Thoughts On GTA V

I’m soooo looking forward to GTA VI which should (hopefully) come out next year. I’ve always been a fan of the Grand Theft Auto series. GTA V has been an absolute blast and my favorite, by far. San Andreas a far second. I never played the entire game all the way through up until a few days ago.

There were some missions that seemed impossible and that I had to skip. Though, I might go back and replay them to see if I can do better. However the one with Michael having to try to save his son on the boat is damn near impossible since you have to drive and shoot which I could never do well. Other hard missions were the Strangers & Freaks with Mary-Ann. The other one that was difficult was when Trevor had to ride a bike on the train. The mission on the dock I also had to skip since the snipper controls are different and I didn’t realize you had to hold in a button in order to zoom. They should really have one set of controls so you always know what to do.

Anyway, after beating the game it’s pretty cool as Dr. Friedlander gives you some notes. Here were mine:

Some thoughts about these notes:

  • I did try to help people when a random event popped up. But most of the time I would have to kill them for the simple act of stealing someone’s purse or wallet. I don’t believe in capital punishment to begin with; much less for a stupid offense like some burglary. There’s no way to like just shoot the person in the leg then they drop the wallet.
  • I got Michael laid a lot after his wife cheats on him. And when she and the kids left, he was going to prostitutes every night. So that’s where “voyeuristic” and “feels need to buy sex” comes from. The first time I played GTA V I had Michael be faithful and Trevor and Franklin get the sex… this time it was the opposite. I didn’t want Michael to get back with his wife, honestly. He was more free spirited this time around.
  • I’m not sure about the “prone to random outbursts of violence” comes from since that would definitely be Trevor 100% but not the way I played him. Trevor when I played him this time around was an honest, nice guy. He loves Patricia… I liked that relationship. I still have him call her. He liked having sex with the realtor’s wife. And it isn’t my fault that I have to play the Rage missions with Trevor. I suck at them anyway.
  • “Keeps the car stealing to a minimum” was me this time. Whenever I played GTA before I would carjack every time. This time I stole vehicles when they weren’t occupied. And I actively looked for my car around when switching. I was thinking about the trauma a carjacking would be to the victim. Much better to just come out of your house or restaurant and find your car missing.
  • I tried to pick up and help the random events. While Trevor, if the dude seemed creepy or the one with the dude cheating on his wife, I took them to the cult. Other than that, I did pick them up and help them. I’m kind of disappointed I must have played the one hitchhiker wrong since she could become a girlfriend or at least a “lay.” The other random one was Trevor picking up another criminal which became a contact but I never saw her come up when choosing people for missions.
  • I totally dig the “avoids strenuous exercise” because that’s totally me anyway. In the missions I preferred to do the easier way instead of guns-a-blazin.
  • This time I collected all the space ship parts and all the letter scraps. It was a lot of fun finding out where they were and getting them. Thanks to the IGN website with the map! Good luck trying to collect everything without it. It would take you a lifetime. And I love the switching between characters cause it was so easy to get into a weird place, get the piece, then switch to another character without going through the work of getting yourself out of it.
  • I think everyone probably has “maniac” and “mister.” Honestly, is it realistic to play this game without doing that? And I always restarted the game if I was on my way to somewhere and accidently killed someone while driving. I hated having innocent blood on my hands. Now, when on a mission, all bets are off. Sorry a lot of people (and cops) get killed that way. You just have to.

I’m still going to play around more with GTA V. I’m not on GTA Online nor do I really want to try it. My cousin says it can get really difficult since you’re playing with other people and I know I’m not the best player… I’m actually surprised I was able to beat the game since I hadn’t played video games hardcore since I was a kid and the last time I played anything was GTA V the first time I played it when it first came out like 10 years ago.

I might buy San Andreas and play it again. I’m surprised I was able to finish V so quickly, honestly. I thought it would have taken me at least a few months… I guess that’s the luxury of being retired so I can spend more time on it than just an hour or two every other night :)

Quortle/Duotrigordle Starting Words

Brian, his brother, a few friends, and I all do the Wordle. A few of us actually do the Quortle (a four word game; 9 guesses) and Duotrigordle (a 32 word game; 39 guesses). In all these games, it is helpful to start out with eliminating and finding as many letters as possible. In Wordle, since we play on hard mode, you cannot do this easily as any letter you get right needs to be placed in the next word you guess. With the other two, that isn’t a good strategy nor is it enforced as there is no hard mode.

