DonAithnen
13 June 2025 @ 02:21 am
This is my journal. Some posts are public, some are friends only. I'm usually quite happy to add new friends, as long as you're not one of those random people with a week old journal who's trying to accumulate a couple hundred friends for no good reason.

I do have a couple levels of filters to deal with a few topics, mainly to block out stuff that i think might be exceptionally boring or possible offensive to some people. If you're curious just ask and i'll tell you about them.

Also, i have a profile on G+ that i post to a lot. It's mostly just cross-posted stuff from here, but if you want to see it, here it is.
 
 
DonAithnen
01 August 2014 @ 12:32 pm
I have now been (barely) under 200 pounds for an entire week! Yay! (Although given the current trend i expect that to change tomorrow =P)

It turns out that dieting was a lot easier when i was single or dating someone who liked eating home most of the time.

It also turns out it is harder to get exercise on a regular basis when living in LA than it was when i was a pretty short distance from both the beach and the local rock climbing gym. I need to look into the "stop by Marina del Rey on the way home and go rollerblading" plan a little more before summer ends.
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DonAithnen
I stumbled across Sulla's Master of Orion videos saturday night. I lasted until wednesday night before starting a game of my own =P

I did a Medium Impossible map with 5 other races, but since i'm out of practice i chose the Psilons, one of the best races, for myself. I started near the lower left corner, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. I sent out my colony ship to the closest coreward star in range. I send one scout to the other planet in range to the left, and one to the next planet coreward past the one the colony ship is headed to.

Long boring game detailsCollapse )
 
 
Current Mood: geekygeeky
 
 
DonAithnen
30 July 2014 @ 10:54 am
What does god need with a USB stick?

(And no, i don't expect most people to get the non-Star Trek part of the reference =)
 
 
Current Mood: sillysilly
 
 
DonAithnen
30 July 2014 @ 07:23 am
Ha! 8 minute shower! Take that brain! (It helps if i'm panicked because i'm already late when i start.)

Via twitter: https://twitter.com/Donaithnen/status/494488014957993984
 
 
Current Mood: sillysilly
 
 
DonAithnen
On the recommendations of jmpava and neonelephant i ended up ordering a Logitech F310 gamepad on friday. It was presented as a "good enough" controller that was easy to "install" and that only cost $18.

Hooking it up was indeed a simple plug and play process. (A little bit of research and experimentation had revealed that once you get a Neo-Boss key in Rogue Legacy you keep it forever, so that didn't turn out to be a key requirement, though it was still nice.)

It's definitely a good enough controller, though i do wish that it had an actual d-pad instead of the round pad. I keep accidentally pressing at the wrong angle and triggering an up or down action when i'm trying to go left or right, though i am getting better at it with practice.

Rogue Legacy - Fighting the BossCollapse )

So i continued on with the regular game, and the controller seems to be helping a great deal with that too. It's definitely easier to strike and evade using this setup. Sooner or later i came across the carnival again. I'd looked up some tips for beating the axe game before, but ones i'd seen before were a little vague, so i tried searching for a more exact tutorial on YouTube now that i (hopefully) had the tools to follow any directions more easily. And i found an awesomely exact and simple explanation on how to ace the event. By a guy named Sulla!

Sulla and Master of Orion videosCollapse )

That discovery did of course result in me staying up until about 4:30 AM saturday "night", because even just watching someone else play Master of Orion can result in One-More-Turn-itis.
(As i believe kirinn can attest ;)

So of course now i'm interested in playing Master of Orion again myself (the last time was about a year ago: http://donaithnen.livejournal.com/1118540.html) but i really ought to be focusing on the Hugo awards for the next couple of days before the voting deadline.

There's no way i'll make it through the remaining 7 or 8 novels (there were 18 novels nominated this year, though only 16 full novels were included in the packet, of which i've already read 8 or 9) but i'm hoping i can finish off the novelettes and get through all the novellas.
 
 
Current Mood: dorkydorky
 
 
DonAithnen
29 July 2014 @ 12:51 pm
I got up kind of late sunday morning, and inkbot was coming over about an hour later to pick up avalyn and i to go see Lucy. I wanted to take a shower but it couldn't take too long.

