Saturday, July 25, 2020

Guitar Hero 3 PS3 Les Paul Wireless Controller

Back in 2015 or 2016, I walked into a pawn shop to look for video games. Next to the games, I saw two of the Guitar Hero controllers for the PS3.

These two controllers were bundled together and were for sale for $10. That price seemed very cheap for the controllers so I handed over some cash and bought the bundle.

I checked online what these sold for on Amazon and I saw that one controller alone sold for about $30 used. Something odd about the listing was that most of the controllers did not include the dongle (wireless receiver). Without the receiver, you can't use the guitar controller.

Luckily for me, my bundle came with the receivers. I put my listing on Amazon for $50 each (controller and receiver) and I sold both within a few weeks or months.

This is how I started spiraling and raiding pawn shops for video games.

Since then, I've never seen these controllers being sold for this cheap again. Today, getting a Guitar Hero PS3 controller online will cost about $80. From 2006 to 2010, there were several installments in the Guitar Hero and Rock Band series which used the Guitar Hero controller. Guitar Hero Warriors of Rock was the last game in the standard series before the next Guitar Hero game came out.

In 2015, Guitar Hero Live was released and a different controller was used for that game. Instead of 5 fret buttons in a row, the new controller has 2 rows of 3 fret button each. The Les Paul controller would not work with that game and no Guitar Hero games were made since then.

I don't think Red Octane or Harmonix still make new controllers and I'm not aware of any third party guitar controllers. This means that all the GH3 controllers that exist are the only controllers left. This controller is required to have the classic Guitar Hero experience. Further more, these controllers don't last forever. After too much use, these controllers break down. If they aren't repaired, the total number of GH3 controllers will decrease over time.

Sunday, June 14, 2020

Old Man Experience

Whenever the world looks like its falling apart, look towards the elders, men of great experience and take a look at how they are reacting. If the old men are scared, then the world is pretty much doomed. But men of great experience have lived so long that almost nothing surprises them. After all, there are men out there that had to fight in WW2. Compared to D-Day, nothing after that seems like that big of a deal.

History tends to run in cycles and you might realize you are getting older when you start seeing things repeat. In the last few weeks, protests have been organized all over cities of America. Mostly peaceful demonstrations but you still see stuff like fires, looting, assaults, and that sort of thing. It tends to happen in election years and whenever the media hypes up a murder. I remember the riots from 2014 and 2016 in Ferguson, Baltimore, and Chicago. But, I was thinking about the recent protests. The last time I saw that much of an organized protest was 10 years ago. It was the Occupy Wall Street protests.

Back then, they wanted accountability for the rich who created the financial meltdown of 2009. Actually, I can't remember what they were trying to accomplish or how successful they were. I don't recall more than one banker going to jail for the financial meltdown.

Today, I'm not sure what BLM is trying to achieve. The biggest thing they are asking for is either defunding the police or abolishing the police. But to what extent? Are they trying to do this all over America? Will they try to establish new police with them in charge?

In both sets of protests, there are people trying to take over land and make some sort of new society. Neither one will last any significant amount of time.

2020 Firsts

This year, I've seen stuff I've never seen before in my life.

It first starting with the covid in China and I heard accounts of entire cities being quarantined. It took until March before fear and panic came to the United States.

It was the first time I saw rationing of certain items in grocery stores like water, paper products, etc. I've never seen shelves cleaned off so much during March/April.

It was the first time I ever saw lockdown orders of US cities and seeing businesses almost completely shutdown. All over, I saw dining rooms shut down or at least limited to half capacity.

It was the first time I ever saw tape on the ground to make people stand far from others. It was also the first time I saw so many people wear surgical masks in the general public.

It was the first time I was able to see cases and deaths being tracked on a hourly basis online.

It was the first time I've ever seen cities instate curfews due to political unrest.

The year isn't even half over yet.

Thursday, October 24, 2019

3 Classes of People

This comes from George Orwell's book 1984.

There are 3 classes of people in the world (bottom, middle, and top).

The people at the bottom struggle every day just to survive, eat, and pay bills.

The people at the top hold most of the wealth and power and strive to hold on to it.

