It’s 2018: Revisiting Cities Skylines


Today we revisit Cities Skylines, the city builder simulator/game (for computer and now consoles).  Remember? It’s that game that tried to replace SimCity 2013 and for many of us, was successful for the most part.  I have reviewed Cities Skylines in the past but there have been quite a few expansion packs and mods released since then so I figured it’s a great time to get a fresh look at the game and what I think about it in 2018.

Criticisms and Recommendation

While I do not hesitate to recommend this game especially for you who enjoy computer city builders like SimCity, I haven’t shied away from noting some frustrations with the game as well.  And at that time, the primary feature I have needed to force myself to overlook is the non-American influence and look of the in-game building models, vehicles, signage, road and track styles (Cantenary lines), etc no option to change them without mods.   Of course, since this game was made in Europe I can kind of understand the European influence but this isn’t always the case with games no matter who makes them.  (Police 10-13 for example is being made in Australia and as far as I can tell, appears to be quite American.)

Expansion Packs

Now it’s 2018 and Cities Skylines remains the only city builder for computer that has withstood the test of time and in my opinion has only gotten better.  There are expansion packs and DLC which enhance the game.  I will only be commenting on the expansion packs I have installed.

There is After Dark, which brings a few night related policies and styles to the game.  Snowfall, which brought snow-covered maps to the game, including trams for any map but did not bring us seasons, more on that later.  Match Day adds a Futball/Football stadium, which in America we refer to as Soccer.  There is the Mass Transit expansion which notably adds some more transportation options, such as Blimps, Large Airport, Taxi, Monorails, Cable Cars suspended from a cable (not to be confused with San Francisco cable cars) and ferries.  The final expansion pack I have installed as of this post is Natural Disasters.  The Natural Disasters Expansion features as you might assume naturally occurring ways to destroy your city (then rebuild it), such as flaming Meteor, Earthquake, Tsunami, Forest Fire, Building Collapse, Sinkhole, Lightning strike and Tornado.  In addition to some disaster related buildings and options, this expansion also adds helicopter air support including police patrol, fire, search and rescue and medical choppers to the game. Green Cities is the most recent expansion pack to be released which I can’t comment on since I don’t have that one, yet.


What Do I Really Think of the Expansion Packs?


In my opinion, all of the expansion packs offer something important to enhance the overall game-play of Cities Skylines.  For example, in the Snowfall expansion pack the included trams are a necessity if you want to build a proper city.  SimCity 2013 included trams by default so SimCity fans will love having trams from the Snowfall expansion. Mods will let your download custom trams (such as this awesome cable car from San Francisco by stockjr97) which enhanced the city experience.  I recommend picking the Snowfall expansion pack up on a sale (either Steam or the Paradox website).  Also as the title suggests, snow is included but not as a season.  (boo hoo)

Neglecting seasons or at least Winter/Summer city building on the SAME map is a mistake because even the Sims 3 has snow and summer on the same map.  Right now, with Snowfall, (without mods in the game) a Winter map must be chosen in order to see snow and to enjoy some included winter parks such as an ice rink, ice sculpture park snowman park, sky lodge, curling, snowboarding, Christmas tree and more.  Water line heating has also been introduced with this expansion but I have not experienced it as a necessity on a non Winter map.

Mass Transit

Mass Transit expansion is a must for the added transportation options it brings to the game even if you don’t want to use them all at the same in your cities (but we try, right?).  Why wasn’t trams included with this pack?  I’ll try to understand, it’s about marketing.

Natural Disasters

In my opinion, the Natural Disasters expansion is fantastic simply for the helicopters which get added to the game!  Random disasters can be turned off in the options menu and just as in SimCity, any disaster can be summoned at will whenever—if you so choose. (Although I have noticed a curious increase in tree fires in my city since I have installed this pack).   However if you do unleash a disaster or two, remember you might want to save your city first.   (by the way Paradox, we want Alien UFO’s and a large monster to eat the buildings)

After Dark

In the After Dark expansion, I am not totally sure all that it does but it will include a prison, prisoner transport van,  nice hotel, casino, and some policies as they relate to tourism and leisure especially after dark.  Oh I get it, After Dark!   (by the way, the day/night cycle was already included in the game for free in an update.)


