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Looking For Quacks In The Pavement

In Limbo, In Progress

Let’s see… I’m not playing Satisfactory lately because there’s a glitch in the drones system they introduced with Update 4 and it won’t be fixed until Update 5 (some time this fall… or later). I’m winding down on my Fire Emblem: Three Houses playing (about to finish Silver Snow, the only route I hadn’t done yet) and then I’ll be taking a break from that. I’m working on a physical therapy regimen for the shoulder that got rather ouch-y right after my 2nd Pfizer jab, so I’m in pain a lot. I’m trying to collect blood sugar readings as per my doctor’s request but the glucometer and I aren’t getting along very well so it’s more pain than gain. I’m still working from home and not going out much because the Delta variant of COVID-19 is… worry-making. The high-definition remaster of Diablo II isn’t out yet. The current anime season doesn’t have anything that’s really grabbed my attention. We’re between MCU Disney+ shows (Loki was meh, What If is coming up next month). My last few music purchases were okay-but-not-great.

I’m still here, I’m just not really doing much of anything beyond surviving.

Hot, Hotter, Hottest

Saturday afternoon, Portland Oregon set a new all time high temperature record of 108F.

Sunday afternoon, Portland Oregon set a new all time high temperature record of 112F.

Monday afternoon, Portland Oregon set a new all time high temperature record of 116F.

Our apartment is fairly new. The complex was built only a year or so before we moved in, and while it’s kind of cheap as these things go, it’s still moderately well built overall. This includes the insulation, which is great at keeping us warm in the colder months.

Turns out, sadly, that it’s also incapable of shedding heat in the worst of summer. We’re on the top floor and we get a lot of the afternoon & evening rays before sunset, which ensures that the building’s outer structure is good and warm for hours and hours afterward. Result? Two portable air-conditioning units running full-tilt all afternoon, evening, and overnight couldn’t get the air below 86F inside the apartment, other than for the two small spheres of space directly in front of the units themselves. This last weekend was a brutal, joyless slog and I never want to go through that again.

Since it’s only June, however, and the hottest months of the year (normally) are ahead of us… I’m not going to hold my breath.

(The only upside is that I’d put in for a few days of vacation time, which included Monday, a couple months ago, which turned out to be lucky timing because having my computer on in order to do work yesterday was not gonna be happening.)

Satisfactory – So Much Work For Shinies

While I’ve not been writing about the game much, I still play at least once per week on my own game and usually once per week in a cooperative game session with my son. I’m at what could be considered the “late” stage of the game, having sent off the third big Space Elevator shipment and unlocking access to the aluminum and nuclear tiers.

This is where things go from “moderately complex” to “rather fiendishly complex,” and the scale gets to the point where you can’t simply expect to make a variety of products from one resource node, let alone one group of resource nodes.

Case in point? Crystal Oscillators.

So much work, so much time, for a couple of little odd-looking devices every couple of minutes per manufacturer.
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The Summer of Our Discount Tent

I bought a “light tent” some time ago in order to get portraits of the various duckies (as well as, potentially, anything else we want a Very Nice Picture of) but I noticed something after the first couple of sessions that bothered me a bit. Due to various circumstances mostly having to do with living in a pandemic and not wanting to deal with much of anything, I didn’t get around to trying a solution until this week.

The problem? The LEDs at the top of the tent leave a bright glare in the photographs of any smooth, shiny subject. The solution? Buy some kind of light-diffusing material and find a way to “mount” it in the tent.

Let’s see how that went, shall we?

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MediaMonkey 5 – A Greener Interface

After years and years and years of development time, MediaMonkey version 5 arrived for general release. It’s new, it’s slick, it’s all that and a bag of chips. (Or crisps, if you’re from across the proverbial pond.)

It’s also, by default, a hideous mess of orange. So I did something about it.

I’ve gotten into late-era Gary Numan a bit, by the way.

Technically, all I did was change some settings in one file in the “dark” version of the default skin, but at least it’s less eye-searing now. If you want my (very slightly modified) version, download this ZIP archive and place the directory it contains (“Material Design (green)”) into the Skins directory of your MediaMonkey 5 program directory and restart the program. You should then be able to select it from the Skins setting.

Enjoy!

The Mask of Covid-avoido

I’m fully vaccinated, and have been for a week now.

Mind you, good luck figuring out for sure what that actually means in the long term. As best I can tell, it means I’m much less likely to become infected by the known variants as of this writing… but it doesn’t mean I’m 100% immune, just less likely to get it.

So I’m going to keep wearing a mask around people. I don’t feel the need to double-mask (like we did for a month or so when the variants were getting scarier, and before we got our jabs) but at this point I couldn’t begin to hazard a guess as to when I’ll feel comfortable being fully maskless around people I don’t fully know and trust… which is nearly everyone on the planet, mind you.

Besides: I also didn’t catch a cold last winter, so I’m kind of a believer in masks as a general health-improvement device, you know?

Otherwise, life is just ticking along. I did a shift back in the office last week (coincidentally on my first “fully vax’d” day) and let me tell you, that was super weird. The office is back down to the size it was when I first started with the company nearly 15 years ago, so the hallway past the bathroom ends just past the bathroom door once again, which is jarring.

I’ve been playing Satisfactory, including weekly co-op games with my son, and that’s been an absolute joy. We approach things just differently enough to make things interesting, but not so differently that our styles utterly clash or make the experience too awkward.

I need a new hobby though. I’m definitely fighting the general malaise of being, well, me (with all my new lifestyle restrictions and all) on top of trying to come out from under 14 months and counting of basically never leaving the apartment. I’ve not been avoiding posting here because I forget the journal exists, I’ve been avoiding just posting one after another entry that boils down to “yup, still here, nothing’s happening, blah de blah.”

I’ll figure something out. Probably.

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