Surprisingly enough, my fever going away does NOT mean that I'm tip-top 100% yet!
I went back to work on Monday, and once I completed the eight hours I came home and went right to sleep. I am about to do the same right now... just wanted to let y'all know I'm still alive, still coughing.
Manliness Level: Over 9000
There comes a time for everybody who is honest with themselves where they must admit that they are not, and never will be, the absolute best at something. There is always someone better. Case in point: Ranveer Singh.
Not even in my wildest dreams could I hope to match the level of manliness shown in this song, Malhari, from the 2015 movie Bajirao Mastani. Just watching it made my beard grow four inches. My mustache, no feeble thing in its own right, began to sob. And all I could do is think that, yes, this could be shoehorned into West Side Story fairly easily. I mean... damn.
Alien Rammed Ovipositor Down My Throat?
No. Not big enough for that. I did just launch something about three inches long and about twice as wide as a pencil out of my mouth. It took close to 15 minutes of coughing to get it out of my lungs, and I was surprised to see it was roughly the color of vanilla pudding. I mean, I like vanilla pudding and all, but at no time have I given commands to my body saying "generate vanilla pudding".
Right, sorry, sorry. Ah. Now I want vanilla pudding. I could even justify it by saying it'll sooth my sore throat. Sadly, I've already had groceries delivered today... I was nearly out of food and, more importantly, liquids. And cough drops. And, much to my chagrin, honey. $100 later, I am no longer out of food, liquids, cough drops and honey. Only now, some eight hours after the delivery arrived, I realize I need some other things. And I'm definitely still sick enough to not want to do very much. Well, let's look at Amazon, shall we?
Pfeh. The only pudding they carry is the need-to-make packs (too much work) and that pudding cup that doesn't need to be refrigerated (terrifying). Well, while I'm here, I'll just pre-order those manga volumes that come out on Tuesday. And that, dear friends, is about all I'm good for now. I'm pretty sure the fever has flared up again, and I just want to go back to sleep. Which I may just do.
Vanilla pudding does sound nice right now, though.
Posted by: GreyDuck at February 15, 2018 09:47 PM (h8yX6)
I'm sorry to hear you're sick. Rest up and get better soon! And if it cheers you up, remember that it can always be worse. As one early Sluggy Freelance comic put it "Did I say *face* hugger? Oof, someone get that man a proctologist, stat!"
Posted by: David at February 16, 2018 01:20 PM (h8yX6)
Was the thing that you coughed up inert, or did it run away under its own power?
Hope you feel better soon!
Posted by: Narrina at February 16, 2018 08:12 PM (h8yX6)
That would be a great title for a Chuck Tingle book, only it would involve the opposite end.....
Posted by: Mauser at February 17, 2018 06:38 PM (h8yX6)
Instructions Unclear, Lung Ejected At Escape Velocity
So while at work on Tuesday I swallowed a piece of crumbly coffee cake before I was quite ready to do so, and it made me cough. Eh, it happens. There was still a tickle in my throat a few minutes later, and a swig of Mountain Dew failed to make it go away. Oh well, whatever. Coff coff coff, no big deal. I was still coughing when I left work, but nothing too bad. Well, there's a cough burning its way through the office, I was like one of five or six people with one.
Once I got home I had something to eat, finished the Kizumonowhatsit post, then took a four-hour nap. Keep that in mind later. When I woke up, I hacked and hacked and coughed and groaned. Whoopsie, I may have a problem here. Oh, and a headache. Once I went back to bed, I discovered something rather unfortunate... I couldn't sleep. There wasn't a single position that allowed me to lie in place without coughing. Somewhere around six in the morning one was found, finally... and then I was kinda cold.
Which, considering Pond Central's furnace was kicking out enough heat to power a Colorado-class battleship, was a problem. Oh, and I was wrapped in two down comforters. By all rights, I should have been drenched with sweat. Instead, I was getting cold shivers down my back. I sorta shook and quivered for an hour or so until my alarm went off, at which point I realized the only real sleep I had gotten... was during that nap earlier. Oh boy. The shower was nice and warm, and the massage feature beat the hell out of my scalp, just what Momzerduck's little boy needed. Or, at least it got me out to the car. I was breathing a little heavy though, and my pulse was higher than normal. Well that's weird.
Got to work, was out of breath again by the time I made it to my desk (to be fair, it's roughly six miles from the parking lot to my desk). Got the computer booting up and began hacking and whooping again. Oh jeez... this'll be a fun day. Slammed down a gatorade (blue, the only type we have in the vending machine) and some tylenol and got crackin'.
