Bicker Buddies Episode 3- Mario Dark Souls

Finny and Zach talk Nintendo and Donald Trump this week but not before a nice serenade by Finny. What business does a Dark Souls Amiibo have to exist? Why are video games to blame for mass shootings? The important questions get answered this week all while Finny battles a cold and Zach drinks water out of a Coke Zero bottle.


Be sure to follow us on Twitter @RyanFinfrock and @notZachRogers.

Podcast Title TBD- Yes, It’s a Merman Penis

How about a new podcast? People like those, right? Here’s the first one that my buddy Zach and I started. It’s definitely NSFW. We discuss video games, argue a lot and discuss Shape of Water and the only topic worth discussing about that movie. iTunes and other podcast app integration is in the works.. so stay tuned!

This first episode is more of an introduction and “see how things work” kind of thing. Things will get ironed out as we continue this “long awaited” podcast.

Finny’s Brief 3/29/17– The internet and Tomi Lahren for sale

That’s a pretty clickbaity image.. I know.. but I want them clicks.. give me your views! Tomi help me get people to read my blog!

Yeah, yeah… I know. It’s been a while. The last time I wrote a blog post was the day after Trump’s Inauguration. Luckily, I haven’t really missed out on much in that time.

*Looks at the past hour on Twitter*

Oh.. that bad, huh?

Yeah, I know I missed a lot and I regret not talking about it as it happened. However, I sat down trying to figure out a “Finny” way of summarizing the past couple of months and really couldn’t think of a great way to bring it all together. So I won’t be talking about all of the past… I want to talk about what’s happening now. There may be a time where talking about past events comes into fruition.. but for now… let’s talk about Tomi Lahren and the internet.

Ideological hypocrisy

The Blaze is a conservative news site that is owned by Glenn Beck. Although calling them a news site with the stories they talk about and the way in which they talk about is open to interpretation. The Blaze hired someone you probably have seen on Facebook.. and perfectly fits into The Blaze persona… named Tomi Lahren.


Lahren is a conservative commentator for The Blaze whose popularity came from yelling talking points that many people ‘are afraid to talk about.’ You know, the liberal media’s out to get the conservatives, the women’s marches weren’t really about women… and the evils of being pro-choice (more on that in a bit.) She made herself famous for this and was seen on millions of Facebook feeds on a daily basis. Her youthfulness and good looks checked off the rest of the boxes for everything you needed to get your ‘maybe-racist uncle’, the friend who thinks every mainstream media outlet is fake news, the friend from high school whom you aren’t sure why you were friends with in the first place, and your dad to share one of her videos.

Anyway, Lahren is no longer working at The Blaze and there are a couple of stories as to why this happened. The one you probably heard of was when she went on “The View”

There are a few things Lahren said that were factually incorrect in this interview (Islam is not a predominate religion in India and Kellyanne Conway didn’t run Trump’s campaign) but where she got the headlines was when she started talking about women’s rights and personally being pro-choice (that point starts at the 6:10 mark in the video.)

Let me set the stage. On ‘The View,” Lahren stated she has built a career on honesty. However, let’s go back to the tape on the abortion issue.

She uses air quotes to describe pro-choice (in this case, Lena Dunham) and how being pro-choice is actually being for rare and safe abortion. Is this a legitimate argument. Yes. But the fact she uses air quotes discredits everything thing she saying in the first place. Also, she says people who are pro-choice are not too far off ideologically from being called baby-killers.

Yes, the last part of the speech, she kind of makes up ground but the damage had already been done… and now looking at what happened on “The View,” nothing about this speech makes any sense.

Hypocrisy. That was the main reasoning Glenn Beck gave as to why he originally suspended Lahren from The Blaze. Beck took to his radio show saying that he welcomes different viewpoints to his network but when someone is an ideological hypocrite, that’s where he draws the line. Lahren crossed that line.

Now, interestingly enough, I heard from people involved with The Blaze that Lahren was a  huge pain to work with. She made demands that were completely unreasonable and treated her staff like dirt. These mumblings started before Lahren showed up on The View… so maybe The View was the straw that broke the camel’s back. Lahren earlier this week was suspended permanently (fired) from The Blaze.

