Don’t! Stop!

When booking a flight recently, I made the mistake of giving the airline my phone number. This is what happened:

  • First, they tell me to reply STOP to cancel.
  • Then when I do, they tell me to reply STOP * to cancel.
  • Then they tell me that I am opted out.
  • Then they tell me that they are sending message again.

Good Grief!

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Vega Conflict: Time Off

Recently. Kixeye introduced a new feature, called Time Tokens. These are usually given as prizes for events. They some in many shapes, flavors, and sizes:

Shapes: They are divided into ship and module tokens. The module tokens are divided into upgrade and refit tokens. They are rare. The ship tokens are divided into Build and Refit tokens. Refit tokens are rare. Most of the ones offered thus far have been ship build, which is of no help whatsoever to players who have empty hulls lying around.

Flavors: Ship tokens are then further divided by faction. There are tokens for Vega, VSec, Iron Star, Demon Corps, Xeno Division and A.X.I.S. Vega and VSec tokens are usually offered in Planet Strike events, Iron Star and Demon Corps tokens are usually available in Sector Strike, and Xeno and A.X.I.S. are usually available in Monthly and Alien events.

Sizes: Time tokens are currently available in the following sizes:

  • 1 hour
  • 4 hours
  • 8 hours
    12 hours
  • 24 hours (base only)

What’s wrong with Time Tokens?

  • All tokens have an expiry date: this can be as long as four days (for a 12-hour token) and as short as One Day (off a one-hour token). It is this last point that is most irksome. Too many ship build tokens expire because they were awarded in the middle of a multi-day refit.
  • Time tokens are excessively specialized: There are so many different “shapes” and “flavors” available that the chances of getting a particular type of token when you can actually use it is slim.

Taking all of the above into account, it is fairly obvious that unless you are about to build a specific ship, Time Tokens are next to useless. If you are in the middle of the wrong build or refit, your tokens will likely expire before you can use them.

Having said all that, here are a few tips to make Time Tokens more usable:

  • Keep your refits small: most items can be fitted in three days or less (one glaring exception is JumpDrives, which can take up to ten days to fit). Small refits lessen the possibility of having your Ship Factory tied up when a Build or Refit discount becomes available.
  • Build your ships “naked”: most ships can be built within a week (Exception: Carriers). the only time you should not build your ships naked is if there is a discount, or your tokens are enough to cover the extra items.
  • Check the Calendar and make sure that your ship factory is ready when the tokens are available.
  • Redeem your time tokens as late as possible: Most event stores close a day after the event ends. This will extend the time that your tokens can be used by up to an extra day, which is critical with the shorter-duration tokens.

Using Time Tokens properly

  • Calculate the total time tokens you have for a build. For a typical event, getting all the tokens for one ship will give you sixty hours – 2.5 days.
  • Calculate the time required for your build. Go into your Ship Factory and calculate the number of hours. Take off 10% for alliance help, and take off any discounts that may be on offer.
  • From the above two figures, you can calculate the amount of time you will need to complete the build after discounts, alliance help and Time Tokens have been used. If the build time is less than the tokens available, (for instance, a Condor or an Eagle), and you’re not going to use the tokens afterwards, add extra weapons/armor/specials until you have used up the tokens.#Start the build, but do not use the tokens yet! Once you have used the tokens you will not get them back if you cancel the build.
  • Wait until you have full alliance help, add your time tokens. Remember, once you have spent a time token it is gone.

Real Twaddle

Once in a while you see a video that is so full of crap that you cannot remain silent

 

This whole “Real Man™” thing is quite laughable, and is a creation of women.

Women dream of “finding that special someone” – and there is nothing wrong with that… but all too often they have a list of non-negotiable qualities (must be tall, handsome, confident, brave, bold, charming, adventurous, generous, honorable..), that said list only increases in length as they get older and their charms (and options) fade.

If that wasn’t bad enough, women are actively putting off marriage, effectively sacrificing it on the altar of career. Too many times they hit the big three-oh and — shock horror — find that not only can they not get the men that they want, but the ones they rejected in the past for the most trivial of reasons (“he’s too short” “his eyes are too close together”) are now off the market, or looking past them to younger, hotter, tighter models. What follows looks a lot like the five stage of grief: Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Acceptance… and Cats. Don’t be that girl.

At the same time, the kind of men that they are looking for (fit, healthy and affluent) are starting to realize their value. What then follows is a game of musical chairs throughout their thirties and forties. By fifty, it is a bloodbath with dozens of women chasing each “eligible” man… only to find that he is chasing girls ten or even fifteen years younger.