Within two hours, I had an obvious fever, the coughs were just wracking my throat to no end, and my head was doing the whole "piledriver" thing. And still I soldiered on. I took an early lunch break which I stretched to 45 minutes.... hey, 15 minutes extra sleep... and went back to my desk, like a good little worker.
There at my desk, I was feeling cold again so I pulled on the fleece jacket I brought in for just that reason. Shivers from my feet to my scalp. This ain't good. I draped my heavy winter jacket over my shoulders, cloak-style. Nothing. You could have set me on fire and I wouldn't have stopped shivering.
After 5h 20m, I gave up. I knocked on the door to the acting boss' office (note: boss is currently in hospital for pneumonia) and said I had to go to the doctor. Her reply was "took you long enough. Let me know what they say." So away I went to the medical clinic near Pond Central. The Nurse Practitioner that saw me was cute as a button and looked like she was about 12. I suspect she was older than that. Anyway, after a few tests ("let me stick this cotton swab up your nose"), she gave me the news.
I don't have pneumonia, and I don't have the flu. What I do have is officially listed as "unspecified respiratory infection." More informally, she said there's a flu-like virus going around the area. If my virus goes the way of the others she's seen, tomorrow should be the end of the worst of it (which I'm currently in now), and it'll ramp down from there. I'm not allowed to return to work until I've been 24 hours without a fever though.
Until then? Fluids, tylenol, rest, and honey. Gonna be a long couple of days.
UPDATE: It's 2am Thursday. I laid down for a couple of hours... very little coughing, but very little sleep. I sat up in bed and... discovered that my cough has changed. Before, it was a sharp barking sound occasionally accompanied from strange gargling sound like I was throwing up as I coughed. I wasn't, by the way. NOW, though... now my cough is a moist walrus sound. There is phlegm involved. This is for the best, I know, but... ugh. Fever is still there, but it's responding well to tylenol... in that the headache that comes with it is reduced. How the f*ck can something as small as a stinkin' virus cause so many damn problems???
Posted by: Author at February 14, 2018 10:58 PM (h8yX6)
Sounds like my kids' coughs. When they move from seal to walrus, it's definitely positive.
I hope you feel better soon! This has been a crappy winter for respiratory viruses.
Posted by: Mrs. Will at February 15, 2018 05:23 AM (h8yX6)
BTW, Haas put out pictures of their car yesterday. I like their new livery. Red Bull is supposed to reveal theirs on Monday, I think. Dunno about the other teams.
Posted by: Mrs. Will at February 15, 2018 05:25 AM (h8yX6)
Feh. No fun at all. Hope you're feeling better in a jiffy!
Posted by: GreyDuck at February 15, 2018 08:10 AM (h8yX6)
Mrs Will, I generally don't discuss renders. In the past, it's happened occasionally but it's been rather rare and the car is usually different when it's actually released. Having learned from that, I've come to the conclusion that renders aren't worth the time.
Besides, I'm sick. If Haas ran a F1 car in my parking lot, I don't know that I'd care.
Posted by: Wonderduck at February 15, 2018 09:32 AM (h8yX6)
Well, then, I will hope the small caterpillar on Max's upper lip in the video RBR (or AMRBR, if we must) just posted will have a similar fate.
(I feel sorry for that kid. Have you ever noticed that Red Bull's marketing photography always shoots him with hoodies on or in shadow so his face isn't fully visible? And when they can't avoid showing his face, they Photoshop the crap out of him.)
Posted by: Mrs. Will at February 15, 2018 05:18 PM (h8yX6)
Oh my. I just went and looked up what Max Verstappen looks like right now. That is NOT a good look for him.
Posted by: Ben at February 15, 2018 09:47 PM (h8yX6)
Well, That Works Too
I got up this morning, kicked around Pond Central for a bit, then headed out into the Great Parking Lot Of Snow. All was white... except for that gray slushiness you get after a few cars drive around, y'know? Anyway, trudged to my car and examined the situation.
We had received the blessing of about seven or eight inches of snow, which turned out to be the light, fluffy type of snow that is easy to remove... just a sweep of the snow brush and voila! Except, well, there was so much that a swipe only took the top half. Still easy, just took a bit longer. That wasn't the big issue, however. The problem was the ridge of snow left behind the last time a snowplow came through. Taller than the Duckmobile's rear bumper it was. Sighing to myself, I got to work... and by work, I mean I started to trudge through the stack of snow trying to kick it into the parking lot and lower it enough that I could get out. I may still be out there if it wasn't for a miracle. A member of maintenance came walking down the hill from the building north of Pond Central... pushing a snowblower. I immediately began waving my hands over my head and jumping up and down (and by jumping, I mean "carefully raising myself up on my toes by a couple of inches" so I didn't fall down). He looked over at me, and I pointed at the offending pile of snow behind my car, then