the struggle is real

Jun. 24th, 2017 07:02 am
kareila: a sea turtle with the text "all the way DOWN" (turtle)
[personal profile] kareila
Continuing to have trouble setting aside time to focus on work with the kids home for the summer.

After taking my mom to her doctor appointment and subsequent errands on Tuesday, I spent most of Wednesday through Friday sick in bed with a fever and sore throat, but no other obvious symptoms. Now I'm finally feeling better, and Robby has decided that since Tropical Storm Cindy's gift of some ridiculous number of inches of soaking rain will prevent him from doing his usual maintenance out at our church this weekend, this is the best time to disrupt the downstairs living area and try to finish constructing Connor's loft bed.

If I didn't have to take the kids to swim lessons today, I'd probably flee to the library and try to get some serious work done. Maybe that strategy will work next weekend, if I can find someplace to go that isn't closed for the holiday.

In other news, Steam is having their annual sale and I've discovered that most of their older LEGO games (pre-Marvel) are PC-only. I really wanted to put the Harry Potter games on my laptop so that I could play them without broadcasting them to the rest of the household. There's also a PC game that Connor wants that is too resource intensive for his poor old gaming PC. But I read on Twitter last night that Starship Titanic is on Steam for $1.49, so I'll get that if nothing else. I've been wanting to play it again ever since I saw Passengers.

I'm also realizing how much cheaper and easier to find the PlayStation 4 is compared to the Nintendo Switch, and that's probably also the better platform to choose if I want to play Kingdom Hearts 3, assuming it ever gets released.

fun for the whole family

Jun. 21st, 2017 02:36 pm
kareila: Sora outlined in silhouette against a heart shaped moon (kh2)
[personal profile] kareila
I've written several times over the years about how much my kids and I enjoy playing LEGO video games, especially the franchise tie-ins, and I appreciate being able to go back and read those older entries and see how that relationship has evolved as the years have gone by. In particular, it struck me that once upon a time I wrote about how Connor would join me in two-player mode on the Wii, but Will never joined in, although he liked to watch and advise us, and would play the mobile versions of the game on the DS or the iPad.

Well, that has officially changed. After assisting me in various areas of the first Harry Potter game over the past couple of weeks, today Will started a solo playthrough of the second Harry Potter game.

The original LEGO Star Wars, the game that started it all, came out the same year he was born, in 2005. So I feel like my love of these games and the lives of my kids are entwined, in a sense. All these years later, I consider the Harry Potter games to be my favorites, so it's a bit surprising to me to realize that I only completed the second Harry Potter game once, although I've played through the first one four times now. I wish they would release a remastered combined game for the Wii U like they did for the PS4.

As near as I can figure, I own all of the LEGO franchise tie-in games except for Indiana Jones 2 and LEGO Star Wars III: The Clone Wars. I even repurchased for the Wii the ones I originally played on the Playstation 2. I haven't completed the more recent ones, though, since I got distracted by the introduction of LEGO Dimensions.

This is the first summer in a while that I can remember not having a new LEGO game to play. LEGO Marvel Superheroes 2, which appears to feature the Guardians of the Galaxy, has been announced for later this year, but it will require me to purchase a newer console, so we're probably getting a Nintendo Switch for Christmas. Connor's already asked for one anyway.

Just for fun, I made a chronological table for the various franchise games - not including the LEGO Movie Videogame, LEGO City Undercover, or LEGO Dimensions and its various expansions.

Read more... )

Coffee Wars

Jun. 21st, 2017 09:18 am
smeddley: (Default)
[personal profile] smeddley
I'm all for coffee. I like coffee. I'm not terribly picky about my coffee, though I prefer it not bitter and burned. Which does, indeed, land me solidly on one side of the great coffee war at work.

To understand the dynamics of the coffee war, I'll have to give you some brief background on our office. I work on the second floor of a building that is separated into two halves, with the public coming up the stairway in the middle to counters on either side. I am in the West side.

East side has a Keurig that apparently no one likes. They all come over to get coffee from our drip-style Bunn. However, and I'm trying not to be sexist, but this is how it works out, many of the men from the East side (as well as many of the men on the West side) take coffee but never make it. This led to one of the East side counter girls to compulsively make coffee to "make up" for her department taking all the coffee.

And by compulsively, I mean she's pour out anything under half a pot to make new, as well as "pre-fill" coffee filters on top of the machine. This irritated some of the West side girls, who complained bitterly that her coffee was too weak (and, coincidentally, not bitter and horrible like they liked it). And then they started pouring out her coffee and making up their own filters.

I do not like overly strong, bitter coffee. And contrary to what they say, you can't "just add water" and make it better. That bitterness is there to stay. Honestly, I'm better with the weaker coffee ("mud water" in their vernacular). The funny part is, as with most divides, the West side girl really does not see that the East side girl feels just as strongly and believes just as fiercely that they are right. And as much as West side girl complains about East side girl, she refuses to see she's doing exactly what she's complaining about and that others might feel just as annoyed and slighted as she does.

Hypocrisy, yo.

Also quite the allegory for so many things.