The problem for me with showering is that i tend to get distracted by random thoughts, and when i do i slow down on the actual showering process. The way to counteract that and keep my mind on the subject is to count in my head, making sure i don't spend any longer on any given step than necessary. On a _very_ good day if i do that and don't get distracted i have, on occasion, been able to shower in 6-7 minutes.

So that's what i did. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6...

Approximately around 250 (in the middle of the second shampoo and rinse i think think?) i started thinking "hey, this is going pretty well. I should be done quickly enough that i can spend time doing some other stuff. Maybe watching some more MoO video? That's probably better than playing Rogue Legacy because then i'd have to pause the game in the middle, and... DAMN IT! I got distracted!" I don't know how much time i lost to that exactly, but i made an estimate and resumed counting.

Then around 350 or 400 i started thinking "okay, got distracted once, but still making good time. Should get to the iPic theatre in plenty of time. I should be ready to order quickly though so the food will show up before the movie. But the menu inside the theatre is slightly different than the one outside and i don't remember the differences and... DAMN IT!"

So i resumed counting again. And then around 500ish, "damn it, i keep getting distracted. Maybe i should find a way to move the waterproof clock/radio back inside the shower where i can see the time. Of course then i'd still need to remember to keep looking at it. It would be nice if i could get it to read out the time so i couldn't ignore it, but i don't know if there are any clocks that do that. I suppose since i'm learning Android i could try writing an app to do it myself, but if i put my phone on the counter would i be able to hear it counting over the shower? And.... GOD DAMN IT!!!!!!"

So all in all the shower lasted about 11 or 12 minutes. Definitely better than the usual 20-40 minutes, and still in plenty of time before inkbot arrived, but not quite what i was aiming for.
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DonAithnen
28 July 2014 @ 01:31 pm
So there was one or two things that bugged me about Lucy (no, not the massive insanity, you've just got to take that or leave it) which led to some metaphorical speculation.

Spoilers!Collapse )
 
 
DonAithnen
28 July 2014 @ 01:25 pm
Lucy  
We went to see Lucy on sunday. It is totally insane. It's like a sci-fi action movie combined with an art flick, with a little 2001 thrown in. (Which i realize is redundant, since 2001 itself was an SF film crossed with an art film.)

If you haven't seen any of the trailers, the movie is being sold as "Lucy (aka Scarlett Johansson) gets used as drug mule, the drugs leak, she gets magical super-powers, then has to get away from/beat up the drug dealers."

I'm sure almost everyone has heard the "humans use only 10% of their brains" bit that's prominently featured in the trailers. I hope that everyone reading this knows that's an urban legend that was refuted a long time ago.

I'm convinced that when this movie was first conceived Luc Besson, the writer and director, said "That 10% of the brain thing may be wrong, but i don't think it's wrong _enough_. I believe we can make it wronger!"

As a very specific example, do you know how dolphins are able to do echolocation? During the lecture by Morgan Freeman (which is interspersed with the first third(?) of the movie) it is explained that dolphins are the only animals that use more of their brain than humans do. It is because they use 20% of their brain that they are able to use sonar. The conclusion? If humans learned to use 20% of their brain then we'd be able to use sonar too! (Lucy doesn't actually get to use sonar when she hits 20%, because that would be entirely too mundane and not nearly insane enough.) (Also, how do bats use sonar since they don't use 20% of their brain like dolphins? Who cares!)

So it's a bit of a spoiler, but i think it's fair to warn people that if you're expecting a lot of life and death fights between Lucy and the drug dealers, don't. This movie is about something entirely different. There is fighting and conflict but... well, spoilers.

But if you're okay with a totally insane action art flick it's pretty good. (Though i think i'd still recommend Snowpiercer over it if you're okay with gore and a somewhat nihilistic ending.)
 