Anyway, I decided to make a post about three starting words that use a total of 15 letters to help eliminate letters and guess words for the two for-mentioned games. Here’s my list which I alternate:


These are just a few that I’ve come up with and I come up with some a few times a week. Let me know if there are three words you always start out with on these games. I would like to expand this list.

Rubik’s Cube Cheat Sheets

Should have done this a long time ago… here are the algorithms I use to solve the various rubik’s cubes.


Note that I’m terrible at the 2×2. It’s my worst cube and I HATE solving it. Here are two algorithms I use:

R U R’ U R U2 R’

R’ U R’ D2 R U’ R’ D2 R2 B’


(bottom to get edge like +) F R U R’ U’ F’ L

(bottom to get edge properly positioned) R U2 R’ U R U’ R’ U’

(bottom to get corners properly positioned) L’ U R U’ L U R’ U

(bottom to get corners properly positioned) R U2 R’ U’ R U’ R’ L’ U2 L U L’ U L


(flipped edges) L R’ L’ R U’ R U R’

(other solve) R’ L R L’


(2 unsolved edges ====) Dr R F’ U R’ F Dl

(parody) Rw1 U2 Lw F2 Lw1 F2 Rw2 U2 R U2 Rw’ U2 F2 Rw2 F2

(parody corners) Rw2 U2 Rw2 UU2 Rw2 UU2

5×5 (and other odds)

I solve this one differently than what tutorials would tell you. The way I solve it only leaves me with one possible parody; the flipped edges one.

(flipped edges |||) LL’ U2 LL’ U2 F2 LL’ F2 RR U2 RR’ U2 LL2

Mega Minx

(to get the star edges; 1 flipped at 6 o’clock & 1 right at 11 o’clock) F R U R’ U’ F’

(to get star corner pieces; 6 o’clock & 8 o’clock will stay) R U R’ U R U2′ R’

(corners; 5 o’clock & 7 o’clock will stay) U 2 U2′ L’ U2 R’ U2′ L U

(corners pieces; piece on right will change; keep repeating until solved) R’ D’ R D

My Favorite Dominion Cards

I’ve been playing a lot of Dominion online with friends. We’re kind of addicted. In real life we only have the following sets:

  • Base
  • Intrigue
  • Prosperity
  • Hinterlands
  • Empires
  • Nocturne

However, Dominion online has all the sets! We’ve played with cards and abilities that add totally new dynamic to the game. Some are very interesting and fun. However, I wouldn’t want to buy entire sets just for a few cards that I like.

Anyway, I thought I’d blog about my favorite Dominion cards.