So how does a girl marry once and for life? Here is my advice, based in observation and personal experience:

  1. Marry Young: These days, women are putting off marriage into their thirties, a point at which their most fertile and attractive years are behind them. And they are shocked to find that the men that they want don’t want them. Bottom line: Give us the best years of your life (your twenties, and anyone who is trying to tell you otherwise is either competition or is trying to sell you something), and we will give you the rest of ours.
  2. Be Chaste: Statistically speaking, a virgin bride has a 96% chance of reaching her tenth wedding anniversary. Add one pre-marriage sex partner and that probability drops to 76% (comparison: for a man to experience the same twenty-point drop, he has to have seventeen partners). Add nine more notches to her gun-belt and the probability of a ten-year marriage drops to 15%. Mathematics doesn’t care whether you like it or not.
  3. Grow your hair long: “You look so much nicer with your hair cut short”, said no man, ever. Yes, it is hard work, and yes, it is convenient — but then, so is growing old alone. Your move.
  4. Dress to impress…: Walk around the typical supermarket and you will see them out in force: young women wearing ugly shoes (crocs/uggs/flipflops), sweats, and that disgusting pineapple hairstyle that is the hallmark of the lazy woman. The good news is that with such low standards everywhere, it is easy to stand out: Proper shoes (with a heel) and a nice flowing dress. And for heaven’s sake, do something with your hair.
  5. …but don’t overdo it: Too many women confuse “sexy” and “beautiful”. If you dress like a stripper, don’t get annoyed when we treat you like one. A Real Man™ wants you to be his personal slut, so save the lingerie, booty shorts, tank tops and thongs for his eyes only.
  6. Don’t be fat: This is huge, if you’ll pardon the pun. Too many (about two-thirds) are overweight. Excess poundage in women kills attraction in men in the same way that shortness in men does for women.
  7. Be nice: Too many women confuse “strength” with being bold, brash, brassy, bossy or bitchy. Being able to belch, fart and cuss like a man may seem to work for a while, but it will drive the “Real Men™” away; to them, “Strong and Independent” looks a lot like “Annoying and Irritating”. Instead, concentrate on feminine strength. Kindness, respect, vulnerability… men are drawn to these. “If you want to attract a gentleman, behave like a lady“.
  8. Be Honest: Too many women try to become what the man wants. If you have to pretend to be the woman he wants to marry, the marriage will not work.
  9. Be Humble: Entitlement is another attraction killer. If you want a man who will lead you, be prepared to follow. If you want a man who is willing to die for you, be prepared to live for him.

A “Real Man™” won’t settle for leftovers. We want you at your best, and won’t settle for anything less. We want to be your first love, not your last resort.

Vega Conflict: Ship and Tech Guide, Middle Game

Tier 5: Iron Star and Demon Corps Ships and Technology.

The mid-game features the introduction of the heavy-hitters. They outclass their VSec counterparts, and paradoxically are often quicker to build and easier to mark up (which is why so many VSec ships are on the “avoid” list). ISC ships are generally more heavily-armored and durable, while DC hulls have less armor but pack more of a wallop, particularly when paired with the Infernal weapons (Gatling, Wave and Vector Torpedo) that are unique to Demon Corps.

As a general rule, ISC are better for farming and DC are better for PvP. As a general rule, you should outfit your DC ships with basic weapons (Nova/Manifold/Siege) initially, then upgrade to Infernal weapons on a piecemeal basis, as each level-III Infernal weapon takes 1-3 days to equip (exception: when you have a build discount, then you should build out as much as you possibly can).

From here on out, all of ships have high mass limits. From now on, you should only bother researching/farming the highest-caliber version of each technology (usually “III”), and don’t bother with I and II, unless you have leftover points or plan on retro-fitting them on your smaller ships.

Must-have ships:

  • Vigilante: Tough and resilient, this is the best mid-level farming Battleship in the game. Equip it with Nova Rays or Manifold missiles, and add Skirmish Armor III for best results.
  • Machete: While the stock “MaShitty” is no better than a Lance, marking up this baby gives you a shield and an extra weapon slot as well as a resistance slot. Once upgraded to Mk IV this is a very powerful and tough destroyer indeed. Siege Drivers and Binary Thrusters are best for basing, but Neutron Drivers are good all-rounders. Deflector shields are best for basing and farming.
  • Hellfire: Not as tough as the Vigilante, but far more dangerous in battle when flown with care. Pair with Infernal Weapons for added killing power.
  • Python: Since cutters are designed for close-in brawling, the ability to stay in the fight and soak up damage is paramount. If you are into cutters, this is the one. Equip with Nova Ray or Manifold Missiles, Metaphase III shielding… and as much Skirmish Armor as you can for survivability.
  • Heretic: Most high-level Cruisers have two shield slots, but not the Heretic; the designers sacrificed one of the shield slots for two extra armor slots, resulting in an incredibly tough hull. The downside is insane repair times; a fully-upgraded Mk V Heretic maxed out with Skirmish Armor III requires nearly five hours to repair, which means more than a day of repairs for a fleet.
  • Damocles: When equipped with iWaves and Iridium magnets, these are lethal against bases, and pretty good in PvP. Shame that this hull is so fragile when compared to the Machete.
  • Dominion: Far better than the Freyja, this was the primo Carrier for the better part of a year until the Paladin showed up.

Ships to avoid:

  • Basilisk: not as survivable as the Python cutter, and it is harder to mark-up.
  • Legion: A poorly-thought-out design that does not seem to have any real-world use. Part under-powered battleship, part under-powered carrier, this hull excels at neither.
  • Freyja: There is absolutely no reason to build one if you have the Dominion as the DC hull outclasses the Freyja in every way..
  • Tornado: Ostensibly the best Frigate in the game. Build them only if you love frigates, otherwise the Hurricane is good enough.