 
DonAithnen
25 July 2014 @ 10:06 am
Weird Al - Word Crimes: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Gv0H-vPoDc

So Weird Al got his first #1 album ever with "Mandatory Fun". Part of the way he managed this was spamming the internet with a ton of music videos around the release window. I actually managed to pick up the album before hearing about said videos. This was also the first time i've picked up a Weird Al album within the first week of release in... ever i think. I also picked up the previous album since i didn't have that yet. Actually i think these are the first ones i've bought since Alapalooza, but i decided to limit myself to two at once. So i did everything backwards and haphazardly, but in this case it worked out for him :)

In any case _after_ buying the album i went and checked out a couple of the videos. The one above isn't my favorite song from the album, though it is good, but so far it's the one that benefits most from video format. And after watching it you get bonus points if you can guess the other reason why i decided to share it :)

Speaking of YouTube over the last six months or so i've actually started subscribing to channels instead of just watching whatever random stuff happens to show up on my feed. A month or three ago i found the Metal Floss channel, which is mostly hosted by the vlog brothers. (Who i found via CGP Grey, who i discovered i forget how.)

The first one i watched, and still one of the best i think, was this one in which they try out a bunch of "life hacks":
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3fQlYYZQBM4

They then followed it up a little later with a sequel testing out a bunch more "life hacks":
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b4TVGUUt65Y

(And can i just say that something about the term "life hack" really bugs me? I realize it's easier to say than "this is a cool trick i learned", but something about "life hack" just seems very... i dunno, hipster to me?)

But anyways, they came out with another one recently about misconceptions about sex. Most of them are pretty predictably dumb. However they got to the one about how "men think about sex every 7 seconds", which i've heard before and instantly dismissed as incredibly unlikely. _I_ certainly don't think about sex that often. However then he read the results of an actual study and i got a bit of mood whiplash. Apparently i think about sex rather a lot compared to the average =P
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nSNoiAnUnH0

Finally, this is a really cool, although somewhat longish at around 10 minutes, combination short film and music video about robots. (If you do watch, be sure to go all the way to the end =)
http://vimeo.com/96616160
 
 
Current Mood: dorkydorky
 
 
DonAithnen
25 July 2014 @ 09:00 am
Short version: I tried plugging in my PS3 controller last night for Rogue Legacy and found that the MotionInJoy drivers seem to have stopped working. I tried troubleshooting for a little bit but now i'm thinking of just getting a new controller.

Does anyone have any good suggestions for a PC gamepad that _isn't_ an XBox controller? And preferably isn't shaped more like an XBox controller than a PS3 or SNES controller?

Does anyone have any experience with using a PS4 controller on PC? Is it any easier to set up than a PS3 controller? (It would be kind of funny if i ended up getting a PS4 controller before i get a PS4 =)

Long versionCollapse )

At the moment i've still got the game paused at the entrance to the boss (which is playing havoc with my playtime statistics) so if i order a new controller soon (presumably from Amazon *sigh*) and it doesn't require too much in the way of setup (i.e. requiring a reboot) i _might_ be able to make a stab at the boss with a controller on sunday or more likely monday.
 
 
DonAithnen
24 July 2014 @ 12:57 pm
Two anime that we recently finished watching, both of which we really liked.

Attack on Titan (1st Season)

So just to get this out of the way first, Attack on Titan is definitely gory at times. However it is not all gory all the time the way that some AMVs made it seem like beforehand.

Thematically it reminds me of Evangelion with a little bit of Dragon Ball Z thrown in. (At one point, in the middle a multi-part sequence, the "Last time on Attack on Titan" segment hit 3 minutes.)

More DetailsCollapse )

In reality that conversation would have quickly terminated with "mind that tree," "what tree?" *splat*

But again, aside from the tendency for everyone to talk too much (squadmates to each other, individuals to themselves, the narrator to the audience) it is pretty good.

Toradora

So after watching a couple episodes of Attack on Titan we would usually then watch a couple episodes of Toradora to wind down.

Toradora is a high school romantic comedy/drama. The impression i had ahead of time was that it involved a very short girl with lots of hair who hits people a lot in generally and in particular mistreats a guy who she may or may not be interested in. And... that's really fairly accurate.

More DetailsCollapse )

So it starts out in a very gender role-reversal way and tries to invert or subvert a lot other tropes as well, which is nice. Once the mid-season drama bombs start dropping it gets a bit more "normal", which seems to bother some people, but i think even after that it's still playing games with some tropes.

