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Looking For Quacks In The Pavement

2022 Album Wrap-up

It’s that time of year when, on social media, you start seeing some folks’ “Spotify Wrapped” posts along with various websites’ “best of” listicles and such-like. Well, this wasn’t a huge year for new music for me and since I had a computer rebuild partway through the year, my “most played” data in MusicBee is… stunted.

But that’s not going to stop me from talking about the albums (and one “EP” big enough to qualify) I bought this year.

(I’m leaving singles and one particular compilation/soundtrack record out for various reasons. If someone’s really curious I can loop back around to them in another post.)

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A Touch Of Upkeep

Part of my original plan for this vacation week was to import some old original content I’d made for Tumblr years ago, specifically the text post meme and gifset stuff. Only to find… I’d already imported those things years ago. Like, the text post meme archive is a Gallery entry now, and I made a string of posts out of the James Burke gifsets. (Here’s the first archival entry.)

Way to go, Past!Me. Nicely done, have yourself a cup of cocoa as a reward.

Looking at those old James Burke posts specifically, though, I noticed a lot of weird character-encoding issues. I honestly don’t know what happened there, though I’m willing to bet “migrating from webserver to webserver over the course of decades” is involved somehow. At any rate, in the interests of making this site a bit less janky for folks who go trawling in the archives (yeah, that’s likely) I spent some time weeding out most of those stray UTF8 artifacts with some judicious search-and-replace in the database.

And people say I don’t know how to have fun.

Satisfactory: Turbopower Factory Tour

Fifteen minutes to record, four hours to edit and add a slew of text cards, and half an hour to convince YouTube to post it and let me select a thumbnail of my own choosing instead of picking one of the three automated options.

My ongoing “save game” wherein I play with design elements and such is called “eSthetics” because I’m an absolute dork. I know, you’re all shocked & amazed.

I didn’t want the trouble of recording, cleaning up, and editing a voiceover track so the audio is just what’s in the game footage itself. Also, I thought the idea of going all “silent movie text gags” with title cards would be fun (and I was right). I’m not sure which method I’ll settle on if I do more of these, but I’m glad to get some practice under my belt with this particular style.

Satisfactory: ChooChooingScenery

Forgive me, FICSIT Inc, for I have sinned. Instead of proceeding onward with my existing resource-harvesting goods-manufacturing project, I have started anew with a fresh world. Oddly enough, it looks almost exactly like the old one…

From such humble beginnings shall a continent-wide rail network grow.

All kidding aside, what happened? Trains happened. Which is to say, I decided that I wanted to take trains “seriously” and make a proper rail network. (My previous savegame ended up more devoted to drones than trains, and that went… only partly well.) In order to make a rail network possible in that save, though, would’ve involved ripping out almost everything I’d already built. Ha ha, no thank you.

Update 6’s new skybox is amazing. Absolutely amazing. And the game was already extremely pretty before!

So here I am, climbing the tech tree again. Grubbing around for every blade of grass and stick of wood to power my meager collection of equipment. Fighting off the hostile fauna with an electrically-charged stick. And so forth.

Current status: I sent off my first Space Elevator shipment, unlocked coal power, and have accumulated enough material to commence building my first actual power plant.

There are reasons not to start near what I call Iron Heights in the northern forest, but they aren’t particularly compelling reasons, let’s be honest.

Wish me luck. (I’ll probably need it.)

Home Improvements, Virtual Style

Every now and then I remember to check under the hood of this thing. I mean, sure, I make sure everything’s patched & current, I check every day on the backup logs, that sort of thing. Based on a sudden urge to find out if I could add a Mastodon feed to the sidebar, however, I ended up cleaning out some legacy cruft.

No, seriously: The widgets I replaced were marked “Legacy” this and “Legacy” that.

And then I ran into the fact that the new(ish) non-Legacy version of the Categories widget… lacks a title option. You know, the bit that says “Categories” at the top? The fix for that turns out to be putting the categories widget into a Widget Group and putting the title on that.

A group of one. Nice design work there, WP folks!

Anyway, I got that sorted out, added the RSS sidebar widget for my “fediverse” presence, and even got really under the hood and cleared out some old software versions on the server itself. Not bad for an hour’s random effort based on a silly whim.

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