Must-have Tech:

  • Infernal weapons. Infernal Wave (iWave), Infernal Gatling(iGat) and Infernal Vector Torpedo (iVec) are amazing weapons. The downside is that they take ages to equip – up to three days for a iWave III. That’s twelve days to fully arm a Mk IV Damocles Destroyer.
  • Skirmish Armor is useful for Iron Star Hulls.
  • Armored Thrusters: Demon Corps ships have plenty of firepower, but sacrifice shielding. This helps to right that wrong.
  • Volatile Fuel is useful on battleships when using explosive weapons.

Tech to avoid:

  • Unstable Reactor: Also known as the “Suicide Drive”, this engine causes a massive explosion, equivalent to the ship’s armor when the ship is destroyed, which made it great for taking about enemy Bridges and Alien Harvesters. It was great when it first came out — particularly on Heretics, which carried an insane amount of armor and hence generated an equally insane explosion — then Kixeye nerfed it, reducing the power of the explosion… and it became a pointless waste of time:
  • Raider Squadron: High damage, but short range makes it useless as a carrier weapon.
  • Strike Shield: Recharging shields on cutters is a really bad idea unless you are really really good at micromanagement.
  • Targeting Computer: This allows battleships to engage multiple targets simultaneously. Ostensibly useful as an anti-squadron measure, it requires the battleship to be upgraded to at least Mk IV unless you want to sacrifice the engine, which is a really bad idea.
  • Electric Rails: Frigate only, Adds 40% weapon weight. Adds a stasis element. Of limited use.
  • Blister Rounds – use Volatile Fuel where possible instead.

Illusion, Delusion, and Disillusion

Or: “Ewwwww…”

Once in a while, you see a story in the news that makes you shake your head sadly and wonder what the writer was thinking — or smoking — when she wrote it. This is one such story.

Where have all the good men gone? These sassy, sophisticated, solvent women say they are struggling to find other halves that can measure up

The Daily Mail is no longer accepting commentary, I have decided to reprint the story in its entirety and add my commentary in-line. I wouldn’t normally do anything that extreme, but this article contains so many untruths, half-truths, and outright delusions that I felt it was necessary. As best I understand it, copying for the purpose of discussion and comment is legal, and is therefore not a copyright violation.

The title alone sets the tone. “measure up“? To whose standards? But on to the bye-lines:

  • Five single women share why they’ve struggled to find men worth dating

Correction: Five middle-aged single women share why they’ve struggled to find men they believe to be worth dating. There. Fixed that for you.

  • They ask if it is possible to find independent, attractive mid-life daters

Possible? Certainly. Probable? No. “Independent, attractive” men are rare beasts, and they are in astronomically high demand.

  • One dating coach says there are seven women for every man aged 40-55

Correction: seven desperate single women for every eligible man aged 40-55.

So much for the bylines, now on to the purple prose…

At 48, Jane Townsend is beautiful, independent — and single. She keeps fit, takes great care of her appearance and is looking for a man who is active, in good shape, articulate and emotionally open.

Given her good looks and vivacious nature, eligible suitors must surely be beating a path to her door.

“Good looks?” “Vivacious nature?” Let us gaze upon the wonderfulness of this pulchritudinous creature…

Jane Townsend, 48, was told by one relationship coach that women her age should go for men 15 years older, making her current dating goal a man aged 63 

Do you want to you have sex with this woman? Me neither.

Yet as Jane, from Sheffield, explains, it has been a struggle: ‘The men out there are delusional…

It’s Jane who is delusional. She is looking for a handsome, fit, charming man in his fifties – the mythical “Silver Fox”. trouble is, every woman her age is dreaming of bagging one of those, and there are plenty of younger ones who would love to bag him as well. As a result, any man over 50 who has a little money in his pockets and is in good physical shape can *easily* find a wife ten years younger, and probably fifteen — and if he is just interested in casual, commitment-free dating he can go all the way down to the early twenties. There are several websites out there for that. Looks to me like the poor dear has a bad case of DPS (Disney Princess Syndrome).

…I went out with a guy who lied about his age, saying he was 47 when he was 50…

Women lie about their ages all the time. But let a man do it and it’s suddenly a heinous crime. And why does that three years make such a difference? It’s not like he said he was thirty…

…who then had the gall to tell me he wanted a younger woman so he, as he put it, “could breed”.

What gall! How dare he! To be fair, that was a little crass, but at least he was up-front and direct about his requirements instead of lying, leading her on, or telling her what she wanted to hear…

‘After my divorce, I gave up my prime dating years to raise my two girls, expecting that when they left home, I’d have time left…

You made a choice; a noble, rational one. But choices have consequences. Didn’t anyone tell you that a woman’s attractiveness has a short shelf life? When they did, were you even listening?

…But there has been a shift and now the men aren’t there. Where I live it’s hard to find someone cultured unless they’re eating yoghurt, and the men my age all seem to be — well — more than a little overweight.’

Fair point; let’s take a look at the current crop of fifty-something men out there:

  • Some are happily married and off the market (they don’t want you).
  • Some are unhappily married and looking for a side piece (you don’t want them).
  • Some are divorced and ruined (you won’t want them).
  • Some are dating younger women (They won’t want you)
  • Some are doing the Sugar Daddy thing (they definitely won’t want you).
  • Some have given up entirely (you definitely won’t want them).
  • Widowers (and widows) are the best bet for marriage.. but they are in short supply and are snapped up very quickly.
  • Divorcees are a crap-shoot; nuggets of gold amid a whole lot of dross (good luck with that).

