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Saturday, October 3rd, 2015 01:32 pm
(And I do mean FIRST.)

The game box contained a smaller box that looked like a typical LEGO construction set, so we opened that and built it first. Then we loaded the game disc into the console, which took another half an hour to download necessary system updates. Don't make the same mistake we did - let the updates download while you build the portal.

The construction set comes with three bags of pieces. Bag 1 is the minifigures, Bag 2 is the portal, and Bag 3 is the vehicle. But the paper instructions only cover the first two. The third set of instructions is inside the game itself.

So we built the portal, then waited for the updates to install, then watched the introduction and about ten minutes of cutscenes introducing the three main characters. Once we finally got to an area where action was required, it was very dark and hard to figure out what to do. Eventually all three characters completed their simple tasks, and the game prompted us to build the portal... which we had already done. But it's nice to know the instructions for the portal are also in the game, in case the pamphlet gets lost.

Then we got the in-game instructions for the first vehicle model. Once we finally built that... it was time to quit, because we had places to go.

As first impressions go, I am underwhelmed, but on the bright side, all the quirky character humor is intact, and I'm interested to see what possibilities are opened up by the new components of the game. With three of us playing together, we were all kept busy: I controlled the game pad, Will took charge of building things, and Connor was responsible for positioning items around the portal - which has color-changing LEDs and looks really nifty.
Friday, October 2nd, 2015 08:34 am
Heather and I went to see The Intern last weekend, which was a fun, frivolous, feel-good movie. While we both enjoyed it immensely, it was only upon further reflection that I realized the main character (Ben, played by Robert de Niro) is basically me.

Follow along: after a traumatic life event (him: retiring and losing his wife; me: moving across the country and dealing with new parenthood), our hero seeks a new community and new purpose in life. Upon receiving an invitation to join up with a new outfit, our hero quietly observes the goings-on and tries to find ways to feel useful and valued. Once that usefulness and value is recognized, our hero is tirelessly loyal and giving to their new comrades.

Well, I do get tired sometimes, I guess. But yeah. He's probably also INFP.
Thursday, October 1st, 2015 06:24 pm

The forums over at offer some fascinating sociological observations.

(~500 words) )
Thursday, October 1st, 2015 02:50 pm
[personal profile] enigel and I were going to go to a show in London, by John Finnemore of Cabin Pressure fame. Unfortunately she has a clash, so we're selling our tickets on GetMeIn. It's Wednesday night next week.
Monday, September 28th, 2015 05:53 pm
Today, I had my first coffee in 6 weeks. And my stomach doesn't seem to hate me.

Also, there's flowing water on Mars. How cool is that?
Sunday, September 27th, 2015 05:53 pm
Looks like I am looking for media recommendations here all the time. But here goes:

* basically anything that won't offend my intellect and feminist sensibilities too much. Can be sci-fi, fantasy, drama, thriller, action, comedy, I don't care. Basically, feel free to just list your favorites in the comments.

TV series:
* something funny and light would be awesome - I adored 30 Rock, for example. I have watched How I Met Your Mother and hate The Big Bang Theory
* shows from other genres are fine, as long as they aren't too exhausting (think Breaking Bad or House of Cards - my attention span is shot), so maybe some crime show?
* unfortunately, Netflix Germany an Amazon Prime Germany are conspiring against me here, so lots and lots of things are either unavailable to me (Parks and Recreation) or only available in German

* nature in all its forms (currently watching Life)
* interesting biographies and such (loved 20 feet from Stardom)

Playstation 3 games:
* fantasy like the Elder Scroll games
* science fiction like Mass Effect
* sneaky action like Assassin's Creed or The Last of Us
* overt action like things I used to play on the PC
* anything else you enjoyed - I'm not actually picky here, I just have a really hard time deciding
Saturday, September 26th, 2015 07:18 pm
The new cat platform has been well received.

This is Marie licking Newton's face in a rare moment of them cuddling.

Read more... )
Wednesday, September 23rd, 2015 10:27 pm

Every new word makes someone complain. Here’s how “humbug” was received in the 1750s.

There is a word very much in vogue with the people of taste and fashion, which though it has not even the ‘penumbra’ of a meaning, yet makes up the sum total of the wit, sense and judgement of the aforesaid people of taste and fashion! I will venture to affirm that this ‘Humbug’ is neither an English word, nor a derivative from any other language. It is indeed a blackguard sound, made use of by most people of distinction! It is a fine make-weight in conversation, and some great men deceive themselves so egregiously as to think they mean something by it! – “The Student; or the Oxford and Cambridge monthly miscellany”, 1750

…odious, horrible, detestable, shocking, Humbug. This last new-coined expression, which is only to be found in the nonsensical vocabulary, sounds absurd and disagreeable, whenever it is pronounced. – “The Connoisseur”, 1754, issue 14

Our pretenders to wit is not still more barbarous. When they talk of Humbug, &c. they seem to be jabbering in the uncouth dialect of the Huns. – “The Connoisseur”, 1754, issue 42

[image: “Mint humbugs” by Ka Faraq Gatri. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0]
Sunday, September 20th, 2015 08:52 pm

I've been thinking a lot about how I've drifted away from being defined by what I do.

As a teenager, I was heavily into anime fandom. I'd stay up until ~3am on dial-up to socialize with fellow fans on message boards and IRC. Eventually learned Japanese so I could understand, etc. Now, well it's been years since I even saw any anime, and I don't have any anime fandom friends anymore. (I have friends are still in anime fandom, but I don't talk anime/anime fandom with them).

I still play games, but I never identified as a gamer (not back when I was playing MMOs 8 hours+ a day, and certainly not now).

I enjoy programming, but I don't think of myself as a hacker (I enjoy building stuff, I enjoy the puzzle-solving aspect, I don't default to doing it in my spare time. And while I used to volunteer on other projects, these days I do my work, read tech-related articles, and call it a day).

I love books, but that's a pretty generic thing -- I don't love a particular series of books (and never have).

I enjoy knitting, but I haven't done it in a while, and it's not like I make new patterns.

I am geeky in general, but I don't think of myself as a geek anymore. A lot of things that give my little geeky heart a thrill have gone mainstream which is fantastic and amazing, but it seems ridiculous to go "oh I'm a geek" when there is nothing different in my level of affection or devotion from that of any person who considers themselves a non-geek. It's all normal now (I would have killed to make this happen as a kid; I luxuriate in this now).

But I feel like... like I've lost something somewhere. The ability to geek out and obsess over specific things? The desire to take something I enjoy and make it a part of my identity? I enjoy things still, I just don't have the intensity I used to have. And I don't know if this is because I don't make the time to foster my interests, or if it's because my outlook on life has just changed.

I'm happy though. I'm just no longer intense. I can't decide what that means.