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.
08 May 2015 @ 03:56 pm
For your (late) Friday enjoyment (maybe), the usual collection of eclectic videos.

"An Object at Rest"
A cute little animated short about a sentient rock

"The Fermi Paradox — Where Are All The Aliens?"
Just in case anyone isn't clear on what the Fermi Paradox is, here's a cute animated explanation of it.

Another cute little animation, this time about physical but (usually) invisible embodiments of fear.
05 May 2015 @ 12:39 pm

This may be the best news i've heard all month! Possibly even all year so far.

I've complained repeatedly that although i really appreciate GOG's stance towards DRM in the long run, in the short run i'm too easily seduced by the convenience of the Steam launcher in general and the compulsion of achievements and tracking time in games in particular.

That's sometimes led to me buying games on both Steam and GOG, but more often it's led to me buying games on Steam and just not bothering on GOG. Knowing that tendency on my part i've often said that GOG would get a lot more of my business if they just implemented an optional launcher that provided the same benefits as the Steam launcher. I would then always clarify that such a launcher should be optional and we should still have the ability to download games and install them without it, but that i'd jump on the launcher bandwagon as soon as it was available.

I guess i wasn't the only one saying that, and assuming it's everything they're promising it's now time for me to start putting my money where my mouth is :)
Current Mood: excitedexcited
01 May 2015 @ 01:02 pm
I've been busy at work the last two weeks, but here's a post about at least some of Star Wars Celebration!

We were a little late getting out of the apartment on our way to Star Wars Celebration and thus ran into a moderate amount of traffic. We got down there a little after 6, and by the time we'd checked in and dropped our stuff off in the room it was getting close to 7.

The opening panel the next day featured JJ Abrams. The panel started at 10 in the morning but the line opened up at 6pm that evening. Avalyn had been planning to camp the line if it looked like a significant number of people had shown up. When we checked it out just before 7 there were probably somewhere between 500 and 1500 people in line, so we decided to get in line.

We ended up about half through the second of the (very large) lines. Avalyn had brought a blanket along and we both had bags to prop ourselves against, although if we'd realized the line was going to be in a room with a bare concrete floor we might have brought some more blankets and pillows.

Adventures In LineCollapse )

Finally at 8:45 they started moving us out. They moved the first large line out, then about 9:10 or 9:15 they moved our line out... into another room where we got to stand in line again for awhile. But we finally got to our seats about 9:30. 14 hours in line was _not_ enough to get us into the front area. It did get us in the first tier of raised seats (the "balcony" ones that is, not the ones that were on a slant on the main floor) and we ended up in the middle section and managed to grab some seats right along the front edge. So not super close but still pretty nice.

Surprisingly, despite all the chaos with the lines, they started things pretty much right on the dot at 10:00.

Opening Ceremony/PanelCollapse )

That was the last big event of the panel and they kicked us out pretty soon after that. We decided we'd rather go back to the hotel room and shower and nap for awhile instead of go straight back into the convention center, and as we walked back that decision was verified by the huge line of people waiting to get in. (We weren't sure at the time but we were told later that everyone who made it to the initial panel was prevented from going straight into the convention center and had to go outside to wait in line.) The line stretched past the Hilton, around the corner, and was still going when we diverged to go to our hotel. A quick guestimate puts the line at least 1500-2000' long. I have no idea why they thought it was necessary to make everyone wait in line, but they eventually gave up on the idea and just opened all the doors.

On the plus side we noticed huge set of food trucks along the way, including two of my favorites, Barcelona on the Go and Spudrunners.

But in any case we got back to the hotel room and showered and napped, and woke up in time to make it to one of the final panels of the day, about the use of mythology and tropes in the the Star Wars universe. Among many other things they made attempts to justify the existence of both JarJar and Midiclorians that were intellectually interesting but that i don't really buy on a practical level.

After the panel we met up with some of Avalyn's friends and went to dinner at a place a couple blocks down the street called "Fire & Ice", which was basically a mongolian grill style arrangement but with a wider selection of stuff to grill, plus a salad bar. (I guess that was the "Ice" part.)

Afterward we went back to the hotel room and slept even more.
Current Mood: busybusy
22 April 2015 @ 01:10 pm
Short Short Version: We went to Star Wars Celebration. We returned alive.

Short Version: I spent 14 hours in line to be one of the first people in the world to not watch the new Star Wars The Force Awakens trailer. (And then not watched it 4-5 times more during the con.)

A less short post will be coming... shortly :)

In post-con news, i came down with con crud. My throat started feeling a little itchy sunday morning. It was still itchy but otherwise okay monday morning. However by monday afternoon i was starting to cough and decided to take the afternoon off. Then it was even worse this morning and i decided to stay home sick.