A divorced woman looking for a wealthy, in-shape, marriage-minded man in his fifties is like an overweight thirty-something-year-old plumber seriously expecting to hook up with a blonde, large-breasted cheerleader. Good luck with that.

Having been matchmaking single men and women for Femail’s Blind Date column for the past six months, I’d like to say Jane’s experiences are the exception…

If that is the exception, what is the rule?

…but what has struck me is just how many attractive women apply who seem to have so much going for them. They are in great physical shape, living full and interesting lives. Yet finding suitable men for them to date seems to be a heroic challenge.

“Attractive… so much going for them…” According to whom? Other women? It is written: “Ancient Egyptians worshiped cats. Cats have never forgotten this.” In the same way, women who have enjoyed incredible power in the dating market in their twenties are often the last to know when it that power is gone, never to return. The real problem is when they still think that they have the same sultry allure that drove men wild at ninteen, and have calibrated their expectations accordingly. Women in their fifties are at a considerable disadvantage.

This has left me wondering why a generation of single, sexy, solvent women just can’t find love.

Again with the gushy praise; enough already! To put it succinctly: men are attracted to youth and fertility. Always have been, always will be. Conversely, women are attracted to status and strength (physical/mental/emotional/financial). Always have been, always will be.

What immediately strikes female mid-life daters — of whom I am one — returning to the dating scene in later life after a marriage or long-term relationship, is the lack of single men.

What you actually mean is “The lack of single, handsome, healthy, wealthy, charming marriage-minded men”. Granny was right; young women have the pick of the men, older gals have to battle over the leavings. You should have listened to her.

According to Jo Hemmings, a behavioural psychologist and dating coach, there are an estimated seven new women for every man on the dating scene in the 40-55 age group, so availability is clearly a big issue.

This statistic seems sketchy. If each break-up puts one man and one woman back on the dating market, the numbers should be roughly equal. I suspect that we are seeing the Pareto principle in action: 80% of women are chasing the top 20% of men and ignoring the rest. When 80% of the women are chasing 20% of the men, the result can hardly fail to be anything else but a bloodbath.

‘I’ve had clients coming to me wondering: “Am I asking too much to find an attractive, independent, solvent guy of my age?” ’ she says.

Short answer: Yes. Longer answer: “You should have thought of that when you were 24”

As she explains, part of the issue is that when divorce strikes, men and women react in different ways.

Men’s relationships frequently overlap; they won’t leave one partner until they find another, so they are never really single.

ABSOLUTE RUBBISH. Three-quarters of divorces are initiated by the woman. In most cases, the man has no clue until she serves him with papers, leaves with the kids, or worse, has him thrown out of their house. (See #9 here). And in almost every case, she had everything planned in advance and had a “spare” lined up. This is borne out by reality as well as anecdote. Observe how many women “break up with (i.e., leave) their husbands and just happen to find a wonderful boyfriend “a few weeks later”.

…By contrast, women take longer to recover from a break-up. They often step out of the dating ring completely, sometimes for many years, to rebuild their lives or to focus on bringing up children.

Wrong again. Men commit suicide at nearly 5x the rate of women – up from 2x in 1982. And a leading cause of suicide among men over 40 is divorce. But women are always the victims, because women say they are — and data be damned.

‘When they return to dating, it’s really hard for them,’ says Jo. ‘There aren’t as many men because they have a wider pool. Men realise quite quickly that there are far fewer of them than there are women of a similar age. They then date much younger women, creating a huge void in the market.

Young pretty women run the game through their twenties. Because They Can. But after 30, men start to realize their value, the balance of power starts to shift.  After 40, men have all the power, so they can afford to be picky. And if they find themselves healthy, wealthy and single in their fifties, they will date the youngest, hottest girl they can find. Because They Can.

‘Traditionally women go for men who are their age or slightly older, so they are left wondering where all the men have gone.’

Not entirely true. Women prefer older men when they are young. But older women prefer younger men. When 48-year-old Jane found out that her 47-year-old date was actually 50, she was disappointed. Why is that?

When Jo coaches women on dating, she tells them to accept the reality. ‘It’s just a fact that there is a lack of available decent men,’ she says.

Definition of “Decent”, please? I’m guessing it looks a lot like: “Attractive, slender, tall, healthy, wealthy… stupid enough to think that he can’t do better than me.”

‘It’s tough when you’re looking for love. You have to realise that it’s not about you, it’s just a numbers game.’

It was always a numbers game. It was a numbers game when you were 18 and irresistible. What changed is that now, the numbers are not in your favor. And they never will be again.

But the numbers don’t tell the whole story. Men, indoctrinated over generations to pursue younger women, are instinctively reluctant to consider those of a similar age to their own, even ones who look youthful and attractive.

What utter crap. In every society that has ever existed, throughout all of known history, men have prized youth and fertility in women, while women have prized strength and wealth in men. It’s not “indoctrination”, it’s biology, you stupid cow. I think I just found the source of the problem.

It is something I regularly notice when I set up dates.

Men need to open their eyes to the amazing women in their own age bracket.

Amazing? Where? And why should they, if they can do better?

