Tuesday, July 31, 2012

So. Sports. Kinda.

So, I don't usually do sports.  I really don't care about hockey or football or gold or any of those things that are usually up on the TV at a sports bar.  However, I have always enjoyed some of the less publicized sporting events that get trotted out around the Olympics.  It is really cool to see people who work that hard to be good at something that, while kind of pointless now, could potentially save them in a zombie apocalypse with a little adaptation and creative thinking.  I mean, they are all so quick and flexible and disciplined, it has to be useful for something!

However, I do have a problem with the whole IOC and related commercial enterprises running the show while the governments put out all the actual cash for it.  I mean, basically, the host cities are paying for the privilege to make the IOC lots of money.  And then there is the sponsorship contracts leading to branding police, and all the empty seats at "sold out" events. And I just loooove  (sarcasm, DUH) how they are attempting to control who posts what on the internet so no one says anything bad about them, and only the companies who paid dearly for the privilege will get to show people what is going on.  Good luck with that guys!  I just don't have the words to express how slimy the whole thing feels when you look at anything other than the athletes themselves.  It is supposed to be a big world community building event, and it feels more like a gigantic sleazy circus with the clown in a corner keeping his eye out for easy marks and another getting ready to block the exit.

The athletes should be the focus, not McDonalds, or Coke, or NBC, or whatever those weird ass mascots are.

So I am not watching this year. Although I can't help but keep half an eye on the medal count....

Go Canada!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Summer Plans

So I woke up this morning, and my house smelled like peaches.  Which sounds odd until you remember that my mom just bought me 10lbs of peaches on their way back through the interior.  Forget coffee, I need to wake up to this smell more often!

They are still a little on the green side, but they should be ready to use on Sunday. If I haven't eaten them as as they ripen.....  I'm thinking frozen slices and a pie. or crumble or something yummy.  Sorry Friday night gang, they are still too green to share with you!  

In other news, my library hold on Downton Abbey just came in so that's what I will be watching this week. I've heard from many many people that is is good, so should be fun.  That's the weird thing about working at a library.  People are always recommending stuff too me.  Most of the time I have absolutely no interest as I don't generally enjoy the usually popular fiction, but every once in awhile something completely odd will take off and EVERYONE will order it, and they will all rave about how amazing it is.  Eventually someone who actually knows my tastes will recommend it and I will cave and give it a go.  It's usually worth it at that point.

I can tell you one thing that has not been recommended to me though.  Despite everyone and their dog ordering in copies of the Fifty Shades trilogy, not a single person has tried to talk me into it.  Gosh, I wonder why that is..... :-)

And yes,  peaches and Downton Abbey are all I have in the way of summer plans this year, and I like it that way!

Now, if you will excuse me, I have to put the box of peaches on my desk where I can smell it better.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Link Soup of Mediocrity

Sooo... this has been a fairly uneventful week for me.  I didn't do anything super exciting, and I didn't get agitated about anything worth talking about, so it got quiet around here. Okay, I got a little sad about the shooting in Colorado, but I have nothing particularly earth shattering to add to that particular discussion.  However, I have decided that I want to post at least once a week, so here I am.

What I have been doing this week..... In the order in which I thought about it, and definitely not the time dedicated to each task.

Firefly  (Yes I watched the whole series.  Again.)
Vlog Brothers Videos  (Crazy geeky dudes who often make me laugh)
Guild Wars 2  (Beta Weekend!)
Baking and also more Baking (okay, okay, I didn't make THOSE brownies, although I wanted too! Mine were yummy, but not quite so crazy.)
Laughing at Stupid People
Shopping  (Oh my god, there is baby stuff in my living room! Whose idea was that and is it too late to make it stop?)
Laundry.  Oh so much laundry.  And that is only getting worse from here.

Yup.  It's been a quiet week.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Not Geeky Enough

I will never go to Comic Con. Well, the San Diego one anyway. Even though there is a lot of cool things going on down there that I would love to attend and SO many authors and actors I would love to meet, I just can't see myself enjoying it for one simple reason. Too many people!