In about the last 12 hours i have consumed 91 oz of orange juice. I would be drinking more now except that we're out, and i don't really feel like going to the store =P
Current Mood: sicksick
15 April 2015 @ 03:16 pm
In happier news, Star Wars Celebration starts today!

So i probably won't be posting over the next couple days (so no more Hugo ranting for awhile, you're welcome ;) but will probably be twittering more.
Current Mood: bouncybouncy
15 April 2015 @ 03:08 pm
So a couple days ago, while perusing the Hugo Nominees before posting my Hugo post, i noticed that Michael F Flynn one of my (several dozen) favorite authors was on the list for best Novelette! And then i remembered that except for Best Novel all of the "story" categories were supposed to be dominated by the Disgruntled Canines, so with a sinking heart i checked and discovered that indeed he was on both of the Canine slates =/

I've liked Michael Flynn's books for a long time (started with "In the Country of the Blind", which was both one of the first and one of the best secret history/conspiracy books i ever read, even if the ending seems a little rushed to me.) I haven't read "The Journeyman: In the Stone House" yet, but all else being equal i expect it to be good. In any other year i would be happy to vote for him, either as my first choice or one of my top two or three.

But this year i don't know what to do. If he wins, if any author from the Disgruntled Canine slate wins, they'll crow about it and argue that proves their point, which i think is absolutely and fundamentally wrong, and it will encourage them to do the exact same thing next year, a fate i'd like to avoid at _almost_ any cost.

It certainly complicates issues that he's been nominated multiple times starting long before the Canines got involved, starting back in the 80s. So it's _possible_ that he would have gotten nominated even without the involvement of the Canines (not that they'll admit that if he wins.) And even if he does win it won't prove that the Canines managed to promote someone who wouldn't otherwise have been considered (not that they'll admit that either.)

So if i don't vote for him and he loses i'll feel bad for him. If i vote for him and he wins the Canines will take credit and i will be enraged. And they'll take it as a license to continue doing what they're doing, which will enrage me further. (Not that the necessarily need the encouragement, but the encouragement certainly wouldn't help.)

And to top it off He Who Shall Not Be Named is now threatening to make sure no one ever wins a Hugo ever again in any category that is No Awarded this year. I really don't want to go along with those kind of tactics even if i would have voted for one of the nominees anyways.

This was a bad enough dilemma when the entire category was filled with people from the Canine slate, but on monday it was announced that upon review two of the Hugo nominees were not eligible because of when they did (or did not) publish their work. In one case it displaced a Canine slater with another Canine slater, but in the case of Novelette a Canine slater was replaced with a "normal" person.

So now there's an even stronger temptation to vote for the non-slate person and No Award the rest of the category.

This year no matter how i vote i'm going to feel horrible about it. Thanks Canines! (I'm sure that makes them happy, because i strongly suspect that at least half of them are more interested in making other people unhappy than actually improving the quality of the Hugo nominees.)

(Flynn has said he doesn't remember being notified by Torgersen about his inclusion on the slates, which makes him an innocent bystander who's just getting caught in the crossfire but doesn't really alter the fundamental conundrum.)
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Current Mood: sadsad
14 April 2015 @ 01:03 pm
Short-story version: Cat had a lump on her tummy, lump got removed, cat was grumpy and woozy afterward.

Not quite as short storify version:

(I'm a little worried about how we're going to handle going to Star Wars Celebration tomorrow. Probably should have done this last week, but at that point the other kitty was sick =/)
Current Mood: stressedstressed
13 April 2015 @ 01:04 pm
I'm a bit late to the "party, but i figured i might as well throw my 2 cent hat into the ring. Just over a week ago the nominees for the 2015 Hugo awards were announced, and things have kind of gone to hell in a handbasket.

Background DetailsCollapse )

Needless to say there was even more consternation when those results were announced and there is much discussion about what should be done about it. The immediate suggestion proposed by a lot of people is to just vote "No Award" for vast swathes of the Hugos this year. There are problems with that response that i'm not going to delve into here, but there's also concern about how to deal with the issue in the long term. There have been a lot of people saying the system needs to be changed, and some people claiming that the committees in charge of the Hugos are already working on changes behind the scenes.

I'm having a hard time coming up with a great way to change the system to prevent this kind of thing from happening where the cure isn't worse than the disease. I don't think making the voting more restrictive would really help, and i don't think requiring people to have some kind of credentials or pass some kind of test would be a good idea. (We already have awards like that, one of which is called the Nebulas.)

