Monday, October 15, 2018

List Day: 30 Old Facebook Status Messages

I found these status messages from 2011 - 2016 while scrolling through my Activity Log on Facebook, long forgotten since I regularly hide old posts from my Timeline. It is left as an exercise to figure out the month and year they were posted.

  1. You shouldn't be allowed to write a Top 40s song called "Trumpets" and then use synthesizers from the 1980s to represent said trumpets.

  2. Asking me if my parents are home is not a good way to start your door-to-door sales pitch.

  3. If Microsoft Word's "Bullets and Numbering" controls made real bullets, not even the shooter would be safe.

  4. "Casual" is a peculiar name for a dryer setting. Is it reserved for the clothes one might wear out to Chili's?

  5. I call dibs on wrapping all of the rectangular presents with well-defined edges.

  6. Calling it now: The first major DC snowstorm will be dubbed "Edward Snowed In".

  7. "Pressing 4 to send a fax instead of leaving a voicemail sounds like a delightful idea," said no Verizon subscriber ever.

  8. The Y2K bug is more subtle and insidious than expected -- Costco started selling nativity scenes and light-up snowmen today.

  9. Jeff Bezos only purchased The Washington Post to improve Amazon's shipping infrastructure -- the paper's delivery drivers were found to be 88% more accurate than LASERSHIP.

  10. "This Maynard Ferguson album would be greatly improved with more Maynard on it," said no one ever.

  11. There's no reason to keep funding the arts now that we've invented Autotune and MIDI.

  12. The faulty fluorescent light in the men's room has slowed its flickering down from "you deserve some epilepsy today" to "you might be in a slasher film".

  13. Your "I ♥ My Exchange Student" bumper sticker crosses the line of paternal pride into creepiness.

  14. My porch light isn't off because I'm a registered offender -- it's off because I want to eat all of the candy myself in peace, in a dark room at the back of the house. #jumptoconclusionsmat

  15. Facebook has become an apocalyptic wasteland of dogs and babies dressed as stuff!

  16. So is Sandy a boy or a girl?

  17. Candy consumer is a more rewarding role than candy distributor.

  18. There should be a "NEVER, NOW STOP ASKING" option when the gas pump asks if you want a car wash today.

  19. Of course I have an "Earth, Wind, and Fire" Pandora station. You DON'T?

  20. Theme from Halloween + Theme from Doogie Howser, M.D. = Sadly overlooked mashup potential.

  21. Raddatz should conclude this debate with a Bachelor-style Rose Ceremony.

  22. If you clowns had voted for me four years ago, you'd be getting a much better show right now.

  23. Disapprove all you want. Steak fat is DELICIOUS.

  24. "I hope that clicking on this headline will take me to a video of a local news broadcast instead of a written article," said no one ever.

  25. Morgan Freeman is easily the hardest-working athlete in these Olympics.

  26. Why do all of the male Olympic swimmers look like Chris Klein?

  27. Pop & Lock is just a conspiracy to legitimize mimes in modern culture.

  28. No Internet or phone at home, and no stoplights on the Parkway. It's like the apocalypse but with Chick-fila for lunch.

  29. The new "Facebook Timeline" would be cooler if you could customize your page with assorted rainbow colors, fonts, and animations. And maybe an embedded music player that starts streaming Nickelback as soon as you load a page.

  30. Brian Uri is looking for friends via the Tools You May Know tool.

tagged as lists | permalink | 2 comments

Friday, October 12, 2018

Chad Darnell's 12 of 12

12 pictures of your day on the 12th of every month

6:12 AM: Showered and ready for work.
7:12 AM: Working from home.
10:05 AM: Breakfast for babies.
10:14 AM: Breakfast for me.
10:37 AM: Waving goodbye on the way to the library.
1:21 PM: Chimichangas for lunch while troubleshooting my dog-slow Linksys router.
2:40 PM: Nap interrupted by poop.
3:06 PM: Helping Rebecca sort through old boxes of junk.
3:48 PM: It's Fall! Also, Maia is making an alien shadow puppet.
6:24 PM: Dinner at Poke Bowl.
6:45 PM: Meeting bunnies at the pet store.
9:09 PM: Elisa is here from Columbus!

tagged as 12 of 12 | permalink | 0 comments

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Review Day

There are no major spoilers in these reviews.

Jack Ryan, Season One:
This is a well-constructed, if extremely generic, addition to the military/terrorist genre. In spite of a few unique sparks, it retreads ground already covered by better shows like Homeland without much new to say. John Krasinki mostly overcomes his typecasting as Jim from The Office, but might be the most boring protagonist to base a story around. Wendell Pierce from The Wire is woefully underused. Free on Amazon Prime.

Final Grade: C+

iZombie, Season Four:
Following the big setting shake-up at the end of the third season, this season goes about where you'd expect it to go. It's always fun to watch, although a few character developments used to drive the plot forward strain credulity -- a weird thing for me to say about a show where zombies exist. Free on Netflix.

Final Grade: B-

Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things by Jenny Lawson:
The second book by The Bloggess (whose blog I haven't read in several years now) retains the same absurdist humor that made her blog so fun, although the style gets old in big doses. Luckily, this book is more a series of essays than a through-composed narrative, so there's no harm in reading it in small chunks.

Final Grade: B

Mount Ninji and da Nice Time Kid by Die Antwoord:
I often drop songs I like on Pandora into my Amazon MP3 cart and then purchase the albums for new music exposure. I don't remember how this South African rap group ended up in my cart, but it was completely unexpected. The album offers a unique mashup of 90s dance music, Tim Burton, performance art, and way too much swearing, as if Judd Apatow was banned from Hollywood and forced to make Adult Swim cartoons. I'm glad I listened to it once, but will probably never listen to it again. Banana Brain is one of the more popular tracks on the album.

