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Jul. 25th, 2014

Argh

Stop it, people. Ravenclaw's symbol is the eagle, not the raven.

Going by that logic Hufflepuff's symbol should either have been a wolf (or a pig), for fuck's sake.

Jul. 17th, 2014

...

I was listening to Year of the Cat earlier and couldn't help but think of Luna Lovegood.
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May. 29th, 2014

Strange

I suddenly feel a little strange that I couldn't tell you what a dial tone sounded like without finding a sample online. My mother still has a landline (though she owns a non-smart cell phone), but we haven't had one in a donkey's age—since we lived in Auburn, I think.
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May. 7th, 2014

Prison Architect

So, I went ahead and bought into the Early Access alpha of Prison Architect via Steam.

Yeah, it needs a lot of work, but the intro is pretty cool. There's a lot of stuff I wish I could do (like picking workers up and dropping them, or hell, objects), and lord knows it needs better help (but hey, it's Alpha) options or hints or...

But what's really super cool about this game is the Planning option. It lets you "draw" in paths, walls, and objects ahead of time and leaves a partly transparent ghost behind so you always know where you plan to build certain things. Fabulous! I mean, it's so nice I wish Sims 3 had that option instead of their silly Blueprint thing. So I can plan ahead on getting up to X number of cells, kitchen, etc. and know I have the room once I have the money (and the right things are unlocked).

It took me a while to understand how grants work and how to deal with the Bureaucracy options, but overall I'm having fun so far. Riots a'plenty (well, really, my prisoner canteen is way too small for fifty inmates)... Gotta make some notes about optimal sizes for certain things (for down the road when you can learn up them lawbreakers how to do laundry and cook and whatnot.
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Apr. 23rd, 2014

Thoughts

Just wondering... why do stories keep saying Dumbles is one of the greatest wizards in history? Seriously.

Okay, so he defeated Grindelwald. Yay. Good job and all, but any idiot who gets lucky can win at times (as evidenced by those rare times Vanille would land an instant death attack on one of those massive tortoise things).

What else has he done aside from creating the Order of Let's Do Very Little That We Know Of and playing footsie for a while with Flamel re: uses of dragon blood?

Advances in Transfiguration? Updating school curriculum and advances in teaching methods? Promoting and enforcing honor, fairness, truthfulness, and so on in the Wizengamot? Government in general?

Something? Anything? Because being good at ten pin bowling just isn't saying "greatest wizard" to me.

And this is from a generous viewpoint at the moment, not my usual "Dumbledore is a manipulative bastard who can barely, if at all, be trusted" mindset.

Mar. 25th, 2014

Blarg

Sometimes I wonder why I bother to do research when I'm working on an HP story. Why? Because it's probably not generally a case of JKR having not yet included it somewhere in Snoozefest—sorry, Pottermore—but rather that she never bothered to flesh it out in the first place. (I figure these new chapters take so long to come out, not because the art department is slow, but because JKR is musing to herself what new "canon" to create and include.)

Rant rabble rabble )

The point being, JKR continues to disappoint me in not just releasing a proper book of facts, and people continue to disappoint me by being so damn stupid.

I say again, "Blarg!"

Feb. 12th, 2014

Ender's Game

As I said just a few minutes ago, "A lot of dramatic swoopy gestures, but not a lot of substance."

We are very disappointed in this movie adaptation. They had to cut or compress so much (and add in stuff we as readers never got to see, that I recall) that it all kind of fell flat (Hunger Games did that much better). They did mostly preserve the one huge plot point (I saw more than a few hints), so it has that going for it.

And maybe I've just been reading too much slash, but my gaydar kept pinging like mad during scenes between Ender and Bean. Geez.

Definitely not something I plan to buy and add to the library, so it's just as well it was a Netflix rental.
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Feb. 6th, 2014

Uh...