So here's the ideas i have that definitely won't solve the problem, but i think would ameliorate it somewhat. I shall list them in what i expect will be from least controversial to most controversial order.

1: Allow people to nominate more than five works in a category.
2: Restrict each nominee to one entry in each category.
3: Add a new "Nominating" membership level for WorldCon with a *cough* nominal fee. (Say, $1.)
4: Make the total nominating votes both public and updated on an ongoing basis during the nominating process.

Here are some alternate ideas that i don't like as much and don't synergize with the others listed above, but might help.

5: Restrict the nomination round to full members.
6: Make the number of nomination slots smaller than the number of final slots.
7: Have a jury pick the works that go on the final ballot, possibly in correlation with voter nominations.

Details and ExplanationsCollapse )
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Current Mood: frustratedfrustrated
10 April 2015 @ 01:11 pm
I was feeling inspired this week and actually have a decent amount of stuff to share! (Even if it is still all videos =P)

First, how have i not heard of this game before now?!?

I haven't gotten all the way through the video yet, much less actually tried it, but it's described as and sure looks like what Master of Orion 3 ought to have been!!!

Let's Try: StarDrive 2 - Episode 1!

This is a music video someone put together using audio clips from speeches by members of the "UK Independence Party", who sound to be about as conservative and reactionary as US Republicans have gotten. It's a pretty awesome edit, even if the subject is a bit worrying.

(I think someone shared this with me, but i forget who. Whoever you are, thank you!)

Cassetteboy - Emperor's New Clothes rap

For anyone who doesn't pay attention to such things it may surprise you to know that we don't really have a perfect understanding of how airplanes work. There's the popular explanation that usually gets told to people, which is at least partially wrong, and several other alternative explanations, most of which are at least partially wrong. From what i've read it's theoretically possible to completely model the airflow around a wing (or any other object) but it's the kind of computation that can bring even a supercomputer to its knees. So actual airplane design is a combination of simplified models, educated guesses, and a whole lot of prototyping and testing. So i appreciate that this video, while explaining how airplanes work in general, alludes to the underlying uncertainty about the specifics of the mechanics.

How Do Airplanes Fly?

Our upstairs neighbors aren't that bad (though there are definitely some noises we can't quite identify,) but this is still kinda amusing.

Everyone's Upstairs Neighbors

Last, and VERY far from least, the awesome Rider4Z has posted the intro to the SakuraCon AMV Contest Intro! Which makes me both happy that i get to see it now and sad that i couldn't make it to the show. (Also, once again it's Rider4Zs fault that i'm going to have to seek out a new song =)

SakuraCon 2015 AMV Contest Intro

As an added bonus, here are the two entries for the SakuraCon Iron Editor AMV contest, in which two editors are given given two hours to create an AMV under Iron Chef contest type restrictions. Unlike some other times both people managed to produce excellent videos, but then what else would you expect from Ileia and PWolf? :)

(I do happen to think that one of them is definitely much better than the other, but i'm not gonna name any names, so you'll just have to watch them for yourself =)

Iron Editor - Sakura-con 2015 - PWolf

Don't Start a Band - Sakura-con 2015 Iron Editor [2 hour edit]
Current Mood: Britt Nicole - Welcome to the Show
07 April 2015 @ 03:59 pm
I'm sad that i couldn't make it to SakuraCon this year. We're going to Star Wars Celebration next week so we figured we'd already be taking too much vacation time this month. And then inkbot ended up moving this month. And then one of our kitties got sick and we've been busy taking care of her as well. (Antibiotics are scheduled to be done next week just before the con, and hopefully that will fix things *crosses finger*)

But anyways i was still sad to be missing everything and especially so for the AMV contest. However my sources on the inside forwarded me a picture of the ballot, from which i have transcribed the following list, and also provided links to either or YouTube. I recognize about half of these from the VCAs and about half look like something new to me. And in Upbeat/Dance, my favorite category, there's only one that i recognize! I'm tempted to go watch them all now, but i wonder how many of them will end up being at Anime Expo as well? As long as i missed out on seeing the SakuraCon contest live perhaps i ought to save the (potential) surprise for AX? I'm not sure, we'll see what happens.

But anyways, the list!

SakuraCon 2015 AMV ContestCollapse )
03 April 2015 @ 01:01 pm
First, two Mandatory Fun Day videos:

I'm not sure if i would actually like this or not. I suspect that a full movie would be rather too much, but just the trailer is pretty cute.

Disney/Pixar's X-WINGS Movie Trailer

I never would have expected an April Fool's joke from CinemaSins, but they managed to pull one off:
Everything Wrong With White Olympus House Has Fallen Down

Now some other non-April 1st stuff

Courtesy of tiercel, like the earlier Dark Lord Funk video i don't really like the audio track, but i definitely appreciate the artistry and technical sophistication of the mashup.