So is Cities Skylines better in 2018?  The short answer is an obvious yes but mostly because of expansion packs and mods.  The modding community has been busily creating more great content and in my opinion necessary content to the game.  I may need to do a post about that soon.

Do you play Cities Skylines? What do you enjoy about Cities Skylines? Let me know in the comments!


Cities Skylines

Cities Skylines Disasters expansion on Steam

Paradox Interactive

Cities Skylines on Steam

Find me on Steam



Image source from my in-game screenshots


How to destroy a city without losing it in Cities Skylines – Natural Disasters


If you have the Natural Disasters expansion pack for Cities Skylines it’s pretty simple to wreak havoc on your city with say, a tornado, an earthquake or a meteor strike (or two or three) without actually losing the hard work you put into building your town.  That is, assuming you save it first.


Manually Save Your City First (Disable Auto Saving and Random Disasters)

Besides simply saving your city, there are a couple of things you must do to preserve your city or town if you want to for example, watch that Tsumani flood your town.  But before you watch any natural disaster level your city, if you don’t want to permanently lose your city you will need to also disable AUTO SAVING of your game and disable random disasters.  Disabling these two options are very important if you don’t want any surprises later.


Disable Auto Saving and Random Disasters

In the options menu (on the main menu) or within the gameplay menu while in-game you must uncheck all the entries for automatically saving your game (such as to save a game automatically every 10 minutes or more).  Why do this?  Doing this insures you will have full control over your city before and after a disaster strikes.   You don’t want the game to overwrite your city with an auto saved destroyed copy of your city by mistake!  You will also need the make sure the Random Disasters option is unchecked too.


When you are sure the appropriate options are disabled (not checked), you can build your city and prepare your city for its impending doom.  (If you have a created a city already that want to see a disaster strike, load that saved city and just remember to make sure all the options I have mentioned above are disabled before you unleash any disasters!)

If you haven’t already, you can add some of the buildings to your city which are included with the Disasters expansion such as an evacuation bunker, early warning system, helicopter depots and radio antenna if you so choose.  It’s up to you what you do before you destroy your city just make sure it’s manually saved if you want to access it later.


Pick a disaster and watch the aftermath

When you are satisfied with your saved city, you are ready to pick a disaster.

The destruction caused by the disaster can be pretty devastating on your city but no worries because if you did everything correctly you will always have an untouched saved copy waiting to be destroyed again, and again if you so choose!

Obvious but important note:  Do not save your city after a disaster (without renaming the destroyed city first)  if you want have access to your original untouched city in the future.

My tips are intended for entertainment purposes and not officially endorsed by the maker of Cities Skylines. If you don’t want to lose your city, please save it. I will not be responsible for lost cities.

Like Cities Skylines? Read my review here

Like Simcity? Read about my updated SimCity (2013) (aka SimCity 5) experience here.


Cities Skylines

Cities Skylines Disasters expansion on Steam

Cities Skylines on Steam

Find me on Steam



Image source from my in-game screenshots

Windows 10 Fast Boot a Source for Many Desktop Booting Freezes


Microsoft may recommend Fast Boot but it has been source for many freezes to my Windows 10 desktop

If you have Windows 10 on your computer, chances are you have seen your computer crash, freeze, hang or have some other undesirable behavior especially after performing feature updates.  I have seen my computer refuse to boot into the Windows desktop after the Anniversary Update released in 2016 after several attempts. This freezing phenomena again occurred just recently after receiving the Creators Update released in the Fall of 2017.   The reason?  Fast Boot (which Microsoft apparently recommends) was automatically enabled after the feature update (I had disabled it before).   (And in case you are wondering, I have seen this freezing issue related to the Fast Boot enabled on at least three separate computers.  Why Microsoft doesn’t address this issue I do not know. )

So, if you are able to get to your desktop or your computer hasn’t been frozen entering the desktop, the first thing I recommend is to disable the Fast Boot feature ASAP which is found under Power Options.  (Note:  If you know your Fast Boot option is enabled and you have never had any issues with booting into the Windows 10 desktop, by all means feel free to leave it on!)

Disabling Fast Boot in Windows 10

1. Navigate to Power & Sleep Settings in Windows 10.  (Type in Power in the search bar or icon located at the on the taskbar at the bottom on your desktop.)