Tomi Lahren is someone who reached fame way before she was ready for the spotlight. She’s cute and speaks to the feelings of Americans who felt like they have been burned. It’s a good formula for the world today. It works.. it worked. She has well over 4 million Twitter followers and her videos saw 5 millions views a piece. She has a brand. Is that brand tarnished now? Only time will tell. Lahren will find a place to land on her feet. In a post-truth, Trump era, Lahren with thrive. As long as there is a ‘liberal bias out there to ruin Trump,’ Lahren will thrive. As long as she believes PC culture is turning everyone into snowflakes, Lahren will thrive. She’ll be okay.. and will go to highest bidder.

The most important story no one is talking about

Hey, Congress just voted to roll back your internet privacy. What does this all mean?

Last week, the Senate voted to gut the FCC’s broadband privacy regulations. What did these regulations do? They prohibited internet service providers (ISPs) from selling the information and browsing history of its customers without consent. Seems like a good regulation… right? Well.. it’s a Trump signature away from going away. This regulation was deemed overly restrictive and would stifle innovation.. so the GOP voted to strip it.

But this goes a little deeper.. and a little scarier.

These regulations would have forced ISPs to inform its customers when there was suspected data breach. ISPs will not have to risk customer satisfaction anymore… and just say everything is fine. Your data could be hacked and your ISP doesn’t have to say anything. I feel like that dog meme that it’s a burning room and says “this is fine.”


Back to the data, there is a lot more about you on the internet than you may know. If you have a Facebook and like certain things and post certain things… the ISP knows it. The ISP can also know your political affiliation and sexual orientation… and your health information. All of that will be up for sale with these rolled back regulations. They sell the information to an advertising agency and can then more cater content to you. Yeah.. it’s all about the almighty dollar and ads.

There’s going to be a lot more about this coming out in the coming days and how it will affect net neutrality later down the line.. and the little guy who wants to try and make a buck on the internet.

There is an argument to be made about the expectation of privacy when browsing the internet that could lead to the reasoning, and the legality, of this measure. Nothing is free and the ISP own the bandwidth that you are using… so why wouldn’t they be able to use your browsing data the way they want. Somehow I think there is something in the EULA about that… but of course no one reads those. Next thing you know, we are all becoming human centiPads.

human centipad

So what can you do now?

Encryption is your best friend. Make it as hard as possible for ISPs to gather data on you.

Also, no… going incognito to watch your porn does not protect you… sorry.

There is a browser called Tor that you can download that encrypts your data. Yes, it takes web pages a little longer to load while using this browser, but privacy is probably worth it.

Also, look into setting a VPN (Virtual Private Network.) To avoid getting into a ton of technical talk, a VPN encrypts your browsing history and shields your activity from those who may be watching on ‘the other side.’ There are multiple ways to set up a VPN. Here’s a link that describes it way better than I ever could. If your internet privacy is important to you, I would definitely look into setting up a VPN.

Let me wrap this up with a clip that predicted this situation in 1999.

Anytime I can use a West Wing clip… I am a happier writer.

It’s always good news here on CFDD. Yes, it’s been a while… hopefully I can get back into a routine of writing every week again… there definitely isn’t any shortage of things to talk about, that’s for sure.

Until next time, follow me on Twitter @ryanfinfrock for my off-the-top-of-the-head thoughts on events and updates on when posts go live. Also, if you have any suggestions for topics, tweet them to me.



Finny’s Inauguration Special: American Carnage

“Educate yourself and make your voice heard.” Those were words spoken to me by the former President of the Cincinnati Tea Party when I interviewed him back when I was in high school. That was a big moment for me. It was the moment when I started forming a passion for the political process, the moment I started becoming a more informed citizen and the moment where I realized how important peaceful protest is to our country.

Yes, the Tea Party was a big turning point in my life. Now, we are faced with a very similar situation in our country right now.

President Donald Trump

Hey! Guess what! Donald Trump is officially the 45th President of the United States. His speech left much to be desired. Personally, I felt the speech was written late night after a campaign stop in late October and Bannon and Miller were kind of drunk and just spewing campaign rhetoric and ‘patriotic verbiage’ left and right and formed all of that into an Inaugural Address.