With the statistics against them, women are motivated to want to look after themselves and make the best of what they have…

What other choice do they have?

..while there is no incentive for the men to do the same.

There is plenty of incentive… to pursue younger, more attractive women. As a general rule, the amount of effort a man is willing to expend in the pursuit a woman is based on his perceived value of her. And younger women are perceived as being more valuable. That’s not “indoctrination”, it’s biology. But by the time most men reach their fifties, their libido is no longer in the driving seat, and many have come to the conclusion that the juice is no longer worth the squeeze. So they get fat and unfit because they just… don’t…. care.

Jo says: ‘This generation of men don’t bother to make the effort to represent themselves in an attractive way, even online. Or they just list what they don’t want in a woman and say nothing about themselves — because they can.’

Because. They. Can.

And those men who do make an effort are in a position to be very choosy.

BINGO! Just like the girls were back in their twenties.

Online dating coach Suzie Parkus, of meetyourmatch.club, observes: ‘A man who has aged well, has a good outlook on life, a joie de vivre about him and who has seemingly done well for himself is very attractive to his peers. However, for the most part he is drawn to younger, sexier, more vibrant models.

BINGO! And such a man has literally hundreds of women pursuing him.

‘It has a lot to do with his self-perception in terms of being able to choose who and what he wants in a partner because he has the right to, given that he is in high demand.’

BINGO!

While good-looking men can pick and choose, attractive women such as Jane effectively become the victims of their drive to remain active and youthful.

“Youthful”? Compared to what?

Women in the over-45 bracket are the biggest buyers of beauty products, accounting for 58 per cent of the market. Last year, the 45 to 54 age group spent an average of £2,238 a year on beauty products, up 4.1 per cent on previous years.

Women in that age group should be playing with their grandchildren and not spending thousands of pounds a year on makeup and lingerie. But that’s just my opinion…

Jane says: ‘Women see the writing on the wall and take a grip on their health and beauty, staying active, keeping abreast of current affairs, studying, keeping beautiful.

Yes, I‘ve already seen your definition of “Beautiful”… and I’m not impressed.

‘I go to gym classes (made up mostly of women), whereas men my age just think they don’t have to make the effort because there are always dozens of younger women who will go out with them.’

BINGO!

A woman who looks great, feels good about herself and is solvent and independent-minded won’t be drawn to a man who has let himself go, or who may be interested in her but is far too old. So these magnificent midlife daters fall into a void.

There is no “void”, they’re just too damn picky. Your self-image is irrelevant. Your wealth is irrelevant. Your independence is irrelevant. Your magnificence is irrelevant. Resistance is futile. Prepare to be assimilated…

And it’s not just about looks — there is a difference in mindset between the sexes too.

As Jane will attest, middle-aged and 50-plus men tend to be set in their ways, less adventurous and less youthful in outlook. They want someone to look after them, while their female counterparts are looking for someone to explore the world and have fun with.

And all middle-aged women are sexy, svelte and stylish. Classic Apex Fallacy thinking. Let’s cut the crap, shall we?

By age 50, most men have either achieved their dreams or given up trying. Too many of them have had the moxie beaten out of them by the world, the culture or a rapacious spouse who spent money faster than they can earn it. More often than not, they have been mauled by a divorce and don’t want to go through that again. They want a quiet, predictable, happy life in a tranquil home with a pleasant, caring, respectful, attractive and sexually adventurous partner. This is a bad time for either side to try to re-live their twenties. I wonder why these “beautiful”, “amazing” “magnificent” women think they can… Perhaps it is because friends, family and poor-quality journalists keep inflating their egos by telling them how wonderful they are and how “any man would be lucky to have you”.

Jane was told by one relationship coach that women her age should go for men 15 years older, making her current dating goal a man aged 63. This is even less appealing, as it is effectively a different generation — and one with very different aspirations. ‘I’ve cared for children and my parents, and I don’t want to care for a man again,’ says Jane, summing up the attitude of many in her situation.

‘Older men are so set in their ways, you almost feel more like a carer than a girlfriend.’

Then feel free to grow old alone. Nobody is listening.

Lucy Verner, 46, is another frustrated midlife dater who has been single since splitting from her husband seven years ago.

‘I found internet dating absolutely awful,’ she says. ‘I live in East Kent and it’s such a small pool. There are exceptions, but on the whole I found the men who made contact were older — and certainly looked older — than me.

So move!

‘Men of my age target younger women and I don’t fancy the older men, so it’s a real problem. I’ve stopped looking. Having to get back in the dating market, I focused on getting myself fit again. But many men don’t seem to make the same effort.

Translation: “WAAAH! The top men don’t want me and I’m FAR too good for the average ones”

‘Online you see selfie pictures they have taken of themselves half-naked in bathrooms or slouching on sofas. Where is the effort in that?

‘Very few men are happy to be by themselves, too. They lurch from one relationship to another, whereas middle-aged women are a lot stronger and more self-assured than they were in the last generation.

If you’re so strong and self-assured… why do you need a man?

‘I have two children and a career to manage and I’m forthright. I think men find women like me intimidating.

No, we find you annoying and irritating. If you’ve got it all going on, you don’t need us.

‘I want a strong, independent man. Why is that so hard?’