2.Click on Additional Power Settings (Usually located to the right or towards the bottom of the Settings window under Related Settings)


3. In the Settings window that opens, click on Choose What the Power Buttons Do option located to the left of the Power Options window.  (Note: this will be part of the Power options found in Control Panel)


4. The window System Settings will open.  Four check boxes will be listed with the Fast Boot options listed first.  Usually it is grayed out and the box has been already checked.  To uncheck it, simply click on Change the settings that are currently unavailable.


5. Uncheck Turn On Fast Boot (Recommended)

6. Save the changes.  That’s it! Making sure this little hidden nugget from Microsoft is unchecked has fixed a lot of startup problems on my computers.  Hope it can help you.


There may be lots of bad news out there but see what Hope looks like at

Windows 10 Creators Update

Anniversary Update

Audacity Movie


Images are screenshots from Windows 10 on my computer



Would you be interested in a family-friendly version of Grand Theft Auto?


The question was once raised, “Would you be interested in a family friendly version of Grand Theft Auto?”

And my response is, absolutely.  By now, there are mods available which turn GTA games including GTA 5 into a similar family friendly gaming experience.  Yet I believe there is money to be made for any game company/developer who developed a GTA 5 style open world game without the extensive profanity, sex and violence (specifically against others) which GTA games are known for.  Essentially it could be GTA 5 lite.  This game would feature the same map, same natural environment including AI traffic but different gameplay options.  Police patrol? Yes. Catch bad guys? Yes.  Cause explosions? Sure.  Fly?  Drive?  Run? Yes, yes and yes.

In-game options are always good

Another option would be for Rockstar games to include a filter(s) within their games.  Simple on or off options for language.  Street dialogue profanity on/off.  Assassin’s creed Black Flag includes a similar option to remove blood.

We already see games which feature beautiful scenery but do not focus on swearing, sex and violence at every turn.  The CREW Wild Run is a perfect example.  However, The CREW only features a driving mode.  No running, walking, doing police patrols, exiting your car, etc.  In fact you can’t get out of your car at all.

Just Cause 2 is another example of a great open world game without sex and extensive swearing. In fact, the swearing can be virtually eliminated by lowering the volume for dialogue.  However, Just Cause 2 does not feature a modern American style city nor a map or vehicles like GTA 5.  Additionally, there is a lot of violence in Just Cause 2 (explosions and commando style shooting)—against the bad guys.

Rockstar’s Red Dead Redemption outside of missions doesn’t even feature all the sex, violence and swearing one can find in GTA 5.  Red Dead Redemption isn’t available for a PC nor does the map feature a modern American-like city.  In fact, RDR is a western game.

Modding GTA games

An open world game that virtually eliminates swearing, sex and allows the player assume the role of a good guy or as a cop will get my business.

At this point I will note the mod for GTA 5 called LSPDFR. LSPDFR is a police mod essentally allowing the player become a cop in the GTA 5 world.   The trouble with mod’s is how they cause GTA games to crash.  In the meantime, I will be waiting for a permanent solution to LSPDFR or even the family friendly mod for GTA 5.  Is Police 10-13 going to be that game?


Would you like to see a GTA 5 family friendly version or similar?

The Crew and the state of open world games

Third Person Open World Games Miss the Mark

Police 10-13



Athiest Movie


Image source


The strange behavior and missing features of iOS 11




The strange behavior and missing features of iOS 11

I like my iPhone and iPad but between strange behavior and missing features in Apple’s new update to iOS 11 I have become increasingly frustrated with it.

Strange bright border around face of iPhone

When viewing any app or picture with a white background, my iPhone shows an odd inexplicable bright whitish border around the edge of the screen.  This was not seen prior to iOS 11.1 and does appear in any screenshots taken with the phone but appears to be an issue with the phone itself.  Any thoughts?  (below are some screenshots taken with my iPad of my iPhone 5s)


Sticking Portrait Orientation even when the feature is not locked?