Apparently I've gone mental because I'm looking at this picture of a woman (who is holding a picture of herself at a much younger age) and the first thing I see is her smile. And the first thing I think is, "Self, that lipstick colour doesn't go with her gums." Then I shook my head and said, "Self, it doesn't go with her obviously dyed hair colour, either."

Ugh.
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Jan. 17th, 2014

Ugh

So, went to Tumbleweed just now for dinner. I noticed a thing for a challenge burger... eat it and get a free t-shirt. Rick decided to try. Oh dear lord.

I had a normal cheeseburger (average, nothing to write home about as it turns out, but it was cooked properly), though I had to ask for mustard. Also had a margarita with Chambord and raspberry flavor in it, which was very tasty indeed. I could not finish that, though.

Anyway, this challenge burger. Half the idea was that it was supposed to be really spicy. Sure, sure. Peppercorn coating on the burger patties (two 1/2 pounders), pepperjack cheese (which he couldn't even taste), raw jalepenos, onions... For Rick, it just wasn't spicy at all, but it was more or less tasteless. Couldn't use utensils for anything, either.

In the end he didn't finish it because it just didn't taste good and he wasn't going to stuff himself to the point of sickness on that for the sake of a restaurant t-shirt.

So, kind of a downer and the waitress was a bit... well, she wasn't exemplary service-wise, so no huge tip or anything, but she did get 15%, so it's not like she got stiffed.

Movies: Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief was all right. Not fantastic, but all right. The Sea of Monsters, however, was phoned in, and obviously didn't have the same budget. Wasn't horrible, but certainly not as good as the first one.

Games: Oblivion is going all right, though I quickly realized that wearing gear that puts me at 100% chameleon makes it difficult to move around since you can't see anything of your character. It was kind of strange, though... I went and assassinated some dude for the Dark Brotherhood and while I was there I looted a few things. I get back outside and I'm standing there for a moment, and all of a sudden some guy speeds over to arrest me for theft. There were no witnesses! What the hell, game? So I paid the fine and probably lost a couple of repair hammers (boo hoo) and that was it. I just gotta plan out my infamy level against fame and do a pilgrimage at some point to wipe that out before I do the Thieves Guild stuff.

I really don't like the leveling system in Oblivion, but I guess I'll just deal with it. And as for chameleon, I can always take off a piece of jewelry so I get a vague outline of the avatar until I want the full deal.

Jan. 9th, 2014

Hahaha

There is just something so poetically sweet seeing someone step on a trap trigger in a tomb and... the enemies get flung around like clattering rag dolls, shattering their now fragile bones against hard stone walls, while I and my follower are perfectly unharmed.
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Jan. 5th, 2014

Skyrim

Yeah... so the main quest line is supposed to take 15-30 hours. I have the three add-ons, so who knows how much longer that adds. I've played for 117 hours already, and that's with a two-day headache bender in bed, only getting up for water, painkillers, and the loo.

I suppose once I'm done with this I'll see about Oblivion. Definitely can't say I'm sorry I spent part of my gift card on this game. I admit, it's more than a little strange to do daedric quests for goodies when the quests in question tend to be, well, distasteful, to say the least.

In other news, it appears that Rick has the flu. He's been going on about how I should just shoot him and whatnot, and naturally I refuse. But I did just go out and buy more tissues and some apple juice, since I won't let him drink coffee or tea.

Have yet to bother looking at L4D2, but Rick said something about zombie clowns. Urgh.
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Dec. 25th, 2013

Well

I guess I'm crazy.

Steam has those sales, of course. Heard that Left 4 Dead 2 was free for a limited time, and I managed to grab it and download it, despite the store server being hammered. No idea if I'll even like the game, but it's free, so...?

And the Skyrim bundle went even lower in price, so... yeah, bought it. It's Christmas, right? The time for silly purchases? I'll just have to download it later on, after Rick is done with his download for L4D2.
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Dec. 24th, 2013

Self Gifting

So, I said what the heck.