Because every other past-her-prime divorcee your age is chasing the same few men. And we all want to know the same thing: How/why did your marriage end?

Julia Van Der Wens is 54. She was just 19 years old when she got married, and was with her husband for more than 30 years before he left her 18 months ago.

Why did he leave her? Bring him on and let him tell his side of the story…

‘I was devastated, of course, but I made the decision to keep on living my life. I lost weight, started getting into sport and now I look and feel the best I’ve ever been.

Oh… so you got fat while you were married, and didn’t look your best for him? That might explain it.

‘The problem isn’t the men not liking me, but me not fancying them.

And there it is: the dictionary definition of “Entitlement”.

I want someone athletic, not pot-bellied. Most of the men I meet seem really unfit.

An athletic, single wealthy man in his fifties is probably dating college-age girls. And you are starting to sound like an entitled, nagging shrew.

‘I tried dating websites but two of the men I met were at least ten years older than their photo. Sometimes I think I’m never going to meet anyone.’

And women have never done anything as shallow as that! How many hours did you spend in makeover-land for the photo-shoot for this story?

Lesley Roberts, 52, was married in her 20s and divorced in her 30s. She did meet someone new, but they split up after a couple of years and she has now been single for two years.

“Split up”? If he left her, she would say so, because woman=victim. I’m going to assume that she left him. So she has a track record for breaking a sacred vow. Good to know.

‘Men my age are all up for a pipe and slippers life, and I’m not,’ she says. ‘When I got married my husband was six years older than me, but I wouldn’t take that age gap now because men aged 52 to 60 are boring. They just don’t have any oomph in them.

Nothing like a divorce to take the “oomph” out of a man. And you should know. Sounds like he dodged a bullet when you left him.

‘Once they get past 48 they seem to turn into Victor Meldrew, yet women are making an effort and looking great.

In whose opinion? Yours? Other women’s? Self-praise is no recommendation.

I just decided that I wasn’t going to go down without a fight. I was going grey, so I went blonde.

Fake it till you make it. Good luck with that.

‘At this stage of my life I need someone who is independent. I’ve set the bar now and I don’t want someone who needs looking after —unless he shows he can look after me first.’

How high is the bar? If no suitable men are interested, either lower it or get some cats.

Should middle-aged women just forget men of their own age and date younger ones? Some argue that this is the way forward.

 HAHAHAHAHA! Good luck with that.

‘Younger men are drawn to older women as much as older men are drawn to younger women.

Nice try, but… nope! Older men are drawn to younger women because of biology. The reverse is unnatural and likely a result of feminist “indoctrination”.

And this is not a new phenomenon,’ says Suzie Parkus. ‘They are drawn to the confidence and life experience of older women, especially those who don’t look their age.

‘This is something I have experienced at first hand, as well as being told it by younger guys when I was matchmaking.’

Did those “younger guys” propose? Didn’t think so.

Laura Hall agrees. Tall, slim and gorgeous, the 42-year-old redhead has been single since her divorce in 2011.

Looks like we’re worn out “beautiful” and have moved up to “gorgeous”. If she was really was “gorgeous”, why is she still “single”? Having said that, she is easily the best looking of the bunch. By an amazing coincidence, she is also the youngest.

Smart and sassy, Laura has a doctorate in physics and works as an optical engineer, yet she finds the dating sites full of men her age and older who just seem lazy.

We’re not lazy. We just don’t care. Your PhD and fabulous career does not impress the kind of man you are looking for. And the rest presumably do not think that your fabulousness is worth the effort.

‘I prefer younger men now because they are fun, whereas the older ones are boring,’ she says. ‘It’s not even an aesthetic thing but a character thing. I can’t stand the fact that older men really don’t know how to support themselves.

SO WHY ARE YOU HERE????

‘I think women have been raised to believe they are winning an amazing prize to get a man, who then has a sense of entitlement — so he puts in no effort whatsoever and always thinks he can get better.’

No. Women are the ones with the entitlement. It’s written all over this article. Entitlement is wanting something that you cannot get. And if he can get better, why shouldn’t he?

Yet for many women, dating a much younger man still comes with too much baggage — and again, the playing field is not a level one.

Jane Townsend says she is often approached by men in their 20s.

Approached for what? For sex? For marriage? For practice?

‘The last date I went on he was 23 — and he was interesting and articulate and we had lots in common. But society says I shouldn’t be dating men like him.

Date him all you want! Good luck to you. Honestly. But don’t be surprised when you find out that he married someone else and was only using you for practice and entertainment until something better came along.

‘I’m called a cougar — which makes me out to be predatory — yet it’s perfectly acceptable for men to go out with Barbies half their age.’

Once again, arguing with Biology. Already asked and answered.

I know from my experience of talking to women who write in for a blind date how many want a younger man because men of their own age just don’t appeal any more.

Unless men change their attitude to dating women of a similar age to them, and make more effort with their personal care (and most women accept this is unlikely), it is hard to see how the situation can change for these gorgeous women.

There’s that “gorgeous” again. Self-praise, and all that. If men are getting what they want, why should they change?

But Jo Hemmings says we can still take heart. Her advice is to go online frequently, make the approach, don’t rule out meeting people in real life and be as socially active as you can.

‘Knowledge is power, so get the determination to take charge,’ she says.