 I went to Emerald City this year. It was fun enough, but there were WAY to many people for me (and not enough cool panels, and turns out I am really not that interested in comic books, but that's a different issue). At one point I spend 45 minutes trying to walk down a hallway. Not even kidding. It took me almost an hour of navigating through hot sweaty geek bodies to walk the length of a short city block. Not cool. Since SDCC is so much bigger, I don't see any reason that I would have a better time there. I mean, I am not a get in line at midnight for an 11am panel kind of person. If there is something I want to see I will show up an hour early, tops. Which means that at big conventions, I wouldn't get into anything cool. I'm not willing to sacrifice that much of my day, or miss out on other things I want, just to wait in line.

 So I am not a super geek. I am not willing to spend thousands of dollars to fight thousands of people for many hours for the chance to see someone I admire from 50 feet away. And I am certainly not willing to spend hours in line for the privilege of paying someone to sign something I have already bought. That's just lame. Although I would like to shop the booths for geeky things. That looks cool, and possibly a little less claustrophobic. If I were to go at non-peak times. But again, not worth airfare. So I will read news, watch videos and squee from afar.

 I think I will go to Norweson again. That was just about my speed. Smaller, cheaper, closer, and full of awesome things to see and watch and buy. Also, it's more about books :-)

PS:  We still live here for the foreseeable future.  Sigh.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Sad Face

The internet makes me sad.  Okay, not the internet itself, just the parts where there are people on it. I stopped going on forums years ago because the people who weren't being depressingly stupid were being stupidly mean.  So I focused on book sites, blogs of people I respect, geeky news, comics, and whatever interesting non-anonymous user driven content I could find.

But those have all started to fill up with stupid and mean too.  Every time I  switch pages there are angry blog posts, or linked articles about some absolutely horrible cyber bullying, confused comments, depressing internet news stories, and people I respect being textually bashed around for doing whatever it is they do.  Every disagreement has turned into a huge, rage fueled fight with many of us looking on in bewilderment.

What the hell happened to "live and let live"?  If you don't like what someone does, says, thinks, makes, or likes you can either come up with something productive to say or JUST NOT ENGAGE THEM.  Go to a different website. Don't read their posts. Stop watching their videos.  Don't support their fundraiser.  Unfollow them on twitter. (But don't announce it.  That's tacky, and a great way to sound immature.  'I'm taking my ball and going home').  You would think this would be easier on the internet, since there are a million other digital places for you to frequent, and an almost zero chance of "running into" someone and it being all awkward.  But even in the real world, the best way to deal with someone you just don't like is to avoid them.

Instead of civil detachment or  reasonable criticism, what I am seeing is people making personal attacks, threatening, raging in disgust using foul and offensive language (and I am not easily offended), and people taking intense personal offense to something that was put out there for the entire world.  Of course there are things you will disagree with.  And of course there will be things that you think are not worth your time.  SO DON'T GIVE IT YOUR TIME!  Walk away.  Do something else. Let these people and the people who agree with them go about their business while you smugly find people and places more to your clearly refined sense of taste.  Or criticize if you want.  That's okay too.  But you can  criticize the work, or post  thoughtful counterpoints to an opinion without resorting to personal, non related attacks.  " I don't really like this.  The ______ was completely terrible."  is a perfectly valid thing to say.  A comment like, "Why did you waste my time with this $#!*, you &#(% c*@#$/!@.  You should be put down! " not only invalidates your stance on the work, but also your standing as a remotely decent human being.  Also, responding in kind to comments like that doesn't help you look heroic, but merely on the other side of a completely ridiculous argument.

Women in gaming is not new, and them wanting a little more consideration from the industry will not end your little basement/man-cave world.  Female creators of geeky things *coughFeliciaDaycough* are not out to offend you personally with their ability to achieve something cool in a male dominated culture.  Bad book reviews have always happened, and will always happen, and its not a personal attack.  On the other side of that one, if you don't like a book (or movie, or game, or fuzzy squirrel hat), that's fine.  It's even fine to say so.  But you don't need to act like the creator put this horrible thing in the world just to make your life a living hell.  I am not going to get into the fact that all of the vileness I have seen recently has been directed at women.  That might be another post. I'm just mad about this kind of behavior, no matter who it is directed at!