So TL:DR. First half of the season, comedy with light-hearted romantic angst and lots of trope subversion. Second half of the season, drama, then some comedy, then DRAMA, with less (but not zero) trope subversion.
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DonAithnen
Things that have happened over the last couple weeks that i didn't get around to writing a post about at the time

The Last Unicorn

Watching The Last Unicorn with some friends and their kidsCollapse )

Malediction

The friday before that we went to the steampunk ball at Malediction with thumbie and shamiksan.

Going ClubbingCollapse )

Blown Tire

As was documented on twitter (https://twitter.com/Donaithnen/status/489945872080187393) last week while heading home from work wednesday afternoon Avalyn's tire... well i'm not sure "blew out" is entirely proper, but it defintiely fell apart. Luckily she'd already gotten off the freeway when it happened and was able to safely make it to a side street and pull over. I got the call from her about it while i was conveniently already halfway home and managed to find my way to her.

Dealing with tiresCollapse )

She had to spend awhile getting two of her tires replaced the next morning. (The other two were newer and still seemed to be okay.) I think it ended up costing her about $250, which made me feel a bit better about having spent a little over $500 on my 4 tires.
 
 
DonAithnen
22 July 2014 @ 09:51 am
Courtesy of coraa i have learned that William Shatner just got a tumblr

http://williamshatner.tumblr.com/

To which someone else came up with the obvious joke:

William Shatner... GOT... a tumblr.

However i prefer the slightly less obvious:

Captain Kirk is getting a tumblr, why is he getting a tumblr?
Captain Kirk is getting a tumblr, why is he getting a tumblr?
To hug the tumblr
To envelop... that tumblr
To hug the tumblr
To envelop... that tumblr
He wants to make love to the tumblr

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HU2ftCitvyQ
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Current Mood: dorkydorky
 
 
DonAithnen
21 July 2014 @ 12:57 pm
On a whim over the weekend i took a break from Marvel Puzzle Quest and Hearthstone and started playing Rogue Legacy.

For those not familiar with it, Rogue Legacy is kind of a Metroidvania game crossed with a roguelike.

Your family has been quested (or perhaps cursed) to send one family member per generation into a magical castle that alters itself as time goes on. You're doing this because... reasons. You find log journals as you explore from someone who could theoretically be the first person in your family to go on this quest, but given that the original reason was to find an item that could heal someone who was wounded at the time, and it's been at least 20 generations since then... well, the family is clearly throwing good money after bad by this point :)

Game detailsCollapse )

I'm currently trying to decide if i'll be playing this for long enough to make it worth buying the gold upgrades and Miner improvement. Of course i'll probably do it regardless since when starting a game like this i always tell myself that i'll end up unlocking everything :)
 
 
DonAithnen
As promised, here are is a list of the finalists for the Anime Expo 2013 AMV Contest.

I tried to link to the YouTube video posted by (what appeared to be) the creator of the AMV in all cases. When that wasn't possibly i found a non-primary source and indicated it as such.

Anime Expo 2013 AMV Contest TableCollapse )

As usual when typing up this much information and organizing this many links it is entirely possible that i made a mistake. If you find something in error just let me know and i'll fix it.

And this post is meant for informational purposes, to see my reactions to the videos you'll have to go back and check my original post from last year. (Though my opinions have changed slightly since then based on the passage of time and learning more about some of the anime involved.)
 
 
DonAithnen
17 July 2014 @ 12:42 pm
I finally got around to writing up something about Anime Expo that _wasn't_ just the AMV Contest!

Day 0 - Wednesday, July 2nd: Long Line For BadgesCollapse )

Day 1 - Thursday, July 3rd: AMV Room & AMV ContestCollapse )

Day 2 - Friday, July 4th: AMV Room, Exhibit Hall, & Dinner With NeonelephantCollapse )

Day 3 - Saturday, July 5th: DanceManiax, Cosplay Pictures, & MasqueradeCollapse )

Day 4 - Sunday, July 6th: This Is A LieCollapse )

So all in all Anime Expo was wonderful as usual, and even more so because i got to introduce Avalyn to it. She said she had a great time too, and especially seemed to enjoy the Masquerade.

