infringing copyright. Just because it's not currently detectable doesn't mean you can go ahead and break copyright law.

Why can't Twitch get a broadcasting license on behalf of streamers, they have all that Amazon money? Broadcasting rights are expensive, for example at how many years it took for Apple and how much Spotify has to do to keep its license at radio station broadcasting level.