‘You’ve got to make the choice to be that one woman in seven. It’s tough but possible.’

So you’re betting your future happiness on seven-to-one odds? Good luck.

So… what can I say to help women over fifty? Here are a few rules of thumb:

  1. Don’t divorce. A woman over 40 will find it very hard to find a husband. A divorced woman will find it twice as hard, as divorcees are statistically a bad bet for marriage. If you divorce, do so with the assumption that you will spend the rest of your life alone.
  2. If a man does not want to have sex with you, he’s not going to approach you, let alone marry you.
  3. You’re not eighteen anymore. From 18 to 30, women rule the dating world. They have youth and beauty. But what mother Nature giveth, Father Time taketh away… and they are usually the last ones to realize it.
  4. Neither is he. While all this is going on, quality men have been banking wealth, building character, and gaining experience… all of which are incredibly attractive to women of all ages.
  5. Stop choosing men who aren’t interested in you. Draw a Venn diagram with the men who are interested in you in one circle, the men you like in another. Choose from the intersection. If there is no intersection, raise your standards and lower your expectations.
Venn Diagram.jpg

Or get cats. Your choice

 To save you some pain, let me sum up the entire article in one sentence.
 “WAAAAH!! Middle-aged women complain bitterly that the men they want don’t want them”

Actually, that would have made for a far better and more accurate headline… but it wouldn’t have sold well to the ladies who will pay good money to be told what they desperately want to hear.

Thank you and goodnight

Vega Conflict: Ship and Tech Guide, Early Game

With the bewildering array of ships, armor, weapons and specials that are available to beginners, it is sometimes difficult to know where to start, and, more importantly, which technologies can be safely ignored. So I put together this short guide to help new players along the way. I have divided the guide into three parts. Early Game (Tier 1 to 4; Rebel/Vega/VSec), Mid-Game (Tier 5 ISC/DC) and Late-Game (Tier 6 Xeno/A.X.I.S.)

Part I: Early Game ships and Technologies

 Must-have Tech:

  • Gladius Driver (I and II) Needed for Glad Rancs
  • Fusion Thrusters (I and III): needed for all
  • Binary Thrusters: Good on Destroyers and Frigates, where the ability to strafe is of paramount importance.
  • Thermal Beam: The base-level laser weapon. Hard-hitting and to the point.
  • Hydra Missile: The best low-level explosive weapon in the game.
  • Impulse Beam II and III: The next step up from Thermal Beams, and a must-have for Insta-Broads and Cutters
  • Aurora Ray (II and III) — All round, the most versatile weapon in the early game. Only Hydra missiles are better against squadrons in the early game.
  • Metaphase Shields: The best all-round shields in the game, due to their being good against all three kinds of weapons. Put Meta I on Gladius Rancors and Impulse Broadswords. Put II on Venoms, and put III on all the big (Tier 4+) ships.
  • Siege Driver: The primo Destroyer weapon for basing in early and mid-game. Longer range than anything else in the game (only Precision Gauss Driver has longer range, but it lacks the punch that the Siege Driver delivers)
  • Vector Torpedo: Replaces Hydra missiles.
  • Burst Ray: This “Energy Shotgun” works best at close range,m which makes it a great weapon for cutters, but pretty much useless for anything else. And don’t even think about putting Burst Ray Turrets on your base.
  • Capacitive Plates: The best base armor until you unlock Talonite and Tungsten plates.
  • Armored Hold

Tech to avoid:

The following items are less useful; research them if you have to, but bear in mind that they are of limited use. The weapons are of limited use, the specials became less useful when shields were nerfed and became mess significant in the game.

  • Gemini Driver
  • Bayonet Missile
  • Brimstone Torpedo
  • Arc Missile
  • Phased Magnets
  • Spectral Warheads
  • Ionized Optics

Must-have ships:

  • Genesis: Quick to build and upgrade, this is only useful as a combat vessel in the earliest stages of the game, after which they can be refitted as cargo haulers.
  • Rancor: The early-game workhorse, and the first battleship in the game. “Glad Rancs”: with Gladius Driver I and II, Spectral shields (upgrade to Metaphase I when you can), Iridium Magnets and NO armor (for instant repair). This allows you to farm Vega and VSec up to about level 35. Can be refitted as a cargo carrier in later stages of the game.
  • Broadsword: These are are the primary low-level glass-cannon heavy hitters.Cheap to build, easy to mark up, “Impulse-Broads”: Broadsword Mk III with Impulse Beam 3&2. A fleet of these can take down TWO Artillery 37 Crafting Fleets on auto with instant repair. This is important because this is the lowest-level fleet that drops Tier-4 patterns and parts.
  • Venom: Lovely early farming ship, but don’t build too many, as they are of limited use in the later game.
  • Dread: When it first came out, it was the most powerful ship in the game. After being nerfed in the great rebalance and supplanted by the Zeal, then outclassed by both the Vigilante and Hellfire battleships, this ship has been relegated to the mid-game. It is, however, a mandatory workhorse for the acquisition of all better technologies, so this ship is a must-have. Partner with Ragnarok Carrier.
  • Lance: The primo early-game destroyer. Add recharging Repulsor shields, Binary thrusters and Siege Drivers for basing wonderfulness.
  • Taipan: Quick to build and easy to mark-up, the “Tai-Spam” is an excellent idea for covering fleets, harassing enemies, and generally causing mayhem.. Equip it with Manifold Missiles or Nova Rays for best results.
  • Gharial: Tougher than the Taipan, and more versatile. More of the same.
  • Midgard:Not much use as a combat carrier, the Midgard comes equipped with the same Agility Support Field as the Ragnarok, but in a hull that only takes half the time to build and repair.
  • Ragnarok: Generally regarded as the best all-round Carrier in the early game due to its agility Support Field as well as long-range drones. The Midgard has the same field, but only half the drone range. This ship is the difference between grinding your way through events to taking down high-level fleets for big points. Partner with Dread Battleships.
  • Revelation and Apocrypha: Two excellent dual-shield workhorses, best used as tanks.