Including me, once more in the middle, wishing desperately for just a decent not-too-strong, not-too weak cup of coffee (and maybe, now that I think of it, a good old-fashioned snap-fight...). I've taken to just dumping any pre-filled filters back into the coffee bag, regardless of who made them up, because that shit is ridiculous and I don't want to drink coffee made from grounds that have been sitting out. But don't tell anyone it's me...

Cooling the tube?

Jun. 19th, 2017 05:07 pm
dancefloorlandmine: (London)
[personal profile] dancefloorlandmine
An interesting article about temperatures in the tube tunnels, and approaches to reduce them.

www.ianvisits.co.uk/blog/2017/06/10/cooling-the-tube-engineering-heat-out-of-the-underground/.

One interesting note is that the tube tunnels used to be a lot cooler, but the clay around them, a highly effective insulator, has, over the years, pretty much reached its thermal capacity.
dancefloorlandmine: Me pointing at camera (Kitchener)
[personal profile] dancefloorlandmine
This may be of interest to some people - the ORBIS project. ORBIS is "The Stanford Geospatial Network Model of the Roman World" - a tool that allows you to calculate how long it would take, and how much it would cost, to move between one location and another.

The current version is here, but there is a pop-up warning that it works best with Chrome or Safari. (Presumably Firefox is so uncommon that it is unsupported?) You can either go ahead anyway, or switch to the old version.

(May also be of interest to anyone running a Roman-era RPG.)

Moving party this weekend!

Jun. 15th, 2017 12:38 am
azurelunatic: A glittery black pin badge with a blue holographic star in the middle. (Default)
[personal profile] azurelunatic
In a much more leisurely manner, belovedest and the boxes and the cat get to re-trace their pilgrimage.

It's been a super interesting day, yup.

A Woman of Wonders

Jun. 14th, 2017 02:44 pm
azurelunatic: Scissors cutting film. NaNoWriMo 2004 (Home Movies from the Cutting-Room Floor)
[personal profile] azurelunatic
For my birthday, I had a lovely Afternoon Out with my metamour -- sushi, pedicures, pastries and coffee, wandering around the mall.

We were then joined by my primary partner, and we had a three-party date to see Wonder Woman, which was fantastic. So much fun, lots of awesome women, and Chris Pine makes a great sidekick.

I am coming to Wonder Woman very late. (There's a very sad story somewhere in there, of what I think was a movie book for some female superhero, which was on the book racks in my 4th grade classroom. It looked interesting, so I picked it up to read. It would have been at most a 45 minute time investment. Unfortunately, the movie itself was apparently deeply uncool, and reading the large-format with-pictures book of the movie was even more dorky. Which some young dickheads in my class promptly noticed, and mocked me for. Which ended my brief interest in the idea of comics at all.)

Lynda Carter, the original Wonder Woman, came to talk at Virtual Hammer one day. It was an amazing experience, and an honor to be in the same room. Of particular note was the engineer standing up, clutching her Wonder Woman lunchbox, and tearfully thanking her for being a successful woman who looked like her; Wonder Woman had given her the strength as a little girl to follow her passions. (Upon seeing that, a nearby male engineer who had drawn one of the golden tickets surrendered it: it would have been an interchangeable experience for him, but a lifelong dream realized for her.)

I kind of took the movie in as huge globs of thick awesome: the island! the women! the training! OMG THE OUTSIDER! and went from there.

My partner was sitting in the middle, and as such was getting fed treats from either side, and getting whispers from either side. At a certain point, after there had been screen time for a particular character, I had a thought, and whispered it. "I fear it would be too subtle for [a large loud comic book franchise movie] if [SPOILER] were really [SPOILER]." My partner threw their head back and laughed, and agreed: probably too subtle.

WELP.


It's also amazing to have a superhero storyline with such a nice balance of fire and kindness. Wonder Woman is going to straight-up stab people. But she's going to see what else works, first. That's her whole concept. It's lovely.

The Girls Interrupting podcast had a little episode on the movie, and they talked about a thing from one of their favorite comics. Read more... )

In my own life, I aspire to be more like Wonder Woman, to extend a hand before straight-up stabbing -- but not waste time when it's actually clear that extending your hand is going to get it sliced off. And I think I've been falling behind on self-examination. I need to make more moments where it's just me. No matter how honest I am with my trusted friends, there's always the temptation to try to make myself look better than I know in my heart that I actually am. I can help solve that by narrowing the audience. I can widen it later if I like. It's scary to write down some of the things, but if I write them down, that means there's more room in my head for the important things. Kindness. Truth. The willingness to straight-up stab Nazis.

larger post-vacation writeup

Jun. 14th, 2017 12:11 pm
kareila: a sea turtle with the text "all the way DOWN" (turtle)
[personal profile] kareila
Sans photos because otherwise this will never get done:

In case you missed it earlier, here's the more generic Harry Potter Wizarding World guide/review I posted the day after we got back. It says pretty much everything I wanted to say about my experience with that specific part of the park, which was the primary reason we went.

Cabana Bay )

Citywalk )

Blue Man Group )

Universal Studios / Islands of Adventure )

Kennedy Space Center )

And that's everything I can remember experiencing that's fit to write home about. Overall, a really good vacation that will hopefully tide me over for the next couple of years.