Maklarr4000's blog

At long last, the worst year in collective memory is nearly over. Woohoo! That is all.
So, a long time ago I wished for a Mauerbrecher, the tier 8 "mini maus" that could. I eventually wound up getting one not long before the IS-3A fiasco struck, and I quit playing WOT in solidarity with guys like 4Tankers and others. Ultimately Wargaming has amended enough things with enough people I've tentatively come back to playing after a long time away. So, where does that leave me with the "mighty" Mauerbrecher? Well...

The Mauerbrecher (meaning "wall breaker" in German, shortened to "MB" in most chat) is a tier 8 German premium heavy tank, offering super heavy tank aesthetics and similar performance, with an added boost to crew training and credit farming. That's where the good ends really. The MB is a slow, ponderous XP pinata not unlike the TOG II*, but without the DPM. The MB was declared one of the worst tier 8 premium tanks by community wizard QuickyBaby, and I wholly agree with him. This tank is no good. In fact, it may just be terrible. why do I play it so much?

Perhaps it's just my bizarre personality, or my love/hate relationship with the game, but I've come to realize two very important things about the MB. The first, is that with it's giant cannon it is a lot of fun to shoot at overly confident tanks and royally mess them up with it's huge alpha damage. The second, it is incredibly fun to shoot AT the MB. Granted, I don't get that chance too often (as nobody plays this slab of gray garbage much anymore), but when you can shoot at something like the MB and farm one for huge damage, that's an immense credit and XP payout for whoever ultimately bags the tank.

With that in mind, the meta has also shifted considerably- the MB is too slow to lead any charge, so as an MB player I'm allowed much more flexibility to serve as a second-line fighter, or to fill in the gaps in the battle at close quarters as needed- and no one complains. Unlike some more "influential" tanks, I don't feel any stress or pressure while playing the MB- if we win or lose, it's very doubtful it was due to anything I did or didn't do in the thing, especially when it sees tier 10 tanks most battles.

So, I head out there, load my standard rounds, and set a course for my "spot" on the map, usually the heavy tank brawling spot, and I fight there until my team either wins or loses. If we win, fantastic- if we lose, it's fine- I know for sure someone else had a whale of a game taking down my MB, and while it's hard to call that a charitable act, that's kinda how I see it. As a premium tank, unless I fire premium rounds (something I never have to do with a cannon that big), I make credits no matter what, so I'm never losing anything in the exchange.

That, and while it isn't a good tank- it has glaring weak points, a problematic at best armor profile, a slow-firing gun, and a plodding pace- it is still fun to play in a weird sort of way. Landing a shot on all but the heaviest of tanks is almost a guaranteed penetrating shot for big damage- making every pull of the trigger immensely satisfying. The MB is twice as tall as most other tanks, and it has a neat trick for when Soviet tanks decide to move in close- angle that giant gun right down onto the top of their turrets- where oddly enough there isn't nearly as much armor. Almost like the Soviet engineers that cooked them up never expected them to fight against an entirely fictional German tank that would be shooting at them from above. It's the sum of the little things that make the MB an enjoyable thing for me that I play pretty regularly now.

Anyway, that's my excuse for playing this terribad tank, posted in such a way I can link it out to those that ask me what is so terribly wrong with me when I say that I play it on purpose. Many thanks for reading!

So, I've got quite a few old computer systems. Being the unreasonable fellow I am, I still want more- though some I want more than others. While my aims continue to be centered around sharing all of this through video, I'm also looking for partnerships and events where some of the stuff I've got that is working really good and properly restored can be set up for the public to play with too. I guess we'll see what 2020 holds. However, with Christmas coming, I do wonder what Santa might bring me... so I've cooked up a list of things I'd love to have, but don't right now.

In no particular order!

-KayPro Machine

I just really like the look of the KayPro. Lots were made, most I see for sale are broken, which would be a fun project to work on. Very "aesthetic" machines to look at with a lot of CP/M software available out there as old stock or online. Would love to have one of those.

-Compaq Portable

I really like the luggables, and Compaq's orange-on-black monochrome screen coupled with it's military-esque design makes this an easy add to the list. I think I like the Compaq III the most, but as with all retro gear I go hunting for, I'm willing to fix up whatever comes my way. The luggables were all gone by the time I was a kid, so I think it would be a lot of fun to set something like this up to let people see again.

-iMac G3 Orange/Tangerine

I love the old rainbow colored iMacs, and if I see one out there I'm likely to try and rescue it regardless of color, but of them all I've always liked the orange one best. I am, evidently, in a minority, as there were exponentially more slate, green, and blueberry iMacs made- hell, according to what I've read, there are more red iMacs than there are orange ones. However, this one will be down on any proverbial list- there are a lot more computers that will need saving before I go hunting for this particular model.