Ships to avoid:

Exodus, Trident, Corinthian, Fury, Zeal, Nexus, Rapture, Komodo, Valhalla, Valkyrie. Nothing wrong with these ships, but there are often better alternatives available, or they can be skipped. Research them if you must, build only what you need to. VEGA ships are generally almost as capable as their VSec counterparts, but are far easier to mark up. And in many case their  Tier-5 equivalents ships take about the same time to build.
This article is an excerpt from the forthcoming update to my Game Guide, over a hundred and ninety pages of hints, tips, tricks and tactics that will help you get to grips with the finer points of the game, all for a paltry $3.99. However, if you use this link, you can get it for $1 off. Make me smile – buy my book!
Part II: Mid-Game (Tier 5 ISC/DC) Coming soon!

Missing the point

I just stumbled across this story.



They are no longer accepting comments, so I thought that I would add one here.

“Working class men are becoming poorer because they have lost the habit of living with a partner, economists said yesterday”

Nowhere in the article does it address one simple and obvious fact: Women don’t want poor men. That’s not a bug, it’s a feature; nothing wrong with that at all; when a woman bets her future on a man, she wants one who can provide for her and the children that they will make together.

Stop blaming men for women’s rational choices

Christmas in… August?

Just got this in my email:

 

My coverage does not run out until the end of the year, but they are trying to get me to pay up now; more than four months before the bill is due.

*SIGH*… They do this every year.

Vega Conflict – Afore Ye Go

Ten things that Kixeye should do before Tier 7

  1. Coin spend confirmation. Yes, I know that you’ve already decided that this is somehow “good for the players” (i.e., good for Kixeye), but I respectfully disagree. To put this into perspective, I haven’t purchased any coins in nearly a year. This is the reason why.
  2. Rebalance I: Reduce the “price” of Tier 4 items. Particularly VSec, which is currently more expensive than Xeno. Wassup wid dat?
  3. Rebalance II: Reduce refit times or implement a refit bay. Three days to install a single I-wave (Infernal Wave Driver) III which is hopelessly outclassed by Xeno everything? Ten days to install a top-end drive to a Javelin Jumpship? Are you joking me? Five days to build a naked Xeno ship is not bad, but up to two weeks to put weapons on it is a little bit much, don’t you think?
  4. Rebalance III: The pattern drop rate of Xeno Crafting is a joke. When you have more than a hundred cores and no patterns, something is obviously rotten in the state of Vega.
  5. Bug-fix I: Fix the “to-the-bottom” bug. Start the game. Remove a ship and put it back in, then try to add a ship to any other fleet. Once the “Recent Hulls” list is empty, you end up at the bottom of the “all hulls” list. This is a major pain on mobile, since we don’t have a scroll bar and have to manually scroll all the way back to the top.
  6. Bug-fix II: Fix the “No-avatar-on-Mobile” bug. Every time I play on mobile, my avatar gets reset to generic. It can only be reset on Steam…
  7. Bug-fix III: Fix the sort-order-faction bug. Sometimes the sort order of the hull selector gets changed to “Factions”. This was introduced when “sort-by-Faction” became an option.
  8. Fix the Black Market: The BM was once the most exciting part of the game; proceed to a planet, often running a blockade, to dock with a station, where you could trade your hard-earned Blood Amber for some excellent deals, including instant Mk II upgrade tokens. While you’re at it, make all resistors reusable. We paid dearly in Blood (Amber) for them, we shouldn’t lose them when we refit because Kixeye changed the Meta of the game (as they have already done, at least twice). These days, it is more of the “Coin Market” and the content hasn’t changed much in the past year; Dread/Komodo/Venom again? Give me a break…
  9. Make Blood Amber Great Again: Over the past year, the value of Blood Amber has been reduced. There is nothing that Blood Amber can buy that Coins can’t buy more cheaply. Kixeye values your Daily Missions at about ten cents.That’s how much Kixeye values the players; think about that.
  10. New daily missions: Same old, same old. Nuff said.

No Moore

Roger Moore died today.

When I was growing up, he was James Bond. Sean Connery may have been “Bond as I envisaged him“, according to Ian Fleming, but Roger Moore’s portrayal was… well, fun. His laconic demeanor and deadpan delivery informed my own sense of humour.

You know that you are getting old when the icons of your youth are dropping like flies. Freddie, Michael, Whitney, Madonna*, Prince, George… and now Roger.

 

 

 

*She’s still around? Guess there is no justice in the Universe.