The people in the middle want to switch places with the people on top.

This is human nature. And this is why I'm cynical of anyone advocating for _________.

I know it never stops there. Any group of people who do gain ___________ will not stop there.

They will keep pushing forward for more and more. It is human nature.

Sunday, July 21, 2019

Locked out of heaven

I tried to get down to pray but I could not remember his name.

I found a bible and opened it but all the pages were blank.

Saturday, April 20, 2019

RSM: Andy Macdonald 78 point run X Games 2018

The thing I like about Andy Macdonald is that he is just about a universal constant at the X Games. Every single year, he is in the events. From 1995 to 2018, I don't think he has missed a single year.

The first time he won gold at skateboard vert was 1996 with his 89 point run. Back then, skaters had 3 45 second runs and the highest two scores would be averaged together.

His most recent run was in Minnesota in 2018. The format changed several years ago. For the last several years, the skateboard vert competition was 3 30 second runs and only the highest scoring run matters.

Andy puts down a really solid run and his run is undoubtedly far better than his 1996 run, however his run only got a score of 78. Over the course of 23 years, vert skating progressed so much and the talent pool increased so much. That being said, it is great to see one of the original riders keep coming back year after year.

The vert ramp appears to be 13 feet tall and has two 18 feet roll in ramps to start skaters off with lots of momentum.

Andy starts off with a large Backside 540 Melon about 4 feet out but he travels what looks like 8 to 10 feet across the vert ramp. He then does a Backside Kickflip Indy about 5 feet out and does another Backside Kickflip to Indy about 4 feet out on the third wall.

On the fourth wall, he does a McTwist about 4 feet out and he does a Mute to Fakie on wall 5.

Andy did the Mute to Fakie to setup for the 720 that he does on wall 6. He gets about 3 feet out.

On Wall 7, he does a Backside Madonna more than 2 feet out. What is cool about this trick is that it is usually done frontside. I hardly ever see this trick done backside. Going frontside, the front leg gets kicked off the board and is leaning in towards the ramp. Doing this trick backside, you have to kick the front leg off towards the air which is much more difficult to do.

On wall 8, Andy does a Frontside Rodeo. He grabs the board backside and spins a frontside 540. This is a difficult way to spin so it looks like Andy gets completely inverted during the spin. He gets about one or two feet over the coping during the spin.

On wall 9, Andy does a Frontside Eggplant. At first, I thought this was a Frontside Invert but Andy is grabbing the board with his front hand and holding the coping with his back hand.

On wall 10, he does a Backside Indy about 2 to 3 feet out.

On wall 11, he does a Backside Body Varial 540 about 3 feet out. This is a trick he has done for several years seeing this trick being done as far back as his winning run in 1996.

While rolling towards wall 12, time seems to run out so it is not certain if Andy's last trick gets counted. On Wall 12, Andy does what appears to be a Frontside Body Varial Lipslide. It is hard to accurately name this trick but Andy rolls up to the coping going backside and his body spins frontside so that when Andy lands back on the board, he is sliding a backside lipslide.

During this run Andy does:

12 total tricks
10 tricks in the air
2 tricks on coping
4 tricks with a 540 rotation
1 trick with a 720 rotation
2 flip tricks
1 handplant
1 trick to fakie

Throughout Andy's run, he does the first 5 tricks in the 4 to 5 foot range. After the 720, the rest of tricks are in the 2 to 4 foot range. He does 3 540 variations including the 540 Body Varial which is always fun to look at. He does his 720 which isn't seen that much in competition. He repeats the Backside Kickflip Indy really early during the run. And he finishes his run with a unique trick (Body Varial Lipslide) which might or might not have counted towards his score.

This run was far more impressive than his 1996 Gold Medal run however he only got a score of 78. There are a couple of noteworthy differences though.

His run in 1996 lasted 45 seconds compared to the 30 second run in 2018. In 1996, Andy did 19 total tricks compared to 12 in 2018.