I may or may not be one of the few people experiencing this issue but I have noticed when I check my email Portrait Orientation sticking to a wide position even when I hold the phone upright in iOS 11.  I am forced to shake or rotate the phone a couple of times to get it “unstuck”.  To completely remedy this “sticking” of auto rotation I have to now use the portrait orientation lock feature when viewing emails or browsing the web to keep it from sticking in the wrong position.  Pre-Locking the position is fine but it adds more steps when viewing a video should I want to rotate the view of the picture on the fly.

Control Center Wi-Fi setting appears to have a mind of its own

Another thing I have encountered in iOS 11 which I did not encounter in previous OS versions, is Wi-Fi automatically turning itself on after turning it off from the control center. This behavior never occurred in iOS 10.  Of course, I go into settings to permanently turn off Wi-Fi but then it will won’t find any hot-spots at all.  Isn’t the purpose of Control Center to allow convenient access to various phone settings such as Wi-Fi?  I think so but for whatever reason, Apple decided to change the functionality of Wi-Fi in the Control Center.

App Store Wish List Missing From iOS 11

Lastly, if you have ever wanted to buy an App from the App store and save it to your wish list, you can’t anymore. Again, for whatever reason, the wish list feature has been removed in iOS 11.  Thank you Apple.  Why not keep it when it such a useful feature in iOS 10?

Still no iPad Calculator

Honorable Mention:

This isn’t necessarily simply an issue with iOS 11 but still having no built-in calculator on the iPad is also odd since the iPhone has one built in. Maybe the code to add a calculator to the iPad (without using a third-party app) is more complicated than we realize.




iOS 11’s Bluetooth and Wi-Fi controls don’t actually turn off

Dangerous Trend: Wi-fi turning itself on?

Disabling iPad, iPhone in-app purchases

Audacity Movie




Image source: top image

Embedded Website Videos and Annoying Autoplay


Only a few years ago it used to be considered bad website design to allow videos to auto-play when a user landed on the site.  In college I was instructed to not enable autoplay by default because it was considered impolite to the user especially if their sound had been turned up.  That was more than 10 years ago.

Today it would seem that most news websites and many mainstream websites in general are enabling autoplay for their embedded videos by default.  Annoying?  Irritating? For me and many users it is. And if your sound is turned up, forget about peace and quiet while browsing the web.

Do we have a say in the matter?  Maybe but only if enough people complained about it.  Unfortunately, for now anyways, our current generation is being forced to get used to the intrusive bombardment of pop-up ads, chat windows, and videos that autoplay without you asking them to.

What do you think? Feel free to leave me a comment below.

5 Reasons I use a pop-up blocker

Like it or not, autoplay video won

Audacity Movie

Hitler and abortion link? Watch

In an increasingly chaotic world, there is still hope

See what hopes looks like


image source


Dangerous Trend: Wi-fi Apparently Turning itself ON in iOS 11



Wi-fi has a mind of its own in iOS 11

Is Wifi turning on by itself (overriding user input) in iOS 11?  In my experience it is.  From the Control Center, when I toggle Wi-fi off it disconnects only temporarily before coming on hours later.  Why this behavior?  In iOS 10 this did not occur.  OFF meant wi-fi was off and ON meant it was ON.  So what is Apple doing?  Why have they apparently decided to override user settings?  If this is truly the case, in my view it is a dangerous trend.

Apple’s Dangerous Trend

If Wi-fi settings are changed, what else is Apple changing on your device without you knowing?  For example, if you turn location detection OFF, will your phone turn it back on later?  I hope not.  Or what about other privacy settings? For now, the Wi-fi toggle found in Control Center in iOS 11 is the only setting I have found that is being changed  automatically (overridden).

What has been your experience with iOS 11?  Feel free to comment below.







iOS 11’s Bluetooth and Wi-Fi controls don’t actually turn off

Disabling iPad, iPhone in-app purchases

Strings Attached: Revisiting Windows 10 Store and In-App Purchasing

Windows 10 Store, In-App Purchases: A Dream Gone Bad

Audacity Movie

See what hope looks like.




Image source: Image is my own

Is iOS 11 control center WiFi toggle overriding user settings?



I like my iPhone but with the introduction of iOS 11, I have found that WiFi is apparently overriding user manual settings in the control center.

I may be one of only a few people who care but I like the convenience of being able to turn my WiFi ON or OFF from the control center on my iPhone and have it stay that way (in this case OFF).  With iOS 10 this has always been expected behavior but with Apple’s newly introduced iOS 11,  I have found something else is occurring.

