Looking For Quacks In The Pavement

Author: Karel Kerezman (Page 2 of 393)

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.

Between Jabs

In the middle of April, I received my first vaccine jab, Pfizer’s as it turns out. I had to head downtown for it, which was… quite the trip. I’d not been through that part of the metro area for most of a year and the place looks kind of terrible. It’s as though everyone just kind of gave up on downtown PDX being worth the upkeep anymore.

A week from now I’ll receive my second jab, so by mid-May I’ll be fully vaccinated against COVID-19… which is great so far as it goes, but we won’t know for certain how well this plays out long term until enough time passes. (Of course, we also need more people to get vaccinated, and let’s not talk about the folks who are deliberately choosing not to. I’m not feeling political, not here anyway.)

Other than that I’ve just been keeping at keeping going. Hopefully my diabetes management plan is stable now, the job keeps ticking along (knock on wood), and so forth.

I just haven’t much felt like writing about it, because… well. It’s been quite a year or so, hasn’t it?

Maybe later. If possible.

Oh, right: Content

I got through the birthday week okay, but getting older and hitting the anniversary (yesterday) of the last day I worked in my office (which no longer exists, since the company reduced the space on the lease in our building) kind of took all the energy I might have had for posting stuff here and… vaporized it, really.

My son and I are now doing a weekly Twitch stream of co-op Satisfactory, and that’s going well. I did, in fact, finish the train line I was building and edited together a little 2-minute clip of the route:

I originally planned a voiceover for this but my scripts kept coming out terrible, so I bailed on that idea.

Other than that, I’m just keeping on at keeping at it as best I can. (And hoping to get a vaccine appointment some day.) What else can one do?

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