The ramp used in 1996 was very different as it only had a small extension and no massive roll ins. The massive roll ins lets skaters start a run with extraordinary momentum and carry that speed and height for the first several tricks of the run. Because of the different ramp setups, Andy's run in 1996 had several setup airs. Out of 19 tricks done in 1996, Andy did about 7 setup airs and did 2 stalls on the coping to set up for other tricks.

Also, the format was different. Back in 1996, the average of the highest 2 runs were taken to determine a final score. In later years, only the highest run counted. This meant that skaters had to be far more consistent in the late 90s to secure a spot on the podium. As a result, skaters back then had to be more conservative until 2 runs were finished and then gamble with the third run.

In 2018, each skater got 3 runs and only 30 seconds per run. For this reason, every trick has to count. In 2018, Andy did maybe one or two setup airs (Mute of Fakie and Backside Indy).

In 2018, the Gold Medal was won by Jimmy Wilkins with a score of 89. We will take a look at that run soon.

Monday, April 15, 2019

RSM: Andy MacDonald Winning Vert Run X Games 2

While looking for old footage of X Games Vert Runs, I kept running into the limitations of internet records. While I used to think you could find anything posted online, there is a lot of footage that I just can't find online.

X Games 2 took place in Rhode Island. Back then the format was 3 45 second runs. The lowest run was dropped and the highest 2 runs were averaged together. Back then, there was a bigger emphasis on consistency.

Andy MacDonald won this competition with his highest run scoring an 89. I never watched this contest when it first aired in 1996 however I was lucky enough that it was aired on Eurosport and posted up to youtube.

Andy's 89 scoring run was his third run and he had to knock off Tony Hawk from first. After watching this run, you really see how much vert has progressed over the last 20 plus years. Andy's run had several setup airs, repeat tricks, and stalls used for setup. Despite that, it is still fun to watch these old runs.

This vert ramp appears to be 12 feet high.

Andy starts off his run with a Frontside 5-0 on the first wall and leads into a 3 to 4 foot Frontside Air on the second wall.

He hits wall 3 with about a four foot Backside Melon on the extension and gets a 5 foot Backside Method on wall 4.

On wall 4, he does a 5 foot Frontside Indy Stiffy and leads into a Frontside Stalefish about 3 foot out on wall 6.

On walls 7 and 8, Andy does a four foot Frontside Mute and a three to four foot Backside Melon.

On wall 9, he does a McTwist about 4 to 5 feet high. He follows that up with a 4 to 5 foot Backside Melon on wall 10.

On wall 11, he does a four to five foot Backside Kickflip to Indy and follows it up with a Frontside Madonna about 2 to 3 feet out on wall 12.

On wall 13, he does a Backside Axel to set up for a Frontside Wrap Around about 2 feet out on wall 14.

He does another Backside Axel on wall 15 to setup the next trick. On wall 16, he busts out one of the most difficult tricks in his run. He does a Backside 540 Body Varial 3 to 4 feet out on the wall.

For further clarification, Andy's body spins a 540 going backside while his skateboard spins 360 going backside.

On wall 17, he does a Backside Varial four to five feet out and does a Backside 360 Varial on wall 18 about 3 feet out.

On wall 19, he finishes out his run with a Nollie Heelflip Indy to Fakie about one foot out.

During Andy's Run, he does the following:

19 total tricks
16 tricks in the air
3 tricks on the coping
2 tricks spinning a 540 rotation
1 trick landing in fakie
1 grind
2 stalls
7 tricks going Frontside
10 tricks going Backside
2 flip tricks

During this run, Andy repeats a Frontside Air, Backside Axle, and a Backside Melon.
He kept most of his air tricks up around the 4 foot range.
No switch tricks were done and there were a lot of setup airs.

The highlights of the run include the Backside 540 Body Varial as well as the Nollie Heelflip Indy to Fakie. He also did a Backside 360 Varial and a Frontside Wrap Around which were not seen that often during this competition. He also does a McTwist in his run but it was a common trick back then.

I do wonder what a run like this would score today. In the last several vert competitions, you wouldn't see basic stall tricks for setups or several basic airs.

Luckily, Andy has competed consistently in just about every X Games since inception so we can actually compare the scores from his 2018 Vert run to this one.