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Looking For Quacks In The Pavement

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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?

Satisfactory: Rail Guide Addendum

I’ve been working on a railroad. Not all the live-long day, mind you, but I did put in a lot of hours over this past weekend on a very silly project in Satisfactory. You see, I just shipped off the third Space Elevator bundle and unlocked Tier 7… but the forthcoming game patch called Update 4 is supposed to do exciting things to the tech at that level so I don’t want to actually build anything from that tier yet. Either I need to shelve the game for the duration (yeah, right) or find something to work on that doesn’t involve new tech.

Spoiler: It involved more trains. Because trains are cool.

I decided, “Oh hey, let’s spend our vacation week doing a silly rail project.” (I’ll have more on that later this week.) Along the way I worked out a couple of useful techniques that I thought I’d share with the group as a sort of follow-up to the previous big post about the game’s monorail tech.

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Not Quite Fifty

Another year gone by, and what a year it was, eh? Simultaneously a rapid blur and a temporal morass, the past 12 months brought a couple of big changes to my life, neither of them particularly delightful.

I’m still alive, though, and I’m still here, being the world’s least interesting human. I have the week off from work (“unlimited” PTO, I might as well take advantage of that on occasion) and my plans mostly center on doing silly things with video games (more on that, later) and watching cartoons and listening to music.

You know. The usual. Life, hopefully, goes on.

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