tablesaw: A stick-figure person walking in a carefree manner. The caption reads, 'Haters gonna make some good points' (Haters)
I wanted to get some recreational coding done today, but that didn't happen. A few other things did, though.

Household things: I put up a new curtain rod for the blackout curtains in our bedroom, and did some lawn maintenance in the front yard. After initiating some mowing two weeks ago, last week's trip meant that a lot of progress got wiped away. More weed whacking and mowing have it looking okay, but still not great. In the backyard, [personal profile] temptingcuriosity has asked for the dandelions to be harvested for greens, so I'm going to continue with that tomorrow.

I found my copy of Sad Pictures for Children. It's such a strange artifact now. It's the printing of a webcomic that's been wiped from the web, and which may or may not have narrowly escaped being burned by the author after printing. But it's so beautiful. At this point it's one of the most difficult things to get that I own.

I also grabbed a copy of one of my Doom Patrol TPBs and read a bit of that.

When I settled down to code, I made the mistake of putting Cowboy Bebop on as "background." It was totally not background. It's still an incredible show, and I haven't watched it in a while, so it completely dominated my attention.

We watched the new Doctor Who, which I liked, and the finale of Bates Motel, which I also liked.

My impulse is to try to wrap this up with something I've learned, but striving for meaning in simple communication is one of the things that keeps me from posting anything.

If you don't like it, scroll past!


Jul. 16th, 2011 03:57 pm
tablesaw: Benito Juarez holds up a neon sign that says "GET OUTTA MY COUNTRY ARCHDICK" (Archdick)
Benito Juarez has a message for Archduke Ferdinand, from Hark, A Vagrant


Mar. 1st, 2011 11:09 pm
tablesaw: Burton Guster says 'Beer' in a seriously manly fashion, man. Because it's a man thing. Beer. (Beer)
I now have an icon for booze-related things. Made by [personal profile] entwashian!

Also, I made one for puzzle constructing, based on last week's Buttersafe.

I also updated my Duck Hunt icon, based "Schadenfreude Dog" from Aled Lewis's Videogames vs. Real Life series.

tablesaw: "This sounds like Waiting for Spy Godot" (Hunt)
I still am not quite prepared to talk in detail about the Mystery Hunt, because a lot has to do with my team experience, which was awesome, but also more personal. So instead, here's a list of recommended puzzles from this year's Hunt.

This post contains minor spoilers. Most Mystery Hunt puzzles have little or no instructions. Under the cut tags, I'm going to give more explicit instructions and some comments to make the puzzles accessible, both to more casual solvers and to seasoned veterans who want to skip ahead to the good stuff. (If you don't see any cut text and you would prefer not to see some or all of these spoilers, read this page from my Jaunary 19 page.) Complete answers to each puzzle can be found using the "Call in answer" link at the top of each page.

Keyboard Cat. How it works )

Toad's List. How it works )

Everybody's Got to Be Somewhere. How it Works )

Meta Testing. What It Is, How It Works )

Timbales. What it is )

Stuff Nerd People Like. What It Is, How It Works )

Expletive Deleted. Figuring out how to fill in the blanks shouldn't be that hard, and I'd feel bad spelling it out. I will spell out how to get from there to the final answer: How to Get from There to the Final Answer )

The Cats Meow. How It Works, Why It's Fun Even if You Don't Want to Solve It )

Part of Speech. How It Works )

Painted Potsherds. How It Works )

Inventory Quest. How It Works )

Laureate. No need for spoiler tags, this one is straight up with its instructions. This is a cryptic crossword, so if you're not familiar with those conventions, it's going to be very difficult. Specifically, this is a cryptic in the style of the Listener Cryptic, so if you're an American cryptic solver unfamiliar with British conventions, this will still be very hard. But if you do happen to be familiar with solving very difficult cryptics in the British vein, this puzzle is lots of fun.

Hints, with a bit of love!. How )

A Representative Sampling. How It Works )

Plotlines. I think this is the puzzle that maximizes accessibility and awesomeness. Definitely look even if you click through immediately to the answers. How It Works )

Toto, I Have a Feeling We're Not in Kansas Anymore. I can't really spoil this one, but I feel like the aha is fairly accesible to the right sorts of geek. If you don't see what's going on fairly quickly, click through to the answer. If you do, here's how to get a final answer ).

