azurelunatic: Azz and best friend grabbing each other's noses.  (Default)
([personal profile] azurelunatic Nov. 1st, 2014 02:00 am)
Choose no more than two of the following: quick/convenient, inexpensive, Friendly Neighborhood Establishment. Which is to say, it was time for Vash to get his oil changed, and work vs. my sleep schedule vs. the need to either schedule or walk in hella early at the Friendly Neighborhood Establishment was not a good thing. So we went for the Not Actually Cheap place.

It was raining, which was lovely, although it did not give pause to the intermittent banging of various construction in and around my building.

I arrived in time for lunch. It was a smallish group, and fairly subdued. lb was home with what we hope isn't a broken butt; he had a bad fall while skating yesterday afternoon and one of the #adventuresofstnono crowd took him to the ER. (He's not part of Purple's regular lunch group, as he has a regular lunch group on his own floor.) So regardless of the rain, he wouldn't be out skating today.

Mr. Zune reported a hella awkward thing going on yesterday; I'll have to ask for an update at some point.

A lot of people were out, either working from home, on PTO, sick, or supervising small children partying hard.

I got the package from [personal profile] synecdochic! I have not fully explored it, but OH MY GOD THAT IS A LOT OF IMPS. HELLA DECANT CIRCLE IS HELLA. I can't remember just now whether I ordered the Pumpkin Spice Everything or whether it was an extra, but it plays rather better as BPAL on my skin than it does as variously edible confections. Clearly those spices are something I should look for in other blends. This is night and day vs. that one cinnamon one which smelled like hellfire and yelling on me. Also, All Saints was the perfect choice for a sniffie empty bottle in addition to the ordered imp -- it is exactly the kind of white florals which my skin loves so much. And the combination of adjacent All Saints and Pumpkin Spice Everything is something I'd like to explore further.

When we got to the possibly-social portion of the evening, I pinged IRC to see who was up for social. The only one who seemed to be around was Purple. I wrapped one bit of stuff, and wandered over with things. He'd been called into a nearby office. I left stuff on his desk and headed back to get a few more things done. Once he re-emerged, I came back over. We had popcorn, and rum in soda. Eventually his regular Friday night dinner buddy (a friend from his last workplace) called. He declared that he wasn't trick-or-treating (at which point I launched a well-timed, well-aimed bit of candy). He asked if I'd like to come along. Yes, I would.

It was good to meet his friend. She seems quiet, but really damn awesome, has the right kind of terrible sense of humor, and great at either not noticing or ignoring on purpose a host of irrelevant distractions. (Purple: "... wouldn't notice if a whole bunch of clowns marched into the workplace." Her: "I would notice; I would simply ignore them.") Knowing the likely size of the dessert, I asked for two spoons. Purple was still not up for dessert. I therefore took the other half home for later. (Yum.) (He would have claimed it for later had I not, however.)

Chatting on the side of the street between our cars is a somewhat different vibe than chatting in the cozy work parking lot. No hug, but that was all right. There doesn't always have to be a hug.

I had a candle quietly lit for a while after I got home.

Somewhat after midnight, I opened the traditional new text file for NaNo. Not sure what I'm doing this year, but it is what I do in November.
azurelunatic: Azz and best friend grabbing each other's noses.  (Default)
([personal profile] azurelunatic Nov. 1st, 2014 01:10 am)
Last Friday, continued. )

Slept through most of weekend.

Monday: I'm sure that records exist of Monday.

Tuesday. )

Wednesday: lb's overlady called both of us into her office to talk about my list of priorities. I chose well in bringing a little cup of chocolate-covered espresso beans to her.

22:37 Thursday, 30 October, 2014
my manager's perspective is, as long as I do not swear *at* the fucking incompetent chuckleheads who run That Thing We Don't Like, we're good. And I should keep from swearing in front of the team's director.

I modeled the loon costume for the Non-Boring Manager, and managed to fix the drooping beak for now.

I am only licensed for one outrageous hat at work at a time. Bringing the loon head hat in required that I take the tropically festive hat home. To carry it, I popped it on my head. Purple laughed, and said that this meant he couldn't look at me.