Digital Underground | The Humpty Dance | Muppets Version

Finally. Lindsey Stirling came out with a new video. I don't think this one really shows off her skills exceptionally well, but it is a nice song/medley. (Although now i want to go listen to the actual medleys from the soundtrack.)

Lindsey Stirling - Into The Woods Medley
Current Mood: sillysilly
02 April 2015 @ 01:06 pm
What did i spend Mandatory Fun Day doing?

Well, amongst other things, i became a Master-Chopper and a Master-Digger! Still pretty far away from being a Master-Baiter though.
Current Mood: sillysilly
01 April 2015 @ 08:13 am
Okay, i've heard about and the the Google Maps Pac-Man game (that doesn't work in Classic Maps =P) from multiple sources.

However what i haven't seen posted yet by anyone else in my circles is that if you open Chrome on a mobile device it now offers to take a selfie:

And on a very related note, Moto has an add going for "customized selfie-sticks":

However if you click through the add they confess that there is no such thing and then offer a $140 off coupon for an off contract Moto X instead. Which means it ought to be $260-$485, depending on what options you get. (+$100 for 64 GB, +$25 if you want wood or leather back.)

Personally i love my old Moto X but think the new one is a little too large. But if you have larger hands than me and are interested in an off contract phone, this might be a good deal. (Or not, i certainly haven't put a lot of effort into research =)
27 March 2015 @ 04:41 pm
Here's a follow-up to that previous data analysis post i did about the finalists in the 2015 Viewers Choice Awards.

Since there was (a very small amount of) interest in that kind of thing i spent some more time putting together a similar table for all of the nominees.

(There is also a spreadsheet on Google that contains all this data, plus a listing of which categories each creator was nominated for. You can find that here.)

Because it's a much larger set of data it's hard to draw a lot of conclusions from it intuitively. Other than the fact that wow, drewaconclusion, Ileia, Rider4Z, MycathatesyouAMV, BecauseImBore1, BakaOppai, AMVLuna, VivfxAMV, PieandBeer, and BasharOfTheAges all kicked ass! The top 10 people each got over 10 nominations each!

drewaconclusion and Pieandbeer tied for the most number of videos nominated (8 each) with Ileia and Rider4Z close behind (7 each.) drawaconclusion and MycathatesyouAMV were both nominated in 15 different categories, with Rider4Z at 14, BecauseImBored at 13, and AMVLuna and Ileia at 12.

Haunter101 cleans up on the "focused" end of things, with Good Clean Fun being their only nominated video and getting 10 nominations in 10 categories, but we could already tell that was an outstanding case just from the finals.

212 videos split the 480 total nominations. That's an _average_ of 2.26 nominations per video. However of the 124 people that made were nominated 83 of them, just over two-thirds, were nominated for just a single video. And of those 53 of them, well over one-third of the total, were only nominated in a single category.

The top 12 creators, as sorted by number of nominations, or in other words the top 10%, got a total of 196 nominations for 55 videos, or 25.9% of the videos and 40.8% of the nominations.

drewaconclusion, the top 0.8%, had 8 videos, 3.8% of the total, get 27 nominations, 5.6% of the total.

And here's the short (or rather narrow) version of the table behind a cut:

Huge tableCollapse )
Current Mood: dorkydorky
27 March 2015 @ 12:58 pm
When was the last time i did one of these? But anyways, this week i have three videos that are fun, though definitely not the best ever.

This one definitely is fun. It's a silly but awesome dinosaur "documentary" that takes its subject very literally :)
"Dinosaurs: Terrible Lizards"

This one took me a little while to get. I watched this video once, and was kind of "meh" about it. In particular i didn't really like the extraneous intro and extro, and although the main joke was amusing it did start to drag a little partway through the video.

HOWEVER, then someone pointed out that there is a "translation" option in the subtitles. I can't say if it gives you a better appreciation if you watch it without the subtitles once first, but certainly if you get bored partway through restart the video and turn them on.

(Though in my case i had to turn the volume down the second time because i was having too hard a time reading the subtitles while the totally disjointed audio was going on, especially for Groot.)

"Hodor vs Groot Rap Battle"

I also have some reservations about this video. I don't actually like the song that much, but you've got to admire the amount of effort they clearly put into it. And of course i'm sure other people with different tastes in music might appreciate it a lot more than me.

"Dark Lord Funk - Harry Potter Parody of 'Uptown Funk'"
27 March 2015 @ 09:27 am
Remember back in January when i first posted about FF14 saying i was a jack of all trades, but master of none?