Unnatural Law. How It Works )

E Pluribus Unum. Okay, this one looks unfair, but it's actually fairly tractable, and can be a good way to start thinking laterally about puzzles like this. How It Works )

Unlikely Situations. Just look at the puzzle. If this puzzle is for you, you'll recognize it instantly and figure out what to do. If you don't it's probably not the puzzle for you. How It Works ) Even if you don't want to solve the puzzle, you may want to click through to the answer to see a little bit more about the subject.

So those are my recommendations. There's a lot more stuff that I enjoyed, but it's all less accessible, and I'll probably need to talk about them more spoilerily to do them justice. These are just ones I think more people would get a kick out of.

If you think I've listed too many, then here are my top three fun, accessible puzzles: Toad's List, Inventory Quest, and Plotlines. Go do those.

Also, here are some puzzles that I didn't work on but are on my list to try. No descriptions because I haven't spent any time working on them.
tablesaw: Two women put the star on a Christmas tree. (Apocalyptic Christmas)
I'm finally getting some traction on the holiday season, and that includes putting up a holiday gift list for friends and family.

Things I would like for the holidays (and then also my birthday).

Art. The walls are pretty bare right now, so I'm looking for things to hang to replace some of the things that are gone. I know it's a tricky thing, because I also want it to reflect my own tastes, which is hard to do since I don't know what to put up on the walls in the first place, but that's something I'm looking for.

Massage. Some talented amateurs have let me know that I really need to work on the tension in my everywhere. So gift certificates, recommendations, and even personal volunteering to give me a massage would be wonderful.

Graphic Novels/Comic-Book Trade Paperbacks. The price of these and the speed at which I read them often make me feel guilty buying them, or severely restrict the rate at which I do. But since I reread them often, it usually works out. I think I'll do a separate post of what I have and things I look for when I go shopping. The last thing that really made me drool was Astro City: The Dark Age 1 & 2.

Pants. (This is mostly for my mom's reference.) This year was really hard on my work khakis, with a number of pairs becoming unusable for various reasons. I'm currently 38 waist, 34 inseam.

Tie clips. Every so often, I put on a tie and wish I had a tie clip for it. I don't know why. It's good men's jewelry. I used to have them as a kid, before all my ties had their own holders in the back, but I don't have any anymore.

Music. I just don't usually buy stuff on my own, so gifts of music are definitely appreciated.

Classy Booze. I've been having fun exposing myself to new types of alcohol. A friend pointed out these gift baskets, which made me drool, but anything new to try would be fine. The only thing that I don't particularly care for is vodka. The thing I've started trying most recently is scotch.

Last year, my uncle picked something off my wish list, and I realized it was terribly out of date. I spent some time today clearing out a bunch of stuff and adding a few other things that I actually do want now. Some of the graphic novels are on there, some music is still there from before, a few DVDs, etc. Also on there is the re-release of Betrayal at House on the Hill, which I was drooling over in the store the other day.

Things to avoid:

Videogames. I have a bunch of them right now, and I need to get through some of them. Unless you are absolutely sure that it's something I want and will love, you probably shouldn't get one for me. Consider just lending it to me instead.

Books. Same deal here. I've got lots of to-read items that another book may just make me sad. (Exception is the graphic novels I talked about above, because I go through them much quicker.)

Some DVDs. I now have Netflix instant (but not a regular disc-shipping account), which is a much more convenient way for me to watch most of the things that would be given on DVD. Most things, but not all. There are still TV shows that aren't available, so those would be things to get me, though I'd probably prefer to borrow them as well.

However, I do some fandom iconning, and one of my projects for the coming year is to try vidding, so shows and movies I like enough to watch for those purposes are safe bets.

And with those last three in particular, I always prefer to receive pre-owned items if possible.
tablesaw: Two women put the star on a Christmas tree. (Apocalyptic Christmas)
Over the holiday, I had the urge to reread A Lesson Is Learned, but the Damage is Irreversible. It's a brief but gorgeous webcomic that ran in 2004 and 2006.

