(no subject)

Jun. 21st, 2017 09:29 am
bjornwilde: (The Scarlet Siouxsie)
[personal profile] bjornwilde
 Part of my recent self care is trying to do a daily meditation. Nothing huge, just five minutes in the car before I walk into work. Today I forgot and so just took five minutes in my cube, using a guided meditation on youtube. The search 5 min meditation auto filled to either "5-min calming meditation" "5-min mindfulness meditation" or "5-min goth meditaion"...wait, what? I'm all for dark expressions and aesthetics, but goth meditations?

Of course I had to look and there was no results that were actually goth, but I am amused that someone had to have entered that search stream right?

(no subject)

Jun. 21st, 2017 07:41 am
bjornwilde: (i don't know what i expected)
[personal profile] bjornwilde
And once more I am on another day of little sleep. Third day in a row now where I've only managed 6 hours and let me tell you, I am noticing a decrease in my mental faculties. (I had to pause there and figure out how to spell 'row'.)

In the quest of self improvement, I came across an essay about how anxiety can present as anger and it was like a light from above switched on. I've always been fearful of my temper, often thinking of it as the classic Irish stereotype, but all the times I've lost it or snapped, I'm usually feeling overwhelmed, threatened, or panicked. I need to dig deeper into this, but it seems legit and has helped me take a deep breath and step back when I feel like attacking or yelling.

I've also come to realize I suffer much more from impostor syndrome than fear or laziness when it comes to creative things. Like I know I am creative and always have ideas for making art or stories, I can't stop the ideas, but any time I think about making them happen, I hit a wall. I've always read it as fear of making the thing badly or a general laziness, i.e. writing takes so long, but i think it's more a little voice in my head telling me I'm faking it. I'd like to know where I got that voice so I can pommel it.

OK. Time for pain meds, caffeine, and music to see if I can find my way out of my mental fog.

Shopping 2

Jun. 20th, 2017 09:33 pm
lovingboth: (Default)
[personal profile] lovingboth
Annoyingly, my Sandisk Sansa Clip Zip mp3 player is dying. I see I got it in 2013, when JA broke the clip that attaches them to your clothing on the Clip+ that she took to Switzerland. Getting the newer model meant getting a proper colour screen rather than the multi-monochrome one on the Clip+, but it still ran Rockbox, the very impressive third party firmware that lets you do all sorts of nice things. Including, if you're silly enough, play Doom on it.

More annoyingly, it's out of production and the successors to the Clip Zip, the Clip Jam and Clip Sport do not run Rockbox. If Sandisk had any sense, they'd have it as the official firmware, but no...

Even more annoyingly, the price for second-hand Clip Zips reflects the fact that they're the last ones that run Rockbox. It's silly money time. Even Clip+'s are over-priced for the hardware compared with the price of a new Jam or Sport: the Rockbox effect again.

Grrr.

At least my ten year old Sandisk e280 still works and it does.

FFBE: E3 and other announcements!

Jun. 16th, 2017 11:46 am
xnera: The Ninth Doctor says, "Fantastic!" (fantastic!)
[personal profile] xnera
I'm making this post public, so feel free to share it with other friends who play!

To start off, let's go over the in-game announcements from this week: the Brave Frontier crossover is back! With it comes the 6* awakening of Tilith who is amazing. Here are her new skills:

* Affectionate Aura - Increase resistance to status breaks (100%) for 3 turns to all allies
* Sealed Light - Remove all status effects from all enemies
* Prism Heal - Restore HP (2500) and MP (50) to all allies except caster
* Radiant Light - Recover HP (100%) to all allies
* Goddess's Revelation - Revive all KO'd allies (100% HP)

This banner is a limited time only, so once it's over, Tilith and friends are gone. She's the best healer in the game, and will be for a good six months or so, so if you can, try to pull for her. Alas, the drop rates for this banner are really, really low. :( So, good luck, everyone!