I already have the disc version of Tropico 4, but on a whim I decided to check Steam to see what's on sale, and lo! Yeah, I ended up buying the whole shaboo. Tropico 4 Steam Edition plus all the expansions/DLC. It's only partly downloaded at the moment seeing as how Rick is playing L2 and was getting lagged all to hell, so I paused it.

I suppose I could have done the DLC purchases via the original game interface, but apparently I didn't get around to installing it again yet after the last machine upgrade (and subsequent reinstallation of Windows 7), so... what the hell, right? This way I get everything available for the low, low price of $22.35 since most of it was slashed on price... and I do have that nice gift card just sitting there.

I'll probably use the rest of the card on Pirate 101, but no real sense in doing that until they release more content.

I considered also getting the Skyrim bundle, but now there's not enough left on the card. Hm.

Huh

I think it's mildly hilarious... I went out to have a smoke a few minutes ago and realized it was snowing. So I guess this counts as having a white Christmas? Well, unless it warms up again quickly and it all melts off.

Still, there's always something very peaceful about being outside in the middle of the night while it's snowing, though I admit the effect is far more powerful when you're in the middle of nowhere. I can remember plenty of nights in Maine with a decent cover of snow, a full moon (or close enough thereof), and seeing it all sparkle like diamonds.
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Dec. 2nd, 2013

Right

First, I'm back from the annual Thanksgiving trip to Maine. I had a long talk with someone I've known for years who is soon to go through what I've been going through for the past two months. I think I greatly set their mind at ease.

Second, I have to say I'm confuzzled. Maybe I'm just ... well, shit, I don't know. What the fuck is all this rabbiting on about "triggering"? I keep seeing this mentioned, usually in conjunction with someone choosing not to tag whatthefuckever. And I think, "Gee, I sure would like it if author person tagged/warned that the main character was gonna lose a limb because I find that squicky, or that author person had tagged/warned that, er, Lily and Harry were gonna be getting it on, 'cause I find opposite sex parent-child incest to be really squicky."

But I don't think, "Gee, I wish all of the above because the word/feeling/action 'triggering' comes to mind."

So what is this? Is this flashbacks because reader was raped at some point and that scene was just a bit too much for them, even if it was off camera? That kind of thing? Or... hm, I see this applied to eating disorders a lot, too.

Because it all implies (to me) flashbacks or actually triggering that kind of behavior (such as with eating disorders). Since I've never had an eating disorder or been raped or assaulted or been driven to cutting or drugs or... well, I've had my apartment robbed at one point (which left me with a lifelong paranoid fear about it happening again), but I can't say reading about it would "trigger" anything in particular.

So I'm a wee bit confused on this point.
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Nov. 19th, 2013

Aliens

They really aren't discriminating. That's twice now my nannybot has been abducted and probed. The least they could do is abduct the baby daddy and knock him up.

Uh...

Okay... So, I guess things can go wrong when creating nanites from the "recipes" you obtain.

The Feisty Nanite [Six Screenshots] )

Pregnancy... In the Future!! (Try to put a little echo or reverb on that when you read it, yeah.)

And then it was time to have the baby. Thanks to Shivani having the Windcarver (hoverboard) set to "Use instead of walking" she completely ignored Neel pulling the car around (the house came with one) and instead hoverboarded her way to the hospital. Durr. Thank you, Eaxis, for such stellar logic. (And Christ, even the guy on a regular bicycle was going faster than she was!)

So, naturally, after the baby was born and named, what does she do? Yeah, ignored Neel and the car and... walked home. Miles away. Couldn't cancel the trip so I could unset the hoverboard and then maybe she'd get a taxi.... no. Walked. All the way home.

Hopefully now I can group her, Neel, the bot, the kid, and return to her present. And buy some lottery tickets, of course.