The really stupid part is that this is all essentially completely frivolous stuff.  I'm not even getting into equality, politics, world hunger, or the environment!  All of which have similar issues with reasonable discourse, but at least those things actually have real world impact.

Get over it.  Get over yourself.  Find something productive to do with your life, because tearing other people down is not going to get you to the top.

Edit:  It occurs to me that this rant is somewhat related to my previous post about religious differences. I really should stop being surprised at this crap.  Or stop interacting with people.   Either or.

Monday, July 09, 2012

So That's Really Happening.

My job just got posted.  That feels strange.  I guess I really am going on leave.  I only have 6 weeks left, so its not like this is a surprise.  I'm still feeling a little like "but.... but that's MY job!"   I wonder who is going to get it!  Fingers crossed for someone awesome and not that one lady who is a little weird (not in a good way) and still kinda bitter that she didn't get it 3 years ago when I applied in the first place.

Anyway,  back to waiting for the phone to ring telling me someone wants my apartment....  ( I am losing hope here, but will cling to what remains until the end of the day.)

Friday, July 06, 2012

Acquiring Stuff

So we had a showing yesterday, and they want to come back tomorrow for a second look.  Fingers crossed!  It would be so much easier to go house hunting in the next little bit than it would be after the summer. Of course I just bought new curtains for the newly painted room that we would have to leave behind, probably to be immediately replaced  by the new owners.  Ah well. I can live with that.  I will probably need to buy new stuff for wherever we wind up anyway.

On an only vaguely related note, shopping is exhausting! I don't know how women do it for hours for fun!  I was in a mall for 3 hours shopping for chairs, so lots of sitting, and I need a nap SO badly right now.  And making decisions is stressful, and all those people, and the lineups and gaaah. Probably the completely packed highway to and from the store also didn't help with the tired.

I mean, I like having nice things and I like looking at pretty stuff, but that actual time and effort spend finding  stuff that is just right and deciding what is worth spending money on is tiresome.  I have the same problem with clothes shopping, and I hate shoe shopping more than anything. Of course, that is because I have stupid sized feet and no one reliably carries my size.  But the pleasant results of today's trip are that I have a super comfy rocking/glider chair on order, and a little place for baby to sleep when she gets here.   However,  Gord has to come with me next time. Things go much faster and are less stressful when I have a second opinion on stuff.  Also, he can carry the heavy things.

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

The Phoenix is Dead

Seriously.  For real this time. There are no ashes left to rise from!

Okay, Background!

(Short version:  Phoenix was the name of my temperamental and highly abused computer.  It is irrecoverably dead now.  The story below is for my own amusement, so if this synopsis sounds unbelievably boring to you feel free to stop here and roll your eyes at my nerdyness.  Also, Gimlix!)

The Saga of Phoenix: A memorial

About 6 years ago, just after I got married, I bought a new computer.  Within the first year it had failed at least twice and needed several replacement parts and just caused general panic for a 3rd year English student with many many papers to write.  Hard drive, RAM, blah blah blah... Normal computer shenanigans.  My wonderful husband fixed it several times, and it eventually became a fairly stable machine which he took the liberty of naming Phoenix for obvious reasons.

A couple of years later, it started turning itself off randomly and we couldn't figure out why.  Everything we looked at was working just fine.  It didn't happen very often, and I no longer needed the computer for school work, so we decided it was just living up to its name and left it alone for the next year or so.  It would often hang in the boot up process, so I became reluctant to turn it off for fear that it would never come back on again.  Although I usually left it on for other reasons anyway.  Like not wanting to wait for it to boot in the morning, or waiting for a file to download.

Then the dining room lights started to flicker.  One professional friend's visit later, and we found out that we had a few minor electrical problems involving a couple of arcing sockets.  Including the one my computer was plugged into.  Note:  If something is having trouble getting enough power to work consistently, check the fracking electrical system it is hooked up to!  Ever since then I have had the funds set aside for a new desktop, and I have been putting it off until Phoenix was unusable.  Then my cheap hand me down laptop died so I got a new one of those instead, since I use it for work and you can get laptops with enough oomph to play most computer games.