Final Grade: C

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Monday, October 08, 2018

Maia Month #15 Battle Report

Maia is now 1 year 3 months old. Though not noticeably heavier, she's a little more gangly -- able to climb up onto unexpected surfaces or reach things on shelves. It's also clearly easier to transfer the car seat between cars and carry her out, rather than load her up in the car seat in the house and try to carry the whole mass together.

Maia has started standing in brief doses (first real attempt was on 9/24/18) and eats all sorts of solid foods in spite of having just 4 - 5 teeth. She will eat hummus for days, along with boiled carrots, egg and cheese, bananas, yogurts, lentils, and bits of restaurant meals. She takes one far-too-short nap that averages just under 2 hours each day, but also consents to lying in her crib for an eventual sound sleep from 9:30 PM to 9 PMish every night.

My life is cruising along at this point in Maia's life. Raising a baby is not unlike starting a campfire. Initially, you expend tons of energy getting the kindling just right and teasing the right amount of oxygen into place. You brave smoke inhalation to coax the fire into a sustainable roar and try not to add damp wood that will smoke or do anything to accidentally snuff the fire out. After it's burning steadily, you can add some firewood every so often and let it take care of itself.

In baby terms, you spend all of year one doing precise measurements of food, tracking the amounts of sleep or lack thereof, and overthink each potential dimension of what it will take to get your kid into a cheap state school in 18 years. After year one, you can toss a new log on the baby every so often and trust that it will continue thriving without overthinking things too much.

tagged as offspring, day-to-day | permalink | 0 comments

Friday, October 05, 2018

(Re-)Review Day: Super Mario Odyssey

I first gave this game a C- after playing for several hours and not finding much to draw me back to it. After 6 months without turning on the Switch, I recently dusted it off and gave it another shot. One key difference between my original abandoned attempt and now is that I can play for longer periods (sometimes an hour at a time) and on a big TV screen rather than the portable screen. Back at Christmas time, I was squeezing in games while Maia barely napped for 10 - 20 minutes at a time (just narrowly long enough to get through the interminable load screens and reminders to use motion controls) while walking around quiet corners of the house.

I appreciate this game much more on the big screen, but it's still hindered by flaws that grow more apparent as the series progresses:

  • Moon fatigue is real -- there are too many moons to collect. Many are just sitting out in the open as if the designers were saying "This is the laziest possible way we could think of to draw the game out longer". There are 999 moons, over a hundred of which are simply bought in stores and require boring coin farming to afford. I would have preferred a total in the 100 - 200 range, where each one is uniquely challenging and provides some satisfaction and achievement.

  • The camera has greatly regressed, resulting in more missed jumps or deaths caused by poor camera angles than mistakes. Super Mario Galaxy was the high point for 3D camera work that never got in the way and made 3D jumping puzzles as minimally frustrating as possible.

  • Mario now has too many different moves, whose controls are poorly explained and often interfere with each other. Precision movement can be a huge frustration when different moves (especially the not-so-optional "optional" motion controls) interact incorrectly. Some designer seriously thought that binding "jump" to "shake the controller" was a brilliant idea.

Super Mario Odyssey misses the mark on the right level of frustration to build into a game. Maybe in middle school when there was nothing else to do, I would have loved the challenge of dying 20 times on a single moon (mostly from "helpful" camera movement, random control issues, lava, or horribly controlled vehicles) but I just don't have time for that anymore. Nowadays, I want to win a game because I'm good at it, not die a lot because of random elements outside my control.

On the positive side, there is a solid amount of varied game content (filler moons notwithstanding), you can finally skip cutscenes, and the soundtrack is great (similar to Galaxy's, the one I own the CD for). In spite of its flaws, I did play this game for about 50 hours and got to about 809 moons before moving on, so it definitely does something right. I guess that just makes me more disappointed that it could have been so much better with a few different design choices.

Final Grade: B-, engaging and by no means a BAD game, but too much frustration and tedium involved

The 57 moons I skipped (because foot-racing takes too long to retry over and over, and no one wants to fight through the horrible boss fights again)

  • Cascade Kingdom: Master Cup
  • Wooded Kingdom: Master Cup
  • Lake Kingdom: Master Cup
  • Lost Kingdom: Regular Cup
  • Lost Kingdom: Master Cup
  • Metro Kingdom: Jump Rope Genius
  • Metro Kingdom: Regular Cup
  • Metro Kingdom: RC Car Champ
  • Metro Kingdom: Metro Kingdom Master Cup
  • Snow Kingdom: Snowline Circuit Class S
  • Snow Kingdom: Dashing Over Cold Water!
  • Snow Kingdom: Dashing Above and Beyond!
  • Snow Kingdom: Master Cup
  • Snow Kingdom: Iceburn Circuit Class A
  • Snow Kingdom: Iceburn Circuit Class S
  • Seaside Kingdom: Beach Volleyball: Hero of the Beach!
  • Seaside Kingdom: Regular Cup
  • Seaside Kingdom: Master Cup
  • Luncheon Kingdom: Regular Cup
  • Luncheon Kingdom: Master Cup
  • Bowser's Kingdom: Regular Cup
  • Bowser's Kingdom: Master Cup
  • Moon Kingdom: Master Cup
  • Mushroom Kingdom: All 6 Boss Re-Fights and 3 Achievement Moons
  • Dark Side: All 24 Moons, because the world starts with a Boss Re-Fight that I don't want to go through again
  • Darker Side: Final Moon because the controls keep knocking me into the lava

tagged as reviews, games | permalink | 1 comment

 

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