Well i am now a master of all trades, at least if you're only counting crafts :)

It took just a little under three months total. I certainly could have done it significantly faster if i'd been more focused, but still not too bad i don't think. (Especially given that i didn't have access to some of the more advanced tricks, since my main class is only level 28. Mainly the Beast Tribe quests and the Costa Del Sol, Coerthas, and Mor Dhona levequests.)

I'm also pretty close to being a Master-Chopper and a Master-Digger as well. The only thing i'm a bit behind on is being a Master-Baiter.
Current Mood: sillysilly
26 March 2015 @ 01:10 pm
It took awhile to finish this post, partly because i've been busy with other stuff but also partly because i may remember more about this game than any other Final Fantasy. (Though as you'll soon see that's not to say my recollection isn't far from perfect.)

Final Fantasy 6 came out my freshman year in college. I don't think i had my SNES there for the first semester, and i didn't actually get the game until christmas anyways. However there was a guy in the single across from my room that had a SNES and had picked it up. I believe kirinn and i both spent time watching him play.

The first year i was at college the internet consisted mainly of gopher and Usenet. (I got access to the "real" internet the year after the Eternal September, but i'd like to think that i adapted more to the previous mindset than a lot of people. Perhaps because i was on BBSes for quite awhile before that.) I remember reading quite a lot of posts about FF6 on the related Usenet channels, but i'm not sure if that happened before i got the game myself or not.

When i got the game i of course dumped a huge amount of time into it. I forget when i finished it the first time, but i got all the characters (except General Leo ;) and got the full ending. And then at some point in the next year or three it was pointed out to me that you could finish the game with only thee characters, so i set out to accomplish that. And at some point over that period i started a new game to research how to maximize stat gains from leveling with Espers. (I wonder what i ever did with that data? I'm sure someone else has done a better job of producing it by this point.)

Times played: 2-3 (Complete) 1 (Incomplete)
First played: 1994
Last completed: 1998?
Last seen: 1998? (It seems like i must have done something with it more recently than that, but i can't think of a specific example.)


Terra/Tina - Magically enslaved magical girl
Locke - Thief, er, treasure hunter.
Edgar - Ladies man prince (or so he'd like to think anyways.)
Sabin - Body-builder prince
Strago - Old Blue Mage, grandfather of Relm
Shadow - Ninja with "mysterious" past
Interceptor - Shadow's dog. Eats strangers.
Relm - Magic painter. Granddaughter of Strago. Gets along great with Interceptor.
Celes - Ex-imprisoned ex-Imperial ex-general.
Setzer - Lady's man gambler and airship pilot with a tragic backstory.
Cyan - Knight/samurai with a tragic backstory.
Rachel - Tragic backstory.
Cyan's wife - Tragic backstory.
Cyan's kid - Young tragic backstory.
??? - Tragic backstory.
Gogo - ???
Gau - Wild child
Mog - Wild Moogle (and wicked dancer.)
Umaru - Wild Yeti
Geshtal - Evil emperor
Kefka - Evil clown
Ultros - Evil octopus

As usual, this is long and spoileryCollapse )
Current Mood: geekygeeky
Current Music: FF6 - Ending Theme
23 March 2015 @ 01:19 pm
And for anyone who doesn't want to go through the whole article to get to Cid's new look:

DC Comics 2015 vs Square Enix Final Fantasy 15
23 March 2015 @ 01:07 pm
Square-Enix really seems to like jerking my (our?) chain =P

Squenix: Guess what, the party in FF15 is going to be all male, and they're gonna go on a bros only road trip!
Me: Gah, really?!?
Squenix: But for the first time ever there will be a female Cid!
Me: Really? That's kinda cool!
Squenix: And this is what she'll look like!
Me: Gah, really?!?

My source for this news was kind of roundabout. I hadn't even realized that a FF15 demo was out (nor the attached Final Fantasy Type-0 game) and stumbled across it via a Polygon article (via the GIA twitter account) where they asked some fashion experts to comment on Cid's outfits throughout the entire Final Fantasy series, which is also where i first found out about the new Cid's very questionable appearance:

So it seems, based on the limited, subject-to-change info that we have right now, that the "female Cid" will actually be named either "Cindy" or "Cidney", depending on your locale, and will have a father named "Cid".

On the one hand that seems like cheating a little. Maybe they're trying to appease reactionary gamers (i.e. members of GrumbleGortle) by having a "real" Cid they can point to and claim they haven't actually changed anything, but it seems to me that if you're going to even think about having a female Cid then just do it.