I have noticed that toggling the WiFi OFF from the control center turns off the WiFi only temporarily before the setting is overridden and comes back on AUTOMATICALLY.  Why?  I turned it off on purpose, so why should it come back on?   Perhaps I have toggled an incorrect setting from within the iPhone?  Let’s take a closer look.

As far as I can tell, my settings are set the same as when I was using iOS 10 except for a new setting called AUTO-JOIN.

Auto-Join and manual override in iOS 11?

Perhaps it is AUTO-JOIN where-in the trouble lies.  I believe when AUTO-JOIN is toggled ON, it is keeping the user from disconnecting from WiFi from the control center.  However, if this is the case, I don’t think it should work this way.  Being able to connect to known WiFi networks AUTOMATICALLY is a great feature, that is, when it’s toggled ON already but when WiFi is toggled OFF (from the control center), I believe it should STAY off! And why shouldn’t it?



If this overriding behavior is occurring in iOS 11 then it would seem to me that this is just another step in Apple’s and technology companies overreaching into our lives.  For many, overriding manual settings is not acceptable behavior and it shows how much privacy is increasingly become less important from a business stand point.  What else has Apple already implemented on their devices that will override a customer’s manual settings?

If you agree or not with my assessment, please comment below.



iOS 11’s Bluetooth and Wi-Fi controls don’t actually turn off

Dangerous Trend: Wi-fi turning itself on?

Disabling iPad, iPhone in-app purchases

Audacity Movie




Image source: top image; Middle Image is my own

Windows 7 Control Panel is NOT Missing from Windows 10 after all


Where’s the Control Panel?

Got Windows 10 and the Creators update but can’t find the Windows 7 Control Panel? It used to be found by right clicking on the start menu but recently it apparently went missing.  If may be that Microsoft removed it from that location in their desire to move forward with the “fresh”  flat look of Windows 10 but there are still many who will miss the look of Windows 7.

User Account Control

Windows 10 may not be Windows 7 in appearance but Windows 10 still retained the old-style control panel I loved from Windows 7.  Of course Windows 10 is now known for its new option simply called Settings.  However, the graphically appealing Windows 7 control panel had at least one option that I have not been able to find from the Settings menu of Windows 10.  One such example is User Account Control.  With this nifty little feature, one is able to control how much or little Windows will warn about programs before they install on your computer.  (You probably have seen it, it’s a dialogue box that pops up with a warning that you are about to change settings on your computer).  The warning also pops up just before you want to install a new application.  Some users, myself included may find it annoying but it can be controlled (at your own risk) in User Account Control.  User Account Control can be found in the old Control Panel under User Accounts.

(Important note: I will not be responsible for any damage caused to your computer for playing with the User Account Control or User Accounts settings.)


How to Get the retro Windows 7 Control Panel Back

To find the retro Windows Control Panel you have a few options.

A quick search from the task bar (Cortana search), by typing in the words Control Panel will bring it up.  Another way to get it is to click on File Explorer  from the taskbar (looks like a yellow folder on the bottom of the desktop on Windows 10) and type Control Panel in the address bar.

Pin a Control Panel shortcut

For you fans of shortcuts, Control Panel can also be found in the Windows 10 start menu.  Scroll to the bottom of the long list of applications, and the Control Panel is under the category heading Windows System. Simply drag and drop the Control Panel to the Start Menu  (just to the right of the list of applications) or right-click Control Panel and click on pin to Start Menu or pin to Taskbar!

Using the Windows Button on your Keyboard

Win+R type in Control Panel in the dialogue box

Add a Desktop Shortcut to Control Panel

Right-click on the Control Panel from the Start Menu. Select More then Open file location.  Control Panel should be one of the options in the list.  From there you can add a shortcut link to your desktop.  (if you need more help leave me a comment)


There is trouble in the world. See what true hope looks like.

Hope from a website

Audacity Movie. Have you seen it?