  • Bishop (Prosperity) – Gives you a victory coin, a coin, and you can trash a card and get that amount (divided by two) in victory coins. You play Bishop to trash an Estate, now you have two victory coins and no estates clogging your deck. Easily one of my favorite cards.
  • Bounty Hunter (Menagerie) – Gives you an action and you can exile a card from your hand. If it’s the first of its kind in exile, you get plus three coin.
  • Black Cat (Menagerie) – Gives you two cards but if it’s in your had when someone buys a victory card, it gives everyone a curse. This card is quickly becoming a favorite of mine due to that fact. Snatch these cards up so when people buy victory cards, they get curses as well! These are now the first cards to go.
  • Black Market (Promo) – When you play it, it gives you the ability to buy cards that are not in the sets you’re currently playing with. In real life, I guess we’d play with the blue backed (shuffle) cards. Not sure where you can really get this but this is an interesting card.
  • Border Village (Hinterlands) – One card, two actions and gives you a free, cheaper card when you buy it. It works well to get free Laboratories, Groundskeepers, whatever.
  • Castles (Empires) – Every castle is different (except for the first few ones). Each one goes up in value and allows you to do different things. They go up in power as you go up with the final one costing 10 coins. If you’re playing with these, try to get them before they’re gone. They go fast!
  • Chariot Race (Empires) – One action and you reveal the top card and another player reveals their top card; if your card is more 1 coin and a victory coin. I haven’t had the best of luck with these but I think later in the game they work better.
  • City (Prosperity) – One card, two actions. Another card that’s get it while it lasts. This card gets better as the game goes on as the more piles are gone, the more powerful the card is.
  • Devil’s Workshop (Nocturne) – Dependent on how many cards you’ve gained. Nice to gain an easy gold if your hand is crap. It’s also nice to get Imps if you’ve gained two or more cards. Cascading Devil’s Workshops works as you can play as many Night cards as you want!
  • Distant Lands (Adventures) – Placed on your tavern mat. It’s worth 4 victory points at the end of the game. Get these fast and play them.
  • Duke (Intrigue) – Worth one victory point per each Duchy you have. Yes, it’s boring but towards the end if you don’t have enough for a Province, these 5 coined cards are easy victory points. I’ve won a game doing this strategy.
  • Duplicate (Adventures) – Put on your tavern mat and called when you gain a card and you get a duplicate of that card (up to 6 coins). Pretty powerful for easy gold.
  • Expand (Prosperity) – Trash a card and you get something worth 3 coins more than it. Perfect for turning Estates into Duchies then Dutchies into Provinces.
  • Farmer’s Market (Empires) – One buy and worth 1 coin per victory coin on it. When four victory coins are on it, you trash it and get those victory coins. Great card but it’s stressful when other players buy it.
  • Fool’s Gold (Hinterlands) – Worth one coin but if you have two, both together are worth five coins. I don’t know why more people don’t love this card.
  • Forge (Prosperity) – Trash any number of cards and gain what they all total to be. Good way to trash Copper and something else just to get that something else back. Good at the end of the game when you’re clinging for your life.
  • Giant (Adventures) – Turn your journey token over. If it’s face up plus five coin and everyone looks at the top two cards of their deck and trashes any worth 3 to 6. If it’s face down plus one coin. This card goes great with any kind of Village. I always buy a few of these guys.
  • Grand Market (Prosperity) – One card, one action, one buy, two coins. Cannot buy this with Coppers! Very powerful card.
  • Groundskeeper (Empires) – One card, one action but you gain a victory coin when you buy a victory card. I like to cascade them and get more coins!
  • Harem (Intrigue) – Two coins, two victory points. It’s a great card as it doubles as victory points and coins.
  • Hireling (Adventures) – Stays in play and every turn you get an extra card. This card is too powerful to be only 6 coins. I think it should be worth more. Get them as soon as you can as you can get more cards into every one of your hands faster.
  • Hoard (Prosperity) – Two coins but you gain a gold when you buy a victory card. Pretty nice to get free gold.
  • Lurker (Intrigue) – One action and you trash a card from its supply or gain a card from the trash (actions only). Very nice to get expensive cards at the beginning of the game. Used very well for cards that are harder to get like Peddlers or Grand Markets. I usually try to get two my first two turns so I can trash something then immediately get it.
  • Mill (Intrigue) – One card, one action, discard two cards for 2 coins and it’s worth one victory point. I hurry to get these since it always gives you a card and an action and it’s victory as well.
  • Monument (Prosperity) – Two coins, one victory coin. Simple. Easy money and victory coins.
  • Mountebank (Prosperity) – Two coins and each other player gains a curse and a copper (unless they have a curse in their hand). Great attack card and it clogs up other peoples’ decks with crap. One game we ran out of copper because of this card.
  • Nobles (Intrigue) – Worth two victory points and you get to choose +3 cards or two actions. It pays for itself as it’s worth victory and it does something.
  • Oasis (Hinterlands) – One card, one action, one coin, discard a card. A lot of folks don’t like this card because of the discard but I don’t mind it. I usually discard a victory point or a copper.
  • Peddler (Prosperity) – One card, one action, one coin. Like a Market however the cost depends on how many action cards you’ve played. Peddlers can be free!
  • Port (Adventures) – One card, two actions when you buy it you get another one for free. Not bad for 4 coins.
  • Ratcatcher (Adventures) – One card, one action so it takes care of itself. You trash a card when you call it back from your mat.
  • Replace (Intrigue) – Like Remodel, it does the same thing except if you gain an action or treasure, you get it onto your deck. If you choose to buy a victory point, every player gains a Curse. Great for turning copper into Estates and cursing everyone!
  • Sacrifice (Empires) – Trash an action card and get +2 cards and +2 actions, trash a treasure and get 2 coins, trash a victory and get 2 victory coins. I love it. Easily trashes estates out of your hand and doubles their value. Keep buying estates and trashing them with this. I love trashing cards!
  • Scheme (Hinterlands) – One card, one action, put an action card on top. I Scheme Schemes! They’re awesome for playing a card over and over.
  • Temple (Empires) – Get a victory coin and trash one to three cards and add a victory coin to the Temple pile; whoever buys it gets the victory coins accumulated there. Easy victory coins. However, trashing in later hands can be stressful.
  • Trade Route (Prosperity) – One buy, trash a card and you get that many coins that are on the Trade Route map. Really good towards the later parts of the game. Love this card.
  • Treasure Map (Seaside) – Trash two of them and get four golds onto your deck. Get these as soon as possible and hope you get two in a row to get some serious gold.
  • Upgrade (Intrigue) – One card, one action. Easy way to turn a card that costs 5 into a gold. Or get rid of coppers.