But for too many of our citizens, a different reality exists: Mothers and children trapped in poverty in our inner cities; rusted-out factories scattered like tombstones across the landscape of our nation; an education system flush with cash, but which leaves our young and beautiful students deprived of knowledge; and the crime and gangs and drugs that have stolen too many lives and robbed our country of so much unrealized potential.
This American carnage stops right here and stops right now.
Yes, when you look at what is being said, it is admirable. Poverty is a huge issue in our country. Manufacturing jobs are struggling and crime in certain areas continues to be a problem. However, you see no attempt at saying “hey, I’m going to fix these problems.” You don’t see any glimmer of hope. All you see and take away from this is “American carnage.” Those words have never been spoken in an Inaugural Address… ever. Remember “Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country.”? Remember “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” Trump’s speech was leaps and bounds behind those speeches yesterday.
That’s all I will focus on in regard to the actual speech. It sucked. I hope Trump succeeds as President because I don’t want to see him, and as a result our country, fail.

Battle of the Numbers

I am very happy I took time and wrote this on Saturday instead of Friday. Saturday arguably had a lot more to talk about. Let’s start off by talking about the blatant Day 1 lie by the Trump Administration.

A big talking point across various media outlets is how Trump’s Inauguration (right) compared to Obama’s first Inauguration (left.) It doesn’t take a rocket scientist… or a U.S. Press Secretary to tell you that Obama clearly had more people attend his Inauguration than Trump. That is a clear fact. No one can refute that.



You see where I’m going with this?

President Trump (admittedly, calling him President Trump will be hard to get used to) spoke in front of the CIA on Saturday and said the ‘dishonest media’ was spreading false reports about how his Inauguration was not well-attended. This was later enforced by a press conference called by Press Secretary Sean Spicer. Spicer tried to explain that there were many factors at play that prove Trump’s Inauguration was the MOST WATCHED INAUGURATION EVER. PERIOD. Yes, he did add the period at the end. No better way to end the argument than what Spicer did there.

This folks, is the first lie of the new Trump Administration. It’s Day 1. Where do we possibly go from here? Something that is so easily fact-checked is being questioned by the highest office in the land.

So if they are willing to lie about this… what else are they willing to lie about to the American people? In the grand scheme of things, this story is nothing. The attendance of the Inauguration means nothing. What matters is the President lying to America about this non-story. What is he now going to say about health care? What is he going to say about education? About terrorism? About his wall? The precedent has been set.

Numbers that could matter

The other big story to come out of Saturday was the Women’s March that took place in cities across the country. Objectively, these turnouts were incredible. Some cities had hundreds of thousands flood the streets to protest the new administration. They want the administration to hear their concerns about matters of women’s reproductive rights, immigration rights… basically against all of the thing Trump said during his campaign.


Yes… it appears more people attended the rally in DC today than the Inauguration yesterday. I know you were probably dying to know the answer to that question.

These protests, by all the reports I’ve read, were peaceful. No arrests have been reported at the time of this writing. These were peaceful protests. This got me thinking earlier today when I was watching coverage of these protests:

When Obama was elected in 2008, many on the right were upset and took action. Those actions led to the Tea Party movement. The Tea Party movement swayed the balance of power in Congress. Hell, the Tea Party movement gave us Donald Trump. Despite what you may think of the movement, they accomplished something big. They took action and those actions had outcomes.

Is this the start of something similar with these women marches that we say on Saturday? Time will tell but from what I was reading on Twitter, people want this type of thing to keep up and turn into their own movement and sway the balance of power in their favor. That will be the big thing to see over the coming months.

Of course, many will argue about the validity and real purpose of these marches… but that’s the way these things always go.

Let’s just hope it doesn’t turn into Occupy again. I don’t think I can deal with that crap again.

Common ground

It is important to have open dialogue in our country. It is important to hear from people who have different opinions than that of your own. The echo chamber that many keep themselves in does not do this country any good. Ad hominem attacks against the other side do not do anything. In order to have progress, we need to have compromise. We cannot have compromise without discussion. Stop posting the crappy (and often unfunny) anti-Trump memes on Facebook. Stop calling everyone who disagrees with Trump a ‘snowflake’ who needs to grow up and accept what happened. Talk to each other! Find common ground.