Now, onto the E3 announcements! As you might know, FFBE's Global one-year anniversary is on June 29th, so we have a lot of exciting stuff coming out!
  • Expeditions - if you've played Final Fantasy Tactics Advance, you'll be familiar with these. Expeditions allow you to send a unit out to perform a particular task. While the unit is out on expedition, it cannot be used in a party. There are special rewards for undertaking expeditions, but it's not clear yet what those are.
  • EX point system - this is a new currency that you get when you purchase lapis, and can be used for items, tickets, and perhaps even a special unit that you can't get any other way!
  • Esper SP reset - did you screw up your grid when training your espers? Not to worry - you'll be able to reset the grid and start over for 100 lapis.
  • Removal of crafting time - All items will be crafted instantly!
  • New Dungeon Tiers Unlocked - Cactuar Dunes, Gil Cave and Enchanted Maze will gain an additional level that drops better units.
  • Story Unit Special Dungeons - special dungeons will be released in which you can only use the seven story characters. The dungeons drop equipment that has special properties for those units, but that can be used on any unit.
  • Sharing summon results - You'll be able to share your summon results on social media
  • Guaranteed 5* base in a 10+1 pull - there's confusion over whether this will be a free pull or not, so start saving lapis, just in case it's not!
  • Free Summon Campaign - get an additional free summon for 28 days!
  • Vault of Hidden Treasures - for two weeks there will be a special, easy dungeon that drops pots, cactuars, and other items
  • Anniverary Special Bundle - there will be a special bundle available for purchase, but we don't know the particulars yet
  • Special daily login rewards - the reward board is supposed to be really good for July, so keep logging in! There will also be a special reward for clearing the whole board
  • 5* vision shards - Right now, you can summon special unit Kelsus from vision shards. There will be more such units in the future, so hold on to your excess shards!
  • Enhancing Units - there will be a rate up chance of getting Great and Amazing results when enhancing units.
  • Half NRG Campaign - dungeons will be half their cost for the anniversary celebration period!
  • All Portals Open - All the portals in the vortex will be open
  • Fujimoto Rainbow Hoodie - players will receive this special equipment. All we know so far is that it is clothes--we don't know the stats.
  • FFX BANNER IS COMING! - Rikku, Tidus and Wakka are coming on June 29th!


For those not in the know, Rikku is the best support unit in the game. She has AoE 100% raise, and her limit burst is AoE Re-Raise! You'll definitely want to pull her. She's a 4* unit, so might be a little tricky to get, but won't be too bad. Tidus is a strong DPS who can chain with himself.

Also! There are rumors floating around that we will be getting Warrior of Light's 6* awakening soon! He becomes the best tank in the game, as he has AoE cover abilities.

That's it! Exciting stuff, isn't it?

no kitchen is new kitchen

Jun. 15th, 2017 03:09 pm
jazzfish: Jazz Fish: beret, sunglasses, saxophone (Default)
[personal profile] jazzfish
"But Tucker, if it's not a forever place, why are you spending high-four-figures redoing the kitchen?"

Three reasons:

1) The stupid cabinets that are too small for the plates to fit in are seriously annoying. It is worth spending money to rectify this, even on a short timescale.

2) It will Increase Resale Value, at least nominally. I'm skeptical as to how much effect home renovations actually have on resale value, but hey, maybe I'm wrong. It will certainly look much nicer, which may have an intangible effect on saleability.

3) It's not that big a kitchen. Any actual homeowners reading this are scratching their heads trying to figure out how we're renovating an entire kitchen for under ten grand. The answer is that this is a tiny 80s condo kitchen, where you can't open the dishwasher and the fridge at the same time, and where two people can technically do separate food-related tasks but they'd better be VERY comfortable in each others' personal space.

And, related to that last one, if I'm gonna be A Homeowner who's not interested in DIYing the heck out of everything, I'd like to have a sense of what goes into a reno project like this. Redoing the tiny kitchen seems like a safeish way to get my feet wet.