For the last year or so, Phoenix has been hooked up to my Television as a TV/YouTube box and doing okay.  It's been SUPER sluggish to boot up and refused to open programs sometimes, but it was fine for what we needed it to do,  ie: download stuff and play DVDs.  Then we moved it. Apparently all that unplugging and moving and re plugging was too much for its delicate and tortured systems.  There is now a 1 in 3 chance of it booting (at at least 5 minutes a try to find out) , and a 1 in 4 chance that opening a program will not cause a system crash.  Yeah.  I'm not going to play at those odds. I'm calling it!

Time to pull the good parts into an unholy union with Gord's old computer, Gimli, and remake a new undead TV Box! What would we call that?  Phoemli? Gimlix?  Gimlix.  Totally that one.

Okay, that last bit may have ruined the memorial feeling a little bit.  But then, its just an old, always unstable computer.

Phoenix is dead, Long live Gimlix!

Monday, July 02, 2012

My Life in Games

I bought a new game to play with the hubband.  It's a cute little 2d side scroller game called Terraria. He has been playing it for awhile and wanted to try multiplayer.  Essentially, it's Minecraft with more scary monsters and rocket boots.  I don't know if I will play it much on my own, but it's fun to have a game we can do together.  We haven't done that much since we stopped playing City of Heroes.  Correction, since HE stopped playing City of Heroes.  I still do occasionally.

Speaking of my games,  Here they are!  (at least the ones I am playing at the moment.  There are a few on my old computer that I have been neglecting.)

Yes, that is Warcraft II.  Blizzard being evil made me sad last week, and I installed it to remember more awesome times.  Zug Zug!  It's not a huge impressive list I know, but I don't actually like to keep games installed when I am not playing them at least occasionally.  I'm probably going to replace Sims Medieval with Assassin's Creed sometime in here.

So the top row is the first person/graphically intense awesome games.  Guild Wars 2 comes out in a couple of months still, but the betas have been SO much fun.  They pretty much took everything I hated about playing WoW (which to be honest was a LOT)  and ground it to paste when they designed the game play on this one.  My favorite part?  You aren't competing with your fellow gamers for loot, resources or mobs. Your loot and resources is rendered specifically for you, and because of this, if you happen upon someone in a fight the polite thing to do is help out.  Or at the very least revive any downed players you come across.  Also, any fights will scale to challenge however many people are actively participating!  They tried really hard to make a friendly gaming atmosphere in this game, and it really shows.  The second best part? No monthly subscription fees!

Skyrim was a blast for awhile.  I played it to death though, and it got kind of repetitive so I am kind of over it.  Although I never did get to much into the magic trees, so I may have to go back eventually and try doing that part.

Second row is all the little arcade games that I play when I don't really want to think about what I am doing.  And Dream Chronicles.  That one is a story puzzle game that's kind of cool.  I'm slowly working away at that one.

Ah row 3.  They have actually been my staples lately.  Minecraft in particular.  It's like lego.  With lava.  that burns up all your awesome stuff when you fall in it aaaaaaaahhhhhh.    Okay,  I may not have been playing that one this week.  But I'll get over it and back to building my snow city on a big ass frozen lake.

Magicka is fun, if only because it pokes fun at every adventure game you have ever played.  The Magic system is hard to co-ordinate at first, but I am getting used to it.  I've only recently started using WASD controls for movement in my games (I was strictly an arrow keys kinda girl until I got my new laptop and they were WAAAY away from where my hand likes to be) and this game uses them for magic casting, so I tend to fire off clouds of steam whenever I want to move forward.

And I just got Civ V, so I dunno where it is going to go yet.  I just got this urge to play a turn based strategy, and since I have played Alpha Centauri to DEATH, and AC2 is not forthcoming, the latest Civ won. Cuz it was on sale at Steam.

And that's it!  For now.  I think I will go start up Civ.

On an unrelated note,  left over doughnut and real fruit gummy bears are a good breakfast, right?  Long Weekend food!