Stand up for kids and share! 180 Movie


images are my own


Raising the Bar in Gaming: Top Realistic Style Open-World Police Games in 2017

Cop Police Police Car Club Siren Image Editing

Listing the Top Sandbox Style Police Games

So what are the top, most realistic, most exciting, graphically pleasing, sandbox style police games/sims available in 2017?  Unfortunately, I know of none to speak of……..yet.  Not to fret though, Wingman Games is currently working on fixing that with the development of Police 10-13.  Police 10-13 is a game that has the potential of finally raising the bar in gaming and filling a void in the gaming world with a realistic quality police simulator.

An Exercise in Futility

The gaming world is known for all genres and styles of kids and family games.  Some kids games (and family games) feature adorable animals, digital dolls, bricks, puzzles, building skills, driving, racing and more.  Then there are also realistic simulation style games such as X-plane and FSX or various vehicle simulators which allow a person to drive and race cars, drive a truck, a tractor, a ship and even a train!   He or she can build a model city, manage a town, go to war, shoot zombies, shoot aliens, shoot people, inhabit alien planets, build roller coasters, fight monsters and demonic beings or even kill the police.  Most of these games feature excessive violence, sex and such grotesque profanity not even gamers on YouTube will use it on their channel.  It’s true the modern gamer has many gaming options available.  However, if you are searching or have been searching like me, for a game that respects and features law enforcement as the hero in an open-world style environment, you will be disappointed.

The Search Continues

The most disappointing part about my search for a good police game is not that it doesn’t exist. With the more recent advancements in computer graphics and technology, I have been especially disappointed to find out this type of police game isn’t only possible to make but it could have already been done.  In fact, in the past 15 years of gaming, game developers have already built police and law enforcement models and vehicles right into their games and they did it well.  GTA 4 and 5 for example, have featured great looking graphical representations of police and law enforcement operations–just from the wrong side of the law.  Driving simulations and games such as The Crew, various truck simulators, and many Need For Speed titles have also featured great looking police vehicles, chases, sounds and lights. However, for gamers looking for a that realistic yet fun police simulator, these games are not.

What’s the Problem

The biggest problem with these games has been their lack of option and/or unnecessary content.  Any open-world game like as GTA does not give the player the option to remove excessive violence, profanity and unnecessary sex, nor do they allow one to play as the police.  If such a game does allow one to play from the law enforcement side of things, such as NFS Rivals), they are always accompanied by unrealistic side affects built right in.  These highly unrealistic modes or features can include but are not limited to: ramming, shooting, shocking, more ramming, jamming and similar abilities in order to get another vehicle to stop during a chase, (again, think NFS Rivals or NFS: Hot Pursuit).  Albeit these unrealistic features add brief moments of gaming joy, but generally I find their inability to allow role-playing as a police officer in a respectful and realistic manner will always hinder any chance of these types of games from becoming truly great.

Good News For Police Game Seekers

The good news is that for the millions of gaming fans who have been seeking (and patiently waiting) for a graphically feature rich open-world game which represent law enforcement in a positive light, will finally get their wish. Many law enforcement and gaming fans like myself are anticipating a great police experience in the eventual release of Police 10-13.  This game promises to be all the things many gaming police fans are hoping for–without skimping on graphics and overall quality.  (Support Police 10-13) (Roadmap of Police 10-13)

Honorable Mentions

For now, there is another game I have recently discovered (despite being released in 2006) called 911 First Responders/Emergency 4 and although not open-world, it does feature law enforcement and first responders in some realistic situations.  The game may be graphically dated and not a third-person sandbox style game but there is the ability to add MODS which for me breathes fresh life into this top-down strategy based game. Find my review on Steam here.

Also worth mentioning is a game called Enforcer: Police-Crime-Action.  If you can find it for $5 or less this game is worth playing.  (Note: Steam has periodic sales) The game is an open-world style game which allows the player to take on the role of a police officer, sort of.  Enforcer is an indie game which can be modded also helping to lift some of its built-in but nearly game breaking limitations.  The graphics are somewhat dated but for a cheap price it’s worth a look.  Find my review on Steam here.


Police 10-13 – (Currently in Developement)

Police 10-13 coming to Steam

Police 10-13 on Facebook

Will We Ever See It (in gaming)?

Perfect Open-World Gaming


The world may be in chaos but see what hope really looks like

Believe it or not outside this temporary world, real hope exists

Audacity Movie

What does Hitler and abortion have in common? Watch this


image source