Emily stayed home yesterday while the new cabinets got delivered and the old ones got torn out. I stayed home today while the new cabinets got installed. Based on what I've seen so far, IT IS TOTALLY WORTH IT TO PAY A PROFESSIONAL TO INSTALL THE DAMN CABINETS. Nobody's kitchen is "cabinet-sized" and things will have to be tweaked to fit, plus there may be, um, "interesting choices" made by previous owners. Like the way there are two different kinds of ceiling drywall in the kitchen over the cabinets, and making them line up is a pain in the neck. I have SO MUCH respect for the guys putting the cabinets in, and occasionally hauling things out to the porch to trim them and hauling them back in.

The wiring in here is substandard enough that the electrician couldn't finish up yesterday, so he'll be back at some point. And Emily's convinced that she can re-hook-up the sink and the dishwasher, at least good enough for a couple of weeks, so the plumber won't be back today either.

So, soon we'll have cabinets, and a temporary sink and counter. Next week the counter-measurer comes to measure exactly how much counter we need, and that ought to arrive in a couple of weeks.

So far, relatively painless. We'll see how it goes once everything is in place and hooked up, and then we'll also need to put in some kind of backsplash. (We had them tear out the HIDEOUS PAINTED-OVER TILE but haven't come up with anything to replace it yet.)

More thoughts

Jun. 15th, 2017 12:19 pm
lovingboth: (Default)
[personal profile] lovingboth
One of the reasons why I suspect that the recent Grenfell Tower disaster was down to the refurbishment was my late father.

He was a fireman through the 60s, 70s and a big chunk of the 80s. He stayed at the sub-officer level because, unlike the officers, they went out on the shouts. So he'd been to a lot of incidents before health problems meant he shifted to fire safety.

One memory from my childhood is going to the AmDram theatre my mother had been part of when she was younger. We were in the balcony and he was VERY uncomfortable, to the point that we left at the interval.

The place burnt down a few years later. Fortunately no-one was in it, because anyone in the balcony would have been in trouble: the pre-war small theatre had a narrow wooden staircase up to it. It got rebuilt with a wider concrete one. He'd go back then.

For some years, he was at a station responsible for a stretch of the M1. There were types of car he wouldn't go in. (If he could have afforded one, he'd have had a Saab.)

There was one shop in the town centre he wouldn't go in.

Once during a fire alarm, my sister's teacher kept them back until they'd been given their homework. Let's just say they never did that again.

When I lived on the third floor of a house, he checked that there was a ladder escape.

But he never had a problem with going into a tower block. He'd been to fires in them, but he trusted the designs would contain any incident not involving a gas explosion until people could be rescued.

And that's what didn't happen this week.

Shopping

Jun. 15th, 2017 12:11 pm
lovingboth: (Default)
[personal profile] lovingboth
This PC hasn't locked up in a while, except that it did a couple of days ago and lost a big post here.* This is what I can remember...

Charity shop finds - a few years ago, my (now late and now) step-mother was looking for presents for some of her grandchildren, and decided that some good binoculars would last and be used. I got tasked with doing the research and, for the price, found some Pentax 10x50s. I liked them so much, I later got a pair myself.

They are certainly bright (the 50mm size of the lenses means lots of light gets in) and effective (the 10x magnification) but using [personal profile] purplerabbits's very nice pair (8x42 Eschenbach?) showed me that they are not great. Unlike her pair, there's noticeable colour fringing when there's significant contrast in what you're looking at.

I also usually only barely glance at ones in charity shops. They tend to be rubbish for a start. So it was a very nice surprise to see an 8x42 pair recently that wasn't. They're cold war (or not long after) Russian, built like a tank, and a quick look through them suggested that they were good. A look online showed that some other people thought so too... how much? A tenner? (Less than a poor pair with a brand name they had heard of.) Sold.


* I was using Drivel** to write it, and that doesn't autosave.

** Speaking of Drivel, does anyone know why the number of clients is so low in number and quality? Is it just that LJ and its codebase using sites are no longer where all the hip people like, erm, me and you hang out? I had to get Drivel from an old repository, because even Debian dropped it ages ago.

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.

(no subject)

Jun. 13th, 2017 01:39 pm
bjornwilde: (Default)
[personal profile] bjornwilde
 OK, feeling better from this morning's broadside of bad news. Lost my words, but I've been looking at faces for a sandbox pup with some success. Why aren't there more movies with a teenaged, female scientist type of character? Image searches mostly give me manic or sexy mad scientist when I'm looking for more Hammer/Universal calm and collected in a bitchin' Edwardian style attire.