Educate yourself and make your voice heard. Those are the words that I have lived by since I’ve heard them over 5 years ago. Education comes when you challenge your own ideals and thoughts. Education comes from reading what qualified journalists are writing about in regard to the Presidency and surrounding events in Washington. I’m not perfect when it comes to this stuff and maybe I’m just thinking too ideally. I believe that this country has always been great because of the people. It’s time to learn from one another.

Trump is now our President. Now is not the time to say “he is not my President.” He is. Let’s hope he helps this country succeed.

Finny’s Brief 1/16/17– Let’s ‘Switch’ this up a little bit!

Let’s vibe to vibe a second…

Will Smith’s song “Switch” was the first rap song that I really enjoyed listening to and then I went down a rabbit hole of listening to nothing but rap music for the next few years… thanks to Will Smith and “Lost and Found.” I used to freestyle rap a lot and write “raps.” Yeah.. I was a lost cause.”Switch” is still a good song, it turns out… even though it is over 10 years old now. Yes… 10 years old.

HEYYYYY! Turn it over and switch!

But I’m not going to be talking about Will Smith or rap music tonight… so sorry about getting your hopes up about “white boy writing about rap music.” I’m going to be talking about a different kind of switch… of the Nintendo variety.

Nintendo switching their approach


Yes, I’m sure you’ve heard something about this console whether is be positive or negative. Let me give you my take on this console and what I think of video games as an art form. Yes… I believe video games are an art form and the second-best form of storytelling next to reading a book.

The Nintendo Switch is the latest console to come from Nintendo and comes after the very unsuccessful WiiU. You don’t know what WiiU is or never heard of it? Don’t worry… you aren’t alone in that category. Nintendo has an interesting hook with this new console and it is the reason why it has the “Switch” branding: it functions both and a home console you hook up to your TV and as a handheld that you can play on the go (much like an Gameboy or Nintendo 3DS.) People should be head over heels over this thing, right? A Nintendo console where you can play Mario and Zelda games on the good with much better graphics?? Sign me up! Well… not so fast.. people are not so head over heels on this console… at least not yet.

The Switch retails for $299.99. Not a bad price for a console if we get down to brass tax. The problem that many people have is that… well… there isn’t much to play on this console on Day 1. You have the new Zelda game, which looks pretty damn impressive, a gimmicky motion-control party game thing called 1,2, Switch! where one of the games has you milking a cow. I kid you not… one of the games actually has you milking a cow.


Needless to say… that game doesn’t look all that great.. but that Zelda game! Holy crap! Look at this trailer!

Yes… you can play that game on WiiU.. but who has one of those or wants to play it on something like that? LEMME PLAY MY ZELDA ON THE GO!

Other than that… there’s no big releases on day 1 of the Switch.. which people are upset about… and it’s a good reason why. There are many other reasons why people are upset.. but I won’t bore you with all of those details. There are other games coming out throughout the year that are pretty damn promising. Splatoon 2 and Super Mario Odyssey will be big hits for the Switch.

Yes… Mario is in New Donk City. NEW DONK CITY! I feel like Jay-Z and Alicia Keys should rewrite Emprie State of Mind for New Donk City. Now you’re in NEW DOOOONNNKKK.

Anyway.. if you were thinking about getting a Switch on day 1, you are pretty much out of luck. Preorders are reportedly sold out everywhere which is not shocking with a company like Nintendo… remember the fiasco with the NES Classic?

People love playing Nintendo consoles because it reminds them of their childhoods. If adults have children, it’s a way to connect with their children and give them a glimpse at what their childhood was like while giving their child a great experience. That’s a main reason why people love buying Nintendo products.

Me? I love playing Nintendo games. Zelda has been on my radar for years, Splatoon 2 will be something I sink many hours into.. and having something where I can play those games on the go… sign me up!

So I preordered one and have it paid off.


I got a pretty good deal on it. Gamestop had a deal where I could get $75 extra dollars of trade-in credit when I traded in my WiiU… so I got $195 in credit for my WiiU… add the games I had with that and I bought a Switch for around $20. I’ll take that deal any day of the week.

