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Looking For Quacks In The Pavement

Category: Geekery (page 1 of 81)

How charming! (Adventures in loot boxen)

Against what might be called my “better judgement,” had I any to speak of, I decided to try out one of Right Stuf’s monthly loot box “Anime Haul” deals. They had my number this time, the theme being Music. (It was a rough week; I decided retail therapy was as good as any other kind.)

The box arrived yesterday. One Hatsune Miku manga (as yet unread), one soundtrack CD (Kamichu, and it’s… okay? generic orchestral ST stuff), one Blu-Ray (Sora no Woto / Sound of the Sky, which I remember liking a lot and look forward to a rewatch), a mug (tie-in for Your Lie In April, which I’ve never watched), and two cellphone charms, one of them is tiny and unrecognizable to me, and the other is… well:

Meet Nozomi Tojo, of the Love Live! franchise, apparently. Friend Wonderduck recommended one of the shows in the series recently, maybe this is a sign that I need to get on that.

My Pokémans, I Am Showing You Them

I had the day off. I had plans fall through for the day. I recently figured out how to make the AR camera work again in the Pokémon GO app. (Turns out, it needs permissions to store files. Derp.)

So I went to the Tualatin Hills Nature Park, a place with a staggering amount of Pokéstops all along one pleasant set of hiking paths. Last time we visited there were a whole gaggle of Ghastly… not so much, this time. Not a single one, actually. But I found a few other things to catch, such as this smarmy little electric rat:

The active event provides opportunities to, among other things, catch a Pikachu in shades. Who am I to turn down more electric rat variants, eh?

Over the course of a couple hours I had some fun with the AR camera:

And so forth.

I racked up a nice collection of gifts for friends as well. It’ll be nice to send gifts from places other than my usual daily commute, at least. Oh, and… I completed the special research tasks for A Mythical Discovery. All of them.

Yes, that means I have a Mew now. Boy howdy was catching that little twerp a pain in the backside. I didn’t know it was part Predator! It goes mostly-invisible (and you’re forced into AR mode) which makes for a helluva time when you’re out in bright sunshine.

Anyway. My day started kinda lousy, but walking it off (and playing mobile video games) helped turn it around. Huzzah.

Minor changes here and there

For the record: This week I got rid of the Piwigo gallery in favor of just cramming galleries into the main site via plugin. Note the “Galleries” menu above. In case any Piwigo fans/devs read this? Vanity-searching your project name on Twitter just to tell a random person how wrong they are about the problems with your product is a great way to ensure that the random person in question will immediately dump your product. Just an eff why eye!

Also, I updated the My Sites linkage on the sidebar to reflect my gradual migration over to federated services (Mastodon and PixelFed instead of Twitter and Instagram).

The Blogroll (wow, what an ancient term) went away in favor of a shorter list of friends and other sites I want linked.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled weekend shenanigans.

New office, new display shelving

After nearly twelve years in the same office at work I have shuffled over to a slightly larger, somewhat newer office. It features a standing desk and a window taking up almost one entire wall. (My old office could best be described as a “lightless cave.”) While we were figuring out what furniture should go where during the great migratory shuffling, I took note of a particular shelf unit and laid claim to it. Why?

Here’s why.

Lots of narrow shelves make for great display of geeky artifacts! Nobody can mistake this space for belonging to anyone but me, now… for better or worse.

The things I do for the rubber duck brand

40 cards in 8 stacks, 300 diamonds (in-game currency) to flip each card, and on the 32nd try I get this:

Admiral Nautica in her bathtime ducky costume

The game is Valkyrie Connect, a “gacha” mobile game of collecting fighters to defeat monsters blah blah blah whatever, it’s an amusing way to pass an hour or so per day, give or take. When this latest event appeared in which the publishers clearly expect folks to plunk down ridiculous amounts of money, my first thought was, “Like hell I will.”

My second thought was, “oh crap Nautica gets a rubber duck, I’M DOOMED.”

Turns out, I didn’t need to spend very much money. Ahem.

Gnu FM – A self-hosted Last.fm alternative

Remember scrobbling?

Ever even heard of scrobbling?

Anyway. For the last dozen or so years I’ve configured my primary music player (current MediaMonkey) to send last-played data for songs in my library to the Last.fm website. The idea being that folks can see what I’m currently playing and/or most recently listened to. That’s entertaining in and of itself, at least to me. There’s a bonus, however. Doing big-data things to my music-listening information paired with similar information from other users results in an ability to recommend new music. The idea goes something like this:

  1. I listen to These Songs by These Bands quite a lot.
  2. A stranger on the Internet also listens to These Same Songs by These Same Bands, a lot.
  3. This stranger also listens to Some Other Songs by Some Other Bands.
  4. In theory, there’s a good chance that I might also like those Other Songs and/or Other Bands based on a commonality of musical tastes with a stranger on the Internet.

It’s a great idea. I even found some new-to-me musical artists as a result from time to time, such as Way Out West.

However. Last.fm has… degraded somewhat in usefulness over the course of this decade, and when DJ Sundog over on Mastodon recently noted that a self-hosted alternative exists, I had to try it out. Let’s be clear that I’m basically losing the “big data” part of what made Last.fm (and theoretically Libre.fm, its erstwhile replacement) valuable. Now I just want somewhere to point my data to. How I’m going to use that data is a problem for another day. I love building things!

Here’s what I’ve learned. (And, yes, I need to write about my Mastodon instance at some point as well. Please be patient; I’m out of the habit of actually blogging.)

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