Huh

So, my sim has a single descendant in Oasis Landing who has an on again off again relationship with some dude named Neel Das. I got tired of seeing the messages keep popping up so I tracked the guy down (I have yet to introduce myself to the descendant) and figured he looked fairly okay. And since they'd broken up again I romanced him just enough for some woohoo (the hot tub was chosen, in the middle of a nasty rain storm), and I did hear the jingle. Wow, dude gives it up on the first try!

And then I see this:


And yet she does the Stride of Pride because she woohoo'd off her home lot. Whatever!

Naturally, since she's knocked up by the aforementioned on again off again love interest of her descendant, I skipped over to the bot machine and made a plumbot—



—with a Robonanny chip in it (and Cleaner, Solar Powered, Steel Chef) to take care of the upcoming bundle(s) of joy. She is in the process right now of inviting over the baby daddy to try to get him to join the household, mainly so she can take him back to her present and saddle him and the bot with childcare. After all, it's kinda evil to do to one's own descendant in a deliciously naughty way, and it should up the number of descendants that will appear, in theory.

On a side note, I have to say one of the most "I'm thrilled to have it" additions with ItF is the CaSTable soil rug. Finally, we can plant indoors or on a roof without needing those ugly Eaxis plant pots (or the much prettier CC planter boxes). You can see that in the above picture, obviously.

On another side note, Midnight Hollow is... uh... really dark, and not in the way Moonlight Falls is (or whatever world came with Supernatural). I'm talking dreary dark with dirt textures everywhere and black sand beaches and (seemingly?) dead trees all over the place. Landscaping is fine, though the world seems awfully small. Very cute graveyard, on the other hand, but no evidence of death flowers, which is why I'm working gardening skill (crystal flowers aside). Because really, one needs death flowers if one intends to, at some point, alter the future to a dystopia and have to dodge meteor strikes every five seconds.

Nov. 15th, 2013

Geez

Starting to feel like a halfway house for cats here. I'm out having a smoke and I catch something out of the corner of my eye. It's a very light orange tabby (henceforth referred to as Creamsicle) staring at me with those big, dark eyes. So I talked to it, noticing that there was no collar on the beast. It wanders closer, certainly enough to put its paws up on my chair and sniff my hand.

I mean, it seemed friendly enough and not, say, rabid, so I wasn't too worried. But then it made the mistake of checking the food bowl under my chair. I knew Sue was around somewhere because of the occasional jingle, but when Creamsicle made that characteristic sound with the bowl Sue was out of her little cat house (under the other chair on the porch) like a shot and chasing Creamsicle away (who, I must say, looked either betrayed or devastated). Creamsicle is not the other neighborhood cat—that one has lots of white, some darker brown patches, and just loves chasing Sue all over hell and back. I assume White would love to beat the snot out of Sue, as well, but Sue is pretty good at getting away. Creamsicle is apparently a lot more passive.

(And speaking of cat houses, I'm referring to something Rick and I bashed together a couple of nights ago out of a cardboard box, an old sleeping bag that's seen better days, a large black plastic bag, staples, and duct tape. You know, to keep the wind and other elements off/out and for Sue to have a place to sleep when she's outside at 3am and whatnot in the middle of November and probably all winter. So it's got a little opening at the front with a roof-type bit over it, parts of the sleeping bag inside as a liner, and plastic all over the outside to protect it from water damage.)

Rick came out at that point to dump something in the big bin and I explained what happened. He kinda sighed and rolled his eyes.

Sue was one thing... she was a kitten at the time and collared, so we knew she was being looked after. This one is an adult with no collar, and, while friendly, is not getting into the house. Sue had that chance and blew it, so... not happening for this new one.

Whenever the next cat comes along for the household it'll be a kitten as usual. Bane has shown that he will not get on with a strange adult cat and Sue is way too fighty... which is kind of funny given that Bane is an utter coward (but I guess that only applies to humans and not other cats).
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Nov. 12th, 2013

Okay

Now I know they've gone mental over at Fiction Alley. SCUSA has threads for Vernon/Dolores and Ron/Aragog.

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