Now I'm soothing with music. We'll see if words find me or not.

(no subject)

Jun. 12th, 2017 08:49 pm
jazzfish: A small grey Totoro, turning around. (Totoro)
[personal profile] jazzfish
Feeling distant from everything. This is a known side effect of trying to get in touch with new people, especially in this city. It's still kind of alienating. And it comes on top of some other stuff that's sloshing around in my head.

Y'all still like me, right?

£5 for $1, sort of

Jun. 12th, 2017 08:33 am
lovingboth: (Default)
[personal profile] lovingboth
If you're tired of eating free chocolate for the Google Play offer, for the next week, one of the current Humble Bundle deals includes 500 'Amazon coins' in its $1 tier.

If you've not come across these before, they can be used to pay for stuff in the Amazon appstore - a rival to Google's Play for Android devices. The selection is nowhere near as large, and you need to enable third party sources in their settings and install Amazon's own app on your device...

.. but there is some good stuff there, some of it free where it costs on Google (Patchwork is one example), and I find the app very useful for comparison shopping / looking up reviews anyway.

Each coin is worth 1p (in the UK, it's 1c in the US and 1 (different) c in Germany - outside those versions of the Amazon website, this is worthless) but you can't mix and match your payment: if you don't have enough coins in your account, you don't spend them all and pay the rest in real money, it's all real money. I think they have a fairly limited life too.

(Oh, when you redeem the code to get these on Amazon, you're taken to a page that looks like you're about to pay £4.90 for them. Somewhat stupidly, the 100% discount is applied after you've pressed the 'pay' button and not before. It took me about three 'I'm not paying for these!' goes before I discovered this...)

But it's meant I've now got the conversion of Camel Up, normally £3.71 on Google Play (and AppBrain tells me it's never been on sale there) for 369 'coins' that cost me less than a quid.

Other interesting board game ones include the conversions of Glass Road (77), Avignon: A Clash of Popes (80), Ingenious (129), Pickomino (129), Take It Easy (129), 6 takes! / 6 Nimmt! (149), Ligretto (159), Small World 2 (160), Hey, That's My Fish (162), Ghost Blitz (175), Ubongo (199), Abalone (199), Unreal Estate (232), Ticket to Ride (233), Splendor (233), Pandemic (233), Suburbia (238), Kingdom Builder (249), Alhambra (259), Castles of Mad King Ludwig (311), Cafe International (349*), Steam - Rails to Riches (376), Scotland Yard (399*), Carcassonne (399*), Labyrinth (399*), Galaxy Trucker (422), and Brass (499), plus the very good chess engines ChessGenius (300) and Shredder (499).

* = been on sale on Google / elsewhere for considerably less.

Nice things

Jun. 10th, 2017 09:58 am
cesy: "Cesy" - An old-fashioned quill and ink (Default)
[personal profile] cesy
I had a lovely time at [personal profile] kaberett's place last night. We had vegetarian toad-in-the-hole and vegetables and fancy tart and lemon-and-mint cordial and it was delicious. And we watched the first episode of Korra, and I would love to watch more on Rabb.it with people if anyone is up for that. And we talked wheelchairs and other mobility aids and I tried out theirs and it was really helpful. And the political situation is not nearly as bad as either of us were expecting, so that's good.
lovingboth: ([default])
[personal profile] lovingboth
Amongst the losers last night, Lord Ashcroft must wonder why he's spent so much of his money on polling to get it so wrong: "Estimated Conservative majority rises in final Ashcroft Model update" - the lowest majority he was expecting was 52.

He thinks this is down to the number of votes cast...

Meanwhile, gosh, it looks like it was 2010 it was most like, May is toast, and Corbyn toasted.

Annoyingly, there's zero chance of electoral reform with the result, but at least David Davis was talking in the middle of the night that May's UKIP-style hard Brexit might not be such a good idea after all.