Art is dead

Since I’m on the topic of video games, I thought this would be the perfect time to rant about something that I am pretty passionate about: games as an art form. This is a more contentious debate than you may think. A simple Google search will render thousands of arguments for and against games as an art form and most of them are pretty fascinating reads.

Video games are something that I believe can be a very powerful art form… when done correctly. For example, my all-time favorite game is called “Bioshock.” It takes place in a dystopian underwater world called Rapture. Many of the themes are taken from Ayn Rand’s “Atlas Shrugged.” Through the game, you experience what lead to the downfall of this once great utopia and witness the degradation of the human condition and the corruption of power. It’s a game is only as powerful as it is because you are there through the eyes of the protagonist. You are partaking in the events that are affecting the future (or lack thereof) of Rapture. It’s something that you can only experience through a video game. Art always conveys some kind of story.. so video games have to fit into this category.


Of course, not all games are great at the art. In fact.. some are terrible and shouldn’t be considered games at all. I feel that way about a lot of paintings too…

The United States Supreme Court is also in my corner on this one. Back in 2011, the Supreme Court ruled on Brown v. Entertainment Merchants Association and ruled that video games are protected speech and should be treated as other forms of media. California was trying to pass a law to prohibit the sale of mature video games to anyone under the age of 18. This, as history shows, faced many legal challenges which led to this decision by the Supreme Court. I could continue on this subject because the history around this case is fascinating.

Video games are pretty cool. I enjoy coming home from work and unwinding with an hour of a good game followed by a good book. Not only is a good art form.. but it can bring a group of friends together and relax and shoot each other in the face… and what is more relaxing than that? That’s right… not much.

I’m kind of all over the place on this topic… but I felt like it was a different thing to talk about other than the political crap I’ve been talking about recently. There will be much more to talk about in relation to that… Inauguration Day is on Friday. I REPEAT: Inauguration Day is on Friday.

I want to try and do more in-depth pieces (like digging into the Supreme Court case I mentioned) but time seems to never be on my side. So I’m going to see what happens. Ive been writing a lot more and I love it… but it takes up a ton of time when I already didn’t have a lot of free time to begin with. So I’ll be back Wednesday talking about who knows what… so until then, give me a follow on Twitter @RyanFinfrock. Let me know if you liked this change of pace and different topic. I know it was nice, for me, to talk about something different for a change.




Finny’s Brief 1/11/17— A failing pile of garbage blog post

Boy, when I decided to go to a Monday-Wednesday-Friday format for posts, I thought there would be days where it would be pretty damn hard to find news stories. So far… it couldn’t be easier to find stories to talk about. However, the main topic today is something that really made my blood boil… so let’s just dive into it.

‘A failing pile of garbage’

Buzzfeed took the world by storm last night when it decided to publish an over 30-page dossier of scurrilous allegations against Donald Trump. This story has grabbed my attention mainly because of the ethics surrounding the situation.

These allegations are unverified. So to many, this is grounds for not publishing any information regarding the dossier. Buzzfeed decided to publish it anyway. A funny thing happened after Buzzfeed published: other journalists came out and said they have had the same information but didn’t publish because they could not verify the information. So why did Buzzfeed think it did the right thing? Well, here is Ben Smith’s letter to staff after the story was published:

“Publishing this dossier reflects how we see the job of reporters in 2017.” Buzzfeed is trying to set the stage for journalism after its pretty crappy 2016. However, this precedent sets journalism up for failure. Publishing without verification is nothing short of irresponsible and is what led to the ‘fake news’ phenomena that we currently see. Buzzfeed is saying “hey, we’ll publish whatever, you decide if you believe it or not.” Buzzfeed’s readership consists of a lot of demographics… but I’m assuming the bulk of their readership are young, impressionable minds. What does this precedent do to them? Their education may not be where it needs to be to make that informed decision after they read an unverified document on Buzzfeed. There should be reasonable expectation that information published on a site like Buzzfeed be true. If this is the new lifestyle for Buzzfeed, it has become a terrible source for news (they had been getting on my better side, recently) and given other media outlets a bad name by association in a time where trust in media is already at an all-time low and journalists need to find ways to earn back the trust of the public.