In the parking lot, I asked if I might ... ? He asked if there would be pictures. "Maaaybe." "Then no." "No pictures, then." So he let me place it gently on his head, while he did his best to glare at me like a baleful cat. He likes hats approximately as much as the average cat does. I started reminiscing about the difficulties in getting Calico to wear a bonnet. "And then she'd try to peck me." That jolted Purple out of his mental image of Calico as a cat (she was a hen).
zarhooie: Girl on a blueberry bramble looking happy. Text: Kat (Default)
([personal profile] zarhooie Oct. 31st, 2014 07:47 pm)
The good: my doctor has a working theory as to what the hell is wrong with
my hands and back! It also tidily explains why my SI joint constantly
dislocates, and some of the funky skin issues I have.
The bad: the working theory is psoriatic arthritis.
The odd: I exhibit almost all of the symptoms... But my blood tests don't
support it.
The hopeful: I have an appointment with a rheumatologist scheduled.
The freaking awesome: my rheumatologist's surname is Erskine. I look
forward to getting the super serum, and to my new Dorito-shaped torso.

green_knight: (Konfuzius)
([personal profile] green_knight Oct. 31st, 2014 11:14 pm)
NaNoWriMo starts in about an hour, and I shall not take part. (I have also just unfollowed my old NaNo group on Twitter because they were retweeting *so many* things that I just yawned.)

My writing right now is split between three projects - the WIP (started a little over a year ago), which needs more brains than I've had recently (and with a brain-eating project on my desk, that state will probably continue for a bit), a coming-of-age story that has, what, 60K right now and which is lots of fun (known world, known characters, bits of plot already known); and Valendon's Diary part II, which is backfill for the aforementioned, and which I'm just having tremendous fun with.

New projects? Not wanted at this point in time.

So I will be writing, but I won't chase wordage.

What I will be doing is two things. One, I will try to find something to post every day - an article about writing, if people still post these things (and not in the form of 'twelve things you need to do to succeed at novelling!').

The other is that I am attempting NaNoCoMo - writing code every day. I have a good start under my belt, and am hoping to have a workable prototype (the minimum viable product) by the end of the month. (Three scenes, one monster, three actions.)

I'm hoping to attend a NaNo meeting or two in London, to meet up with people and talk writing, and I most certainly will write.

Just not 50K on a new project.
lurkingcat: (Default)
([personal profile] lurkingcat Oct. 31st, 2014 10:50 pm)
I am not doing NaNoWriMo this year. No really, I'm not. I don't have a good enough idea for a long tale and while I hit word count last year I never did manage to finish that story either. January rolled around and instead of sitting down to finish it I teetered around the edge of the winter depression pit. At least I didn't fall in this year.

On the other hand... I've just re-read the 2013 effort and I still like the story enough to want to finish writing it even if some scenes make me wince a bit. (Subtlety: I do not have it.) So I've kind of signed up to NaNo on the understanding with my subconscious that I'm not in any way going to fret about word count but I do quite well at sitting down in the company of the Internet in November and hammering through a first draft so I'm going to spend the month trying to finish that particular story.

In other news I have absolutely not purchased some movies based on the fact that one of my roleplaying characters might like them. Really.
bookish_dragon: Castle has the best smug-face (Default)
([personal profile] bookish_dragon Oct. 31st, 2014 09:14 pm)
Read more... )
jazzfish: book and quill and keyboard and mouse (Media Log)
([personal profile] jazzfish Oct. 31st, 2014 11:39 am)
Hadean Lands, Andrew Plotkin

Not quite four years ago I backed my second-ever Kickstarter project[1]. I'd known Zarf in passing for about a decade at that point, and known of his work for, mm, twenty-some years. Throwing money at him so he'd a) make another big game and b) create tools so that other people could make similar games was kind of a no-brainer.

He'd planned on having the game done in a year, maybe a little more.

It shipped a couple of days ago.

I meant to post this yesterday morning, when it was live. I am afraid I was distracted by a formula for an alchemical fungicide, and then by my inexplicable failure to create a resonant oculus ("an exceptional tool for observing unseen influences"). So: I am pleased to report that it has been entirely worth the wait.

The plot: you're an ensign on His Majesty's Marcher (an alchemical starship) The Unanswerable Retort. Something has gone horribly wrong, and it appears to be up to you to figure out how to put it right.

This is an old-school text adventure. You type commands (GO NORTH, GET COIN, UNLOCK OAK DOOR WITH RUSTY KEY) and the game carries them out. It includes a tutorial for brand-new players. I cannot speak to the tutorial as I haven't played it; been too busy diving in.