And I decided to make some icons out of them, as you do.

'Shut the fuck up!' Small rodents picnic on the grass and stare at the clouds. A black woman and a white man hold each other on a park bench.

All 10+1 icons beneath the cut )

The icon for this post is my new Christmas icon, just in time.
tablesaw: Paul, who is a ghost, declares this to be "Booooring!" (Booooring)
Pictures for Sad Children is probably my favorite webcomic. I regularly tear through the archives when I'm feeling down. Or up. Or anything at all.

It's monochrome and minimalist, but it seriously has an amazing sense of comic timing, even though most of its topics (such as they are) are incredibly pessimistic.

Anyway, I went through the archive again recently, and thought some of these would be fun as icons. And since I am in an icon frenzy, I made a few, and learned new things about Photoshop.

1 2 3
4 5 6

Sources: PFSC nos. 7, 65, 103, 126, 172 and 290 by [ profile] stereotypist.

Take 'em if you want 'em.

Also, I bought a DVD of ALF Tales for two bucks at Big Lots. We shall see how well it holds up.
tablesaw: Gaff, from <cite>Blade Runner</cite> (Gaff)
When I left work yesterday, the Internet seemed rather calm. I was away for a few hours because [ profile] ojouchan and I went to hear Mozart at the Hollywood Bowl using my firm's box seats. And when I came back, there was crazy.

A whole bunch of racefail from various SF fandom cons popped up, as linkishly summarized by [personal profile] coffeeandink. I haven't even had a chance to look at the WriterCon issues, because I've been reconstruct my blown mind after the mindblowingly idiotic statements made by [ profile] arhyalon. I expect that [community profile] linkspam will be kicking into gear over it too.

Penny Arcade also took a dive into the "seduction community." Tycho offers some choice quotes like:
I'm fairly certain the purpose of this course is to make you a better predator of women. Check out their offers of "in-field training," as though you were going to hunt antelopes from a jeep in the Goddamned Savannah.
Gabe, on the other hand, apparently "decided to play devil's advocate" without doing a whole lot of research intot he topic, which was a bad idea. He finishes up saying
I'm a little worried that guys reading the site might take our discussion here as some sort of endorsement and I want to make sure that isn't the case. While some of their advice is probably fine I think the majority of it is really sleazy. Again, I can't blame guys for seeking out help. All joking aside though, I just want to make it clear that I don't think the seduction community is the place to go.
Emphasis mine, because although Tycho doesn't mention what started him down the rabbit hole, it may have been the recent massacre by George Sodini a deeply misogynistic man who regularly participated in "pick-up artist" seminars before taking two guns to a gym and then opening fire, killing three women and injuring nine before using the last bullet for himself.

Alas, a Blog has a collection of responses from "men's-rights activists, anti-feminists and other misogynists." (The original post includes a trigger warning for the quotes, and they are not for the faint of heart.) And these apologies for Soldini represent an extreme of Gabe's empathy. It's part of the reason, I try to divorce considering "intent" when it comes to things like this, because a person can ascribe a good intention or a seemingly reasonable justification to even the most heinous acts.

It's got me thinking about the nature of what "intention" is at all. Last year, [ profile] adamcadre wrote about a psychological study investigating how we determine waht is intentional. I wrote a comment thinking about how intention intersects interactive fiction. In response, Adam wrote The Nemean Lion (Z-machine file, requires an IF interpreter to play), and I've been thinking about the last scene in this respect.

Meanwhile, there's also conflict in the world of logic-puzzles, where puzzle plagiarism has reared its ugly head, with Conceptis Puzzles, purveyor of soulless, computer-generated, mass-produced logic puzzles, appropriated the concept and presentation of Strimko for their "new" feature Chain Sudoku. [ profile] motris and [ profile] onigame (constructors of the eagerly anticipated and soon-to-be-released Mutant Sudoku, a book of hand-crafted, soulful logic puzzles) have weighed in.