Buzzfeed lost any credibility it had gained in the past few months from me (and many others from what I’ve seen.) It’s crazy to see someone make that kind of managerial decision that affected so much.

Anyway… let’s talk about the ramifications of this in today’s press conference with the President-elect!

A Tale of Two Speeches


Before we get into the dumpster fire, let’s talk about President Obama’s farewell speech last night. I was never the biggest fan of President Obama. I disagreed with him on a number of issues but I respected him as a leader. It’s also undeniable that he is a fantastic public speaker. Both of these characteristics shined brightly last night. He spoke of unity and wishing the best of luck to the next administration. It was a hopeful speech.. although his audience may not have seen it that way.. they chanted “4 more years” because they really don’t want to have Donald Trump as their next President. He also spoke very highly of his wife, Michelle, which made some people I know tear up a little bit (I’m not one to cry over political speeches.. so it didn’t do much for me.) No matter what you may have thought of the last 8 years, there are certain aspects of Barack that you cannot deny are admirable and will be missed in the next few days.


The official “Hamilton” Youtube page posted this video after Obama’s speech… which seemed fitting. I liked it because it was a new Hamilton performance that I hadn’t seen yet.

Now… let’s contrast that with President-elect Trump’s first press conference in 167 days…


It’s hard to talk about this without really diving into the politics of all of this and starting partisan arguments… but that press conference was one of the worst things I have ever watched when it comes to politics… which is saying something because I’ve watched more of the Cabinet confirmation hearings than I care to admit.

Anyway… where do I begin with this speech? Do I start with Sean Spicer coming on stage and calling out Buzzfeed (Trump called the outlet a ‘failing pile of garbage’) and CNN for being fake news? Do I start with Trump’s lack of good public speaking skills? (“We have much hacking going on” is a sentence he said.) Or do I start with his back-and-forth with a CNN reporter when the reporter wanted to respond to the allegations that Trump brought before CNN?

As you might have guessed, most of the questions focused around the Buzzfeed report and Russia. The reporters present really wanted to get to the bottom of Russia and get some real answers about it. However, this lead to multipart questions that sometimes had 4,5 parts to them. Note to reporters: STOP DOING THIS! This only gives Trump an out to forget one of your questions and just focus on one of them and then go off on a talking point tangent.

There are many other topics that Trump needs to be questioned on… but thanks to the recent news cycle… all anyone wanted to know about was Russia.. and Trump wanted to slam “fake news” outlets.

I also found it funny that Trump said he liked the outlets that didn’t publish anything about the dossier. “Hey! I like you when you don’t write anything negative about me!”

On a different beat, Trump called out the intelligence committee right off the top of his speech and brought into question if it were an inside job… which is very dangerous rhetoric… but again… so is this:

Finally, I wonder how Trump plans on doing so much in the first couple of weeks in office. He plans on repealing and replacing Obamacare and naming a nominee to the Supreme Court within the first couple of weeks. I really doubt his knowledge on how long things like these that take. Not only that, he refused to give specifics on what he’d replace Obamacare with or who he is looking at for a Supreme Court nominee.

Also, to clear things up, there is a clear distinction between what CNN did compared to Buzzfeed. CNN reported that Obama and Trump were briefed by the intelligence committee about the dossier. Buzzfeed published the dossier without verifying its legitimacy. You cannot say what CNN did is comparable to what Buzzfeed did. If anything… Buzzfeed took what CNN said as enough evidence to go ahead and publish the document.

I could go on and on about last night’s and today’s events.. but I’d probably get myself into trouble if I continued. So I’ll wrap it up here.

Tomorrow will be an interesting day.. and not because of politics. Nintendo will be holding a conference to talk about its new console, the Switch. I’ll be covering that conference for So be sure to check that out late tomorrow night. I’ll also post more personal reaction here (time permitting) on the whole event. It may turn into my whole Friday post if I don’t have the time after all of that work. It’ll all be fun nonetheless and a nice change of pace from the crap that happened the past two days.

Let me know what you liked, didn’t like or what you’d like to see. Be sure to follow me on Twitter @RyanFinfrock.