The game's puzzly, but not impossibly so. The structure I've seen thus far:
  • First, a basic puzzle-type task, which serves as a tutorial for 'how to do alchemy.'
  • Then, a locked door that can be opened by creative application of the previous.
  • The game then opens up a few more areas, and gives you a few more keys, to doors that have to be opened in order.
  • The last of those doors leads to an area roughly the size of the entire area you've previously seen, with a number of things to do and a locked door at the far end.
  • Once you've puzzled out how to open that door, you have free access to most of the rest of the map.
  • At this point the game becomes a firehose of information: alchemical formulae, ingredients, concepts, and the trick becomes sorting and managing all this information. That's where I am.
All this ought to be overwhelming and tedious. It's not, because Zarf has implemented shortcuts. You have to do a ritual, or solve a puzzle or unlock a door, by hand once. After that you can just PERFORM TARNISH CLEANSING RITUAL or UNLOCK DOOR and the game gathers the ingredients or key and goes through the necessary steps. In addition, if you can't remember where you saw or left something, you can RECALL CONVEX LENS and the game will tell you "You left that in the Opticks Lab."

Not to mention that the prose is first-rate. "You smell copal incense, machine oil, rosemary, alcohol, and blood. Creaking, bending steel beams... no, that's not an odor. Why did you think the bulkheads were crumpling in on you? What would that even smell like?"

Hadean Lands is available for iOS in a native app, or Android and PC/OSX/Linux through a (free) interpreter. I believe it will set you back about five bucks.


If you have fond recollections of the old Infocom games: buy this.

If you enjoy throwing yourself against locked doors and attempting to concoct and (mis)use strange formulae: buy this.

If you snickered at an alchemical starship named 'The Unanswerable Retort': buy this.

It's good.

[1] My first-ever backed Kickstarter project has yet to deliver, because the creator turned out to be a flake. In retrospect this should have been obvious at the time. Supposedly the writing is done and it's in layout now. I believe the traditional next step is to whine that there are no more funds left to print or ship the book.
vatine: books-related stuff (books)
([personal profile] vatine Oct. 31st, 2014 05:25 pm)
Book list )

Linear extrapolation to year's end says 146 books. That's on the orde of 12 books per month remaining and this does, on a superficial glance, seem reasonable. If it'll happen is, well, a bit early to say. However, there's travel planned for both November and December and travel is a typical "drives the book count up" trigger.
hatman: HatMan, my alter ego and face on the 'net (Default)
([personal profile] hatman Oct. 31st, 2014 10:45 am)
Mom: *series of questions about nothing that's actually important*
Me: I'm really not up to handling any of that right now.
Mom: Well, what about this other thing...?
Me: *groan, facepalm, shake head, otherwise indicate I'm really really not feeling well*

Half an hour later:

Mom: I've been trying not to bother you with this, but I just can't figure it out. Can you fix the clock on my iPad? It's been stuck in the wrong time zone for days.
Me: *drop everything I'm doing, grumble, poke, apply software update*

5 minutes later:

Mom: What are your plans for the day?
Me: Couch.
Mom: What about fun? Don't you want to do anything? How about we make a banana bread? Or...

I really don't get it. I'm bleary as hell. My brain keeps trying to crash. (No, I don't know why. I had 11 hours of sleep yesterday and almost my usual 9 last night. I've just been feeling exhausted for at least the last week. Today is, so far, significantly worse. These things happen.) Mom has dealt with (and watched me trying to deal with and accompanied me to dozens of specialists trying to help me deal with) my sleeping disorders and the problems they cause for decades. How in the name of His Noodliness does she not get the message? It's not hard. "I'm too tired to deal with anything, including normal conversation. Go away."

A year or so ago, I almost had her trained to at least ask if I'm up to conversation before monologing at me with an overwhelming flood of words, but then she went to go visit her uncle on the other side of the country and all the progress I'd made vanished. I'm at a loss here.

Screw it. I'm hitting the couch.
copracat: danny kaye in santa hat with text "merry and bright" (merry and bright)
([personal profile] copracat Nov. 1st, 2014 12:53 am)
I do love the season of seasonal exchange letters. I do not love the season that brings images of the unspeakable every damn where. Fellow arachnophobes, particularly those of you who live in the Halloween-infested North Americas, how do you bear it?

In other news, it is the weekend. Social occasions are planned, sleeping in will be achieved, books will be read. I'm currently reading Elizabeth David's French Provincial Cooking. Her style is so briskly, crustily sexy, vibrant and bossy.
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([personal profile] mrs_sweetpeach Oct. 31st, 2014 09:25 am)

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([personal profile] mrs_sweetpeach Oct. 31st, 2014 09:24 am)
Click here )
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([personal profile] mrs_sweetpeach Oct. 31st, 2014 09:22 am)
Click here )