Bottom line, I love cards that trash! I love getting rid of coppers. I love upgrading cards into something better. I love trashing curses. If a game doesn’t have a trash card in it, I’m sad.

Social Distancing Game Night Links

We’ve been social distancing now for about three weeks. I really miss my friends. I was able to do facetime with a friend the other day and I really enjoyed seeing them. These times are hard.

Anyway, I thought I’d share some cool websites we found to better connect us with our friends. These are primarily game websites since Bri and I are both big into board games. Here’s the list:

  • – This is Dominion online. We played this last night until like 3 AM. The free version just has the base set. It’s only like $5 a month. Totally worth it. One membership gets you all the Dominion sets as well as the ability to play with six people. You only need one membership for anyone to join you. It’s free to join.
  • – This is a free, virtual card playing website. They have Cards Against Humanity! They also have a bunch of other games you’d usually play in gradeschool like Go Fish.
  • – JackBox games are always fun! We started playing them years ago with friends. You play them with your phone. You can do them distance now as well. I recently played Drawful with coworkers. We shared his screen via Slack and all talked through Slack and drew on our phones. JackBox games do cost a bit of money though.
  • – A neat website you can play four player card games like Spades, Hearts, Bridge, and Pinochle.

I’ll update this post with more social distancing fun stuff when I find it.

Rock Band For Wii

Brian was thinking about getting Rock Band for the Wii when it came out. I decided to look it up exactly when it comes out cause I can’t wait to play it and we have a lot of fun over Shawn and Jen’s place.

Well, to my dismay, it seems like it won’t be nearly as cool as it is on Xbox 360. It doesn’t come out until June 22nd anyway.

Look at the article at

Basically it WON’T have:

  • customizable avatars, no using of Mii’s (what other games CAN you use them for?)
  • downloadable content via the Rock Store
  • Guitar Hero III guitars won’t work with it
  • no online play so no bands, so basically all quickplay
  • no leaderboards

So, yeah, it’s lame. The drum set looks cool but not worth it. We’re going to buy it for the 360 soon. Letting all you know, avoid PS2 and Wii, and buy Rock Band for Xbox instead.

Found A Bug

I found a bug in GTA San Andreas.

Other than the obvious you can get yourself caught and can’t move on the sides of cliffs (come on, I can imagine what a headache it is to program something like that), there’s this new way I found of getting unlimited ammo for your SMG for free! I’m not sure if it works for all of them, but all I did was go into the Ammunation in San Fierro and go to the shooting range. I canceled out of that via Y (before you shoot). When it loaded back to the Ammunation store, whatever SMG ammo I had doubled! I started out with 0-2 SMG ammo, it went up to 0-4. I ended up with 4128-50 or whatever. Of course, after a while it doesn’t keep track of how much ammo you have left. Pretty cool bug, tell your friends if they still play this game.

The Prius & 193%

Interesting facts about the Prius:

The word “prius”, in latin, means “to go before”.

The plural version of prius is “priora”.

Anyway, I’m awesome. Last night on Rockband, I tried “Don’t Fear The Reaper” doing vocals (on easy) AND guitar (on medium) at the same time. I got 100% on vocals and 93% on guitar. How awesome is that?

I’m also getting much better at guitar on hard. Rockband is way easier than Guitar Hero.