This was the first year in a long time (possibly since i discovered it existed?) that i didn't go to any of the dances at all. I think that was a combination of two factors. First, perhaps counter-intuitively, the drive was much shorter than in any other years. When you live 10-15 minutes away it's no big deal. When you live 45-60 minutes away on the other hand you feel compelled to get as much out of the experience as you can. The second factor was that this was pretty much the first time i was going to the con with someone i was dating. (shelleycat managed to make it for one day a couple years ago, but that's it.) The option to go home with your SO is much more compelling than going home to an empty apartment.

For anyone who's interested, the entire list of what was played in the AMV Room was posted in the AX forums, though there are no direct links to the videos:
http://community.anime-expo.org/topic/18117-amv-room-2014-play-lists/

And here are a couple bits from the Masquerade:
Attack on Titan Dance Troupe, Part 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jGJiRARk1L4
Attack on Titan Dance Troupe, Part 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uu7dZ1W7wzw
Hetalia the Fox: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MqVRsIPcEW8
Vash Can Dance: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JX90DQoQWsE
One of the many Sailor Moon skits: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D9fsPF7-ZZE

Sadly it looks like there are no videos of the first dance troupe up yet, or of the other cool skits i mentioned.
 
 
DonAithnen
16 July 2014 @ 12:30 pm
We went to see Snowpiercer last night. It's a very good movie. However it is very artsy/philosophical movie in a dark and violent wrapper, as opposed to a practical SF movie.

When i first heard about the movie i wondered what practical reason there would be to maintain the last human society after the apocalypse in a constantly moving train. And it turns out there is no practical reason. And really no practical way it could work. It makes a good metaphor for the "social commentary on the classes of society" theme and it lets them tell a particular kind of story with many different striking scenes, but that's it.

Also, did i mention the darkness and violence? The movie starts with 99.9999% of the people on Earth dead and only goes downhill from there. Do not go see this expecting a cheery ending for everyone.

Avalyn compared it to Reservoir Dogs, which i haven't seen so i can't comment on that. The style seemed a bit like Blade Runner to me, except even more dystopian. Oh, and i guess a little bit of Hunger Games, especially with the Tilda Swinton character. I think some people have compared it to Elysium because of the social commentary thing. I haven't seen Elysium but from what i understand even if the comparison is vaguely accurate the moral of Snowpiercer is a lot darker than the one of Elysium.

After acknowledging exactly how impractical it all is, i am still curious about the actual dimensions of the train however.

Technical bitsCollapse )
 
 
DonAithnen
11 July 2014 @ 12:35 pm
Relevant to the AMV posts, if you like Wreck-It Ralph and have seen Full Metal Alchemist this is the best AMV ever!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xv4H4fsoKzg

Last year at Anime Expo i saw this video in the AMV room. It was stated as being "unfinished" but i still thought it was amazing. I eagerly waited for it to become available and was rewarded late last year. I can't remember my first viewing well enough to say what has been changed or improved from the "unfinished" version, but it's definitely still amazing.

I was hoping that it would be part of the AMV contest this year now that it's done. However it seems the creator submitted the "unfinished" version to last year's contest, which disqualified it for participation in this year's contest. Which is really sad, because personally i would have voted for it as best Comedy _and_ best in show.

AMV.org link
Tags:
 
 
DonAithnen
11 July 2014 @ 12:25 pm
We went to see Maleficent last week (the day before i headed off to Anime Expo. Very busy week!)

I liked it quite a bit better than i was originally expecting, mainly because my initial impression was that they were going to try and shoehorn a sympathetic version of Maleficent into the original Disney Sleeping Beauty story. Instead they told an entirely new story in which Maleficent is a (mostly) sympathetic character. Although the story is certainly close enough that you could argue that the animated version is the same story after passing through the distortion of hundreds of years as a folk tale.

From what i understand some people who were huge Maleficent fans before this feel like she was cheapened by this movie or something along those lines. Since i wasn't a fan of her in particular before this however i feel that a more realistic character development beats out having her as an unadulterated bad guy.

There's only two little spoilery things i have to say...

Spoilers below here!Collapse )