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.
16 August 2014 @ 01:47 pm
I always try to remember to save the game right at the start of a new game of Master of Orion. Years and years ago when i sucked at the game i'd sometimes go back to the start after not doing too well and make another attempt. Now days i generally don't do that. Pretty much the only two times i'll reset are if it turns out to be a really tough spot where i think that even with foreknowledge it would be a challenge, or if i manage to send my first colony ship to Orion, where it gets blown away by the Guardian.

I just started a new game as the Sakkra. I was in the lower left corner, with exactly two stars in colony ship range, a blue star in toward the core and a red star further out in the corner. Okay, obviously try to expand coreward and carve out an area for myself. Three turns later... oh look! That blue star was Orion. Okay, this is going to be a tough game. Sure hope that red star isn't inhostipitable!

Well no, it turns out it's hospitable. It's a size 60 Ultra Poor world. Fuck. I don't expect this game will be lasting long.

Edit: It turns out that within the initial scouting range there are, aside from my starting world, Orion, and the Ultra Poor world, 3 Barren worlds, a size 90 Terran, and ... a size 85 Ultra Poor =P
15 August 2014 @ 10:29 am
CGP Grey has another video out, this time a very well thought out argument about why we should be concerned about the rise of robots (in the work place.)

It's hard to argue the "should be concerned" side when it's so easy for the opposing side to just respond "jobs eliminated by technology in the past have always been replaced by other jobs, you're just being a Luddite."

"It's never happened before so it won't happen in the future" isn't a very logically sound argument, but it does hold a certain amount of emotional weight.

But in any case, the rise of robots could either bring about a communist/socialist utopia unlike anything any political revolution could ever dream of achieving, or it could bring about a cyberpunk/Elysium/Snowpiercer type dystopia with 99% of the human race being not just poor but totally unemployable. More likely of course we'll muddle through somewhere in the middle, though probably enduring a lot of growing pains along the way.
Current Music: Modulate - Robots
13 August 2014 @ 12:22 pm
On a happier note, i seem to be winning close to 1 in 3 games of Master of Orion on Medium maps with 5 opponents at Impossible difficulty.

For maybe another 25-33% it seems like i _might_ be able to win, but i'm not quite able to finesse things well enough.

A few detailsCollapse )

So i've now recently won games as Psilons, Klakons and Humans. Perhaps i should give the Meklar or Silicoids a shot.

Coincidentally enough, a year after he did the Human/Klakon run-through and two weeks after i started wathing them, Sulla just posted the first part in a new Silicoid run-through:
I can't remember when i first heard about Robin Williams being bipolar, but it was a long time ago, and it was one of those things where one thinks "I wouldn't have jumped to that conclusion, but now that you say so it makes a lot of sense."

It was later "confirmed" by shelleycat, who said her mom used to know him a couple decades ago when she used to work for/with him on something or other and that she herself had met him once or twice because of that. Although shelleycat brought this up during out last year together, a point at which her own mental illness made it impossible to rely 100% on anything she said, so who knows.

But in any case it seems that a large number of people either didn't know he was bipolar, or somehow never made the connection that being bipolar (usually) involves periods of depression.

I've never really liked Robin Williams' humor much. Looking through his filmography the only things he's been in that i've really liked have been Dead Poets Society (and i'm wondering a bit how Robin Williams' suicide will affect future interpretations of that movie,) Aladdin, and The Birdcage.

But despite that i obviously still feel sad for him as a person and for his family for what they're going through. Even though if he weren't famous most of us wouldn't have ever heard about his death. And his struggle with mental issues and subsequent death, combined with shelleycat's story about him, makes me think about her. Especially since after she died i did find a suicide note from her that she had written months earlier, although the (physical) medical issues that made her think suicide might be a reasonable option killed her before she ever decided to follow through on it.
Current Mood: depresseddark
09 August 2014 @ 11:17 am
I just discovered that after you do the daily challenge in Crypt of the Necrodancer you can go to the leaderboards to see how other people did, and then watch replays of their runs. I just spent 30 minutes watching the current leader do an amazing 4000+ coin run.

This would be even more of a time suck but thankfully(?) there doesn't seem to be a way to save or share replays, even within the game itself.
08 August 2014 @ 12:41 pm
I totally failed at coming up with fun stuff for today, so i'm taking the lazy way out! Here's the How It Should Have Ended for Captain America: The Winter Soldier!

This isn't the best one i've ever seen, since i tend to prefer actual movie based scenes instead of extended cafe scenes, but it's still decent.
06 August 2014 @ 01:29 pm
Crypt of the Necrodancer has been in beta for awhile and came out for "early access" on Steam last week.

A couple people i know started talking about it at that point, and i ended up checking out a videocast/Let's Play of it ( and ended up deciding to get a copy (for the full $15.)

So the general concept is combination roguelike and rhythm game with 16-bit graphics and music.

DetailsCollapse )

I think that's about all the nitty-gritty details.

Short version:

So far, after 2-3 hours of play time, i've found Zone 1 to be very fun. I like the atmosphere, i like the combat, i like the music.

Zone 2 is... a challenge. And i mean that both thematically and gameplay wise. I personally don't find the style of music for Zone 2 anywhere near as interesting, and the enemies have much more difficult patterns. And they're generally tougher, which can be a problem since you start it equipped only with a dagger. So generally Zone 2 is a short period of time before i die spent listening to not particularly engaging music.

I may start trying the hardcore mode so that at least i'm going into it with some decent equipment. I may also try replacing the default Zone 2 music with some of my own music, an option that i have not tried up until now so i can't really comment on how well it works.

Going by the soundtrack the music style picks up again in Zone 3, so if i can make it through to that i may enjoy that section more.
Current Mood: geekygeeky
05 August 2014 @ 12:57 pm

Walking to Mall, Dinner, MovieCollapse )


Not Going to Lime Truck, Video Games, AnimeCollapse )


Shopping and Lazy DogCollapse )

After heading home we spent an hour or so arguing with travel websites until we were able to get plane and hotel reservations for an upcoming wedding, and then spent what remained of the evening/weekend (not a lot of it) relaxing.
Current Mood: busybusy
04 August 2014 @ 01:02 pm
Non-spoiler part on top, Spoiler part on bottom

Guardians of the Galaxy is very good. There was a relatively big deal made about the soundtrack ahead of time, and it does but the music to very good use. (Especially in the intro.) It's also rather funny. Maybe not quite to Galaxy Quest levels, but more than once we missed the trailing line in a conversation because the audience was laughing too loud at what had just been said previously.

The plot is fairly general, though it did manage to confound my expectations on a couple points. (And it should be noted that almost nothing that was said/implied in the trailer was actually true. Also the censorship in the trailer was not actually present in the movie... which is kind of sad.)

But because no movie is perfect there were a couple minor nitpicks i had...

SPOILERSCollapse )
Current Mood: geekygeeky
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.
Tags: ,
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
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
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:
Current Mood: sillysilly
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: 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
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.
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 )
28 July 2014 @ 01:25 pm
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.)
25 July 2014 @ 10:06 am
Weird Al - Word Crimes:

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":

They then followed it up a little later with a sequel testing out a bunch more "life hacks":

(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

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 =)
Current Mood: dorkydorky
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.