Monday, December 17, 2018

Amazon Prime Math Day

With Christmas approaching, here is a useful guide for estimating when your Amazon packages will arrive, based on Amazon's new interpretation of "Free Two-Day Shipping" and their amazingly efficient Amazon Logistics (AMZL) delivery contractors.

tagged as data | permalink | 0 comments

Friday, December 14, 2018

Twelve 12 of 12s

a recap of 12 of 12 posts from 2018

January: Maia gets the royal treatment from Anna's kids. Sydney is ignored.
February: Couch lunges.
March: First dinner at home after our trip to LA.
April: Cat hunter.
May: Helping with lawn care.
June: Just voted in the primary.
July: Messier than Dad would prefer.
August: Starting a band.
September: Learning about angular momentum.
October: Bunny lover.
November: Encroaching wildlife and sad pinwheel.
December: Disrupted sleep cycles for Advent of Code.

tagged as 12 of 12 | permalink | 0 comments

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Chad Darnell's 12 of 12

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

1:30 AM: Wrapping up Advent of Code Day Twelve.
5:28 AM: Showered and ready for work.
6:06 AM: Breakfast in the office.
10:45 AM: Arriving home to find Maia reading about bunnies.
10:49 AM: A bit more work from home.
12:07 PM: Classic lunch.
2:42 PM: Rebecca and Amber nap between baby duty and work duty.
4:45 PM: Stretching out the last few minutes of Maia's long nap with Fallout 4.
5:03 PM: Those who wake the baby must deign to kiss the bunny.
6:32 PM: Dinner time!
7:21 PM: Helping to load the groceries at Wegmans.
11:50 PM: Waiting for the next Advent of Code puzzle to unlock.

tagged as 12 of 12 | permalink | 1 comment

Monday, December 10, 2018

Review Day

There are no major spoilers in these reviews.

Shadow of the Tomb Raider:
I should have known better than to get this game after getting bored with the second one but several reviews promised that the parts I hated had been improved and I was in need of a birthday game to purchase and waste time on. I only made it 7 hours in before quitting in regret. The only redeeming feature is that the graphics are beautiful. The game still beats you over the head with a pointless story and forces you to pay attention to cutscenes when you just want to raid some tombs. This philosophy is encapsulated in the fifteen minute opening sequence where you're forced to walk (run is disabled) through a crowded market admiring the work of the art team while the story happens around you.

The overall package is actually worse than the previous game because of new bugs and a weird floatiness to jumps that used to be tightly controlled -- if the actual tomb-raiding part can't be done right, there's no reason at all to play. Finally, the difficult levels are poorly implemented -- instead of making the game more and less difficult, they just make the game more and less tedious.

Final Grade: D

Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild: I first reviewed this game back in January and gave it a solid C- because of its flaws. Over the end of the summer and throughout the fall, I finally beat the game after about 80 hours of play (50 of which was probably waiting for loading screens). Instead of directly following the storyline, I chose instead to visit all 120 required-yet-optional Shrines first so I could max out my stats and not fall down cliffs due to lack of stamina all of the time. Extra stamina did help me enjoy traveling more but my final grade doesn't change -- it is still difficult to feel like you're making progress in any sitting. I would bump this game up to a solid B with the following changes: merge the 120 shrines into 30, each of which gives you a full heart or a stamina vessel, reduce loading screen time by 50% or more (or allow me to teleport out of a shrine to a destination of my choice), and reduce the size of the world by about 15% to make it feel less empty and more worthwhile to explore.

Final Grade: C-

Nintendo Switch:
I'm pretty ambivalent on the Switch after having played 5 or 6 games on it so far. I play mostly in docked TV mode with the Joycons in the awkward controller-like holder shown on the box. The double shoulder buttons are sized weirdly (it seems like the larger button should be on top, since my fingers naturally rest on the bottom button which is often some kind of "cancel" action). The ability to go portable is a nice gimmick, but the control schemes rarely carry over well between one and the other (especially games that require touchscreen or motion support). Games that look great on the TV can get too chaotic on the little screen as well.

My biggest concern is simply the lack of NEW first-party games. Browsing the Switch wall at Gamestop requires me to wade through endless shovelware, ports from other consoles, and reworked Wii U games. Give me some solid single-player games designed exclusively for the Switch -- I can play Stardew Valley on literally every single other device I own (including my toaster oven).

Final Grade: C+

tagged as reviews | permalink | 0 comments

Friday, December 07, 2018

Maia Month #17 Battle Report

Maia is now one year and five months old, weighing 21 pounds and walking up a storm. After months of getting a feel for how long it will take her to crawl down the hall after you, she can now startle you like a nascent ninja by coming into the room right behind you. She has 3 teeth on the bottom and about 8 on top. Maia reads on her own less than before, but still sucks in knowledge like a sponge. She can identify things by color, continues to refine her animal sounds, and learns a million new things at the library every day.

She has two stuffed animals, creatively named Bear and Bunny (one is a bear and one is a bunny, and they both identify as such), that she takes wherever she goes. She sometimes cries if she can't find or have one, although she's surprisingly okay with the fact that we have two copies of the bunny (for laundry purposes) that don't quite look the same.

We put up our Christmas tree a few weeks ago and tentatively left it unprotected by gates. Maia's been great with it so far, choosing to play with the ornaments on the lower branches rather than tipping it over. She likes Christmas trees, lights, deer, and all the accoutrements of the season.

Life is going well!

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

 

You are currently viewing the front page, so the newest post is at the top of the page. Archived news is in chronological order. The entire URI! Zone is © 1996 - 2018 by Brian Uri!. Please see the About page for further information.

Jump to Top
Jump to This Month's Archive


December 2018
SMTWHFS
1
2345678
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
3031
BIRTHDAYS
BLOGLOG
12/14
12/10
12/06

OLD POSTS
Old News Years J F M A M J
J A S O N D
J F M A M J
J A S O N D
J F M A M J
J A S O N D
J F M A M J
J A S O N D
J F M A M J
J A S O N D
J F M A M J
J A S O N D
J F M A M J
J A S O N D
J F M A M J
J A S O N D
J F M A M J
J A S O N D
J F M A M J
J A S O N D
J F M A M J
J A S O N D
J F M A M J
J A S O N D
J F M A M J
J A S O N D
J F M A M J
J A S O N D
J F M A M J
J A S O N D
J F M A M J
J A S O N D
J F M A M J
J A S O N D
J F M A M J
J A S O N D
visitors since November 2003