-Anything Amiga

While I hope to someday get a chance to play with my father's old Amiga systems, many of them have been in storage for a very long time, and I wonder if they're even still viable. All the same, I think it would be terrific fun to have one to show as the number of working Amigas left out there is dwindling. I'm not picky, anything would be welcome in the shop.

-Commodore 64C

The Commodore 64 "C" model was just a C64 in a different case to extend the "service life" of the system. Again, I just think they're kinda neat.

-Atari 400/800

The hybrid "computer/game console" era of the early 1980's was a neat time for computers, and Atari's effort to make a computer that could also play the games for their Video Computer System, the 2600, was laudable. They're not fondly remembered systems, so it's something I'd like to grab as a companion system to the Mattel Aquarius. The only difference between the 400 and 800 is the number of cartridge slots; the 2 slot Atari 800 is pictured below.

...and that about does it for this list. I'm sure I'll think of more later, or come back and think "man, this should have been a forum thread instead!" but it will be too late for that. Thanks for reading through, and have a great day!

So, the blog space is pretty dead here and has been for a while. Apologies, I don't have anything new to post from the old scanned-in series, as the entire archive is now literally ashes and cannot be recovered. Likewise, I don't play World of Tanks anymore, and continuing to talk about it here would get old pretty quick. Instead, henceforth, I'll be using the M:4K blog space to post the more complete sagas of what I've been working on in the workshop- so when the associated forum threads inevitably devolve into memes and madness, others can still glean the useful information curated over here.

That's all the news I've got. Have a good one!

While going through my old stuff, I found quite a few old brochures and other old items I'd collected over the years, and decided to scan them in for posterity. Now those of you who may be interested in these time capsules to attractions past can enjoy them as well!

The SS Milwaukee Clipper is a National Landmark by the US Parks service and a museum located on the lake shore of Muskego Michigan, along with a few other ships in the museum's collection. This brochure (oddly cropped by my scanner, apologies) is from about 2007.

That WordArt is exceptional.

Notice there isn't a website listed anywhere on this brochure. They do have a Wordpress site now though, which can be found HERE. Astonishingly, their prices haven't changed at all in more than a decade. 

While going through my old stuff, I found quite a few old brochures and other old items I'd collected over the years, and decided to scan them in for posterity. Now those of you who may be interested in these time capsules to attractions past can enjoy them as well!

Today's entry is a 2007-ish brochure for Mackinac Island's "Haunted Theater".

The actual attraction was closed when I visited the island many, many years ago, but it is still operating as sort of a haunted house attraction today, and is still going strong. Both it's Yelp page and TripAdvisor reviews are very positive.

Their website can be found HERE

No word on whether pets are still welcome.

Something I found among my old files, a "Free Child Admission" flier for Jeremy Allen's Grand Illusions magic show in the Wisconsin Dells, when it was at the CHula Vista Resort in 2009. After that, the show moved to it's own location in the Dells downtown area, where Jeremy Allen amused audiences with all sorts of tricks for the better part of a decade. Now, the Grand Illusions Theater's building is slated for demolition to make way for yet more redevelopment, which means the Grand Illusions are likely moving to an even "grander" home in the future.

This was a really (like ridiculously so) glossy card, and as such it's reflected all sorts of smudges onto the Epson V33 that aren't visible to the naked eye, and very well may just be on the scanners' glass too. Of all the scans, this was the "best" of the bunch, apologies I couldn't get it to scan in better.

Need to know what happened at the Bedford County Fair in 2005? You are in luck, I still had the brochure kicking around, and it's now been scanned in to carry on forever here on the Internet. Excellent.

While going through my old stuff, I've come across a pile of old brochures from years and years ago. I'm not sure what to do with them, so here they are- scanned in as best as I was able with my Epson V33 flatbed scanner.

A brochure picked up on a family trip to Michigan in 2007 from the "Weird Michigan Wax Museum" in St. Ignace, Michigan.

Alas, I couldn't find much more about this attraction than what you see here. According to THIS site, the place closed down sometime in 2011, and there's only a couple old Google reviews that don't tell too much about it. It seems all that's left of the place are a couple digital clippings, and this brochure.

While going through my old stuff, I've come across a pile of old brochures from years and years ago. I'm not sure what to do with them, so here they are- scanned in as best as I was able with my Epson V33 flatbed scanner.

Today's subject is a Bedford Pennsylvania Tourist Bureau classic, their bright neon brochures for "Gravity Hill", a free attraction on a rural road. It's a rather clever way to draw tourists off the main roads and off towards the hobby farms and other small-town attractions in Bedford county. I would expect the same brochures are still in use today.

The hill does have it's own website now HERE and the hill has a TripAdvisor page HERE

I've been to this one, and it's one of the hundreds of roads out there that due to terrain and vegetation, it appears that things like water or round items roll "uphill" in a rather clever optical illusion. There are a few roads like this in every state, though very few are as well advertised as this particular stretch of road in rural Pennsylvania.

Pages: 1 2 3 4 »