Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Memory Day: Snapshots

This picture was taken 36 years ago, in 1983.

This is the tail end of one of our regular weekend road trips to a battlefield or regional park -- you can tell because my parents' coffee travel mugs have been tossed in the trunk of our constantly failing Chevy Citation. I'm not totally sure what's depicted on the front of my shirt. It looks like a thief in a ball cap jumping a fence?

This picture was also taken before my nose became permanently scarred from falling out of a tree, an event that would happen in the following few years.

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Monday, March 18, 2019

List Day: 8 Shortcomings of Newer Firefox Versions

Firefox has been my primary web browser for over 15 years, since it was called Mozilla Firebird. Over the past few years, I never liked the direction the User Experience (UX) was going in but always appreciated that I could overrule their awful changes with add-ons.

Firefox 57 rewrote the add-on framework which probably did a great deal to erase technical debt, but the new framework didn't include all of the same hooks that were originally available. Most egregiously, this broke the awesome add-on, Tab Mix Plus, which is a key part of my workflow. This is why I still have an old version of Firefox installed on at least one computer in the house:

  1. I want the address bar to be above the tabs rather than inside the tabs.
  2. I want a "Close Current Tab" button in a consistent location on the tab bar, rather than chasing the "X" on individual tabs as they resize.
  3. I want to be able to lock a tab so it cannot be changed or closed by accident. I want to be able to mark a tab for auto-refresh at periodic intervals.
  4. I want new tabs to open at the end of the tab bar, rather than to the right of the current tab.
  5. I want to quickly change the search engine for several new searches from the search box without having to go into Options.
  6. I want status information on a dedicated status bar rather than a distracting pop-up bar of varying lengths.
  7. I want to be able to set a local file as a homepage.
  8. I want in-line links to open in the same order as bookmarks.

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Friday, March 15, 2019

Review Day

There are no major spoilers in these reviews.

The End of the F***ing World, Season One:
This is a quirky dark comedy about a boy who thinks he's a psychopath and starts wondering what it might be like to kill the girl who hangs out with him because of his edginess. It puts a unique spin on the typical coming-of-age road trip story and does a good job balancing levity and seriousness. There are a couple brief scenes of animal violence that might be offputting, but they don't linger. Free on Netflix.

Final Grade: B

Assassin's Creed: Odyssey:
This game was very promising upfront, in spite of its UPlay installation requirement. I enjoyed the opening stages a lot, like a less tedious version of the Far Cry series. The game is so shallow, though, that it quickly reaches a point where it's no longer fun. It suffers from the "8,000,000 committees developed this game" syndrome, offering hundreds of hours of beautiful, polished content without providing any motivation do to any one activity more than once. As an example of this, you can sway the war between Sparta and Athens by assassinating leaders and inciting rebellion among the townsfolk. The outcome? The other side takes control of the town and you can do it all again, without any noticeable impact on story or your reputation. I got about 20 hours into it (level 12 of 50-odd levels of character progression), saw that I had only explored about 5% of the map, and realized that I was already repeating the same shallow activities over and over.

Final Grade: C-

Bosch, Season Four:
The fourth season of Bosch is really strong, strong enough to make me go back and watch the previous ones again. I've never thought Bosch was the best of shows, but always enjoyed the sense of camaraderie between characters. It's a little difficult to keep up with some of the side characters with my viewing of previous seasons years in the past, but it didn't hurt my enjoyment. I also enjoyed how the side plot of the "bike killer" played out unexpectedly -- it was originally one of the things I was going to pan in this review as a time waster. Free on Amazon Prime.

Final Grade: B+

The Demons We See by Krista D. Ball:
The 6th and final book in the Secrets and Spells anthology succeeds on the strengths of its logical character development and bantering dialogue. Though a little heavy-handed on the allegory and going into more detail than I would ever need on the fashion choices of every character, I read this quickly and enjoyed it enough to purchase the next book. (Be warned that it ends at a "resting point" with no strong resolution, so it will be unsatisfying as a one-and-done).

Final Grade: B

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Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Chad Darnell's 12 of 12

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

8:00 AM: Taking a break from working in the basement "office" for breakfast and the news.
9:34 AM: Good morning!
9:45 AM: Showered and ready for the (rest of the) day.
9:47 AM: Showing off the cow bowls.
12:02 PM: Running on the treadmill and rewatching Bosch.
12:31 PM: Leftover Joe's Pizzaria for lunch.
2:11 PM: As soon as Maia goes down for a nap, Amber gets lovey for naptime with Rebecca.
4:50 PM: Excited to go on an adventure (in her new shoes from Sena).
5:01 PM: Sitting in traffic.
5:19 PM: On her favourite swing at Lake Anne.
6:42 PM: Figuring out spaghetti.
7:38 PM: Bathtime by emphatic request, not out of necessity.

tagged as 12 of 12 | permalink | 2 comments

Monday, March 11, 2019

Weekend Wrap-up

We spent the past 3 nights at a VRBO rental in Harpers Ferry, just on this side of the Shenandoah River. While we had a nice stay, it was nowhere near the top of our list for best rentals. Two key features we weighted our decision on were unavailable: a fireplace and WiFi. In spite of that, it was nice to arrive in the snow and leave in the spring. Maia enjoyed the small playhouse in the back.

There was a classic Brookstone-style massage chair in the den which actually worked quite well.

Jessika and Hannah came out for parts of the weekend with us and we passed the time cooking, trying to repair the WiFi, and doing a 1000 piece puzzle. On Sunday, we took a trip into Old Town Harpers Ferry, but the city (nestled in the valley amongst a ring of fog) did not get the memo about 60 degree weather everywhere else and we spent most of the morning shivering in the cold.

How was your weekend?

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