Yes, even Sudokuland is full of the fail. I'm going to bed.
tablesaw: Weremerican! (Weremerican)
During my lunch, I created this icon to accompany a post about Warehouse 13. Then everything got really busy, and all I had was the icon.
So, yeah, here it is. It's taken from a comic strip by [ profile] stereotypist of Pictures for Sad Children ([syndicated profile] pfsc_feed/[ profile] pfsc).

I am at the beach now, and will be again tomorrow. So that will influence my posting.
tablesaw: The pixelated dog from Duck Hunt, emerging from a real field of tall green grass beneath a clear blue sky. (Duck Hunt)
A truly epic, double Let's Play of Final Fantasy. Two very good gamers play through the entire game with only one member in their party, a black mage for one, and a white mage for the other, complete with screenshots, snark, and a lot of information about the inner workings of Final Fantasy.

We may or may not be going to Comic-Con on Friday. Sadly, it will depend on what will happen at jury duty on Thursday. I'm pretty sure I'll be rejected for the jury, but the question is when. Hopefully, it'll happen quick, and we can light out.

We'll be lighting out a bunch, actually, assuming that the jury thing works out.
tablesaw: A tablesaw in action. The blade disappears when it comes in contact with a hot dog. (Virtually Unscathed!)
The man who brought you Ionesco for Kids now presents ROSENCRANTZ & GUILDENSTERN ARE PANTS.

(NB: You may need to read any or all of Hamlet, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, and the entire CAT TOWN oeuvre to understand what's going on.)

(NBB: It probably won't help.)

ThuNYTX: 13:45. ThuLATX: 6:30.


Mar. 26th, 2004 03:57 am
tablesaw: -- (Default)
Because there are readers who will appreciate this more than I, "I Am Jack's Comic Strip."
tablesaw: -- (Default)
Today's Ash Wednesday, and I managed to get home in time to catch the early Mass at my parish. Today was the first time in my life, though, that I was forced to wash the ashes off of my face when I got home. You see, the priest (monsignor, perhaps?) who imposed the ashes upon me was a bit old school. For one thing, when he recited, "Dust you are and to dust you shall return," he did it in Latin. But he also was using a thumb that was still wet from blessing the ashes with holy water. So, instead of getting a wispy, ashy memento mori that slowly disipated in the wind, I got a big black mud-caked cross on my forehead that would not be moved. I washed it off when I noticed it before dinner because I wasn't sure I'd remember to clean it off before I went to bed.

Also, I'd like to see a priest use a sermon that tackles the Gospel reading that says, "But when you fast . . . wash your face, so that you may not appear to be fasting, except to your Father who is hidden," right before smearing a big old, "Look at me I'm fasting" symbol on your forehead.

And since it's Ash Wednesday, I have forty-seven days to plan for my Easter Party/Egg Hunt/Puzzle Hunt. (Yes, forty-seven. The forty days of Lent only go up to Palm Sunday.). I know my structure, I know my ending, and I have a vague idea on some of the lower level puzzles, but I need to really get cracking on them. I also want to actually have invitations this year, sent out by Saint Patrick's Day.

And speaking of Easter, I think that no matter how you feel about Gibson's new Jesus movie, you'll agree with yesterday's Dork Tower.

Finally, I think I should introduce a regular reader of my journal, my mother. Hello, Mom! I point her out to you, because at a recent meal we shared, I learned that she was also reading the journals of my friends, sometimes regularly. It's already been noted by [ profile] shadesong, and she remembered details of other people too. So, just, be aware. And don't worry, she doesn't have her own journal.

WedNYTX: 9:15.
tablesaw: -- (Default)
"So many ships," Vetinari said. "In such a short time too. How very well organized. Very well organized. One might almost say . . . astonishingly well organized. As they say, 'If you would seek war, prepare for war.'

"I believe, my lord, the saying is 'If you would seek peace, prepare for war,'" Leonard ventured.

Vetinari put his head on one side and his lips moved as he repeated the phrase to himself. Finally he said, "No, no. I just don't see that one at all."

--Terry Pratchett, Jingo
And, also, from The Boondocks, by Aaron McGruder, the further adventures of Ribbon & Flagee.

P.S. From the Fun With LJ Spellcheck file, Pratchett is recognized, but not Gaiman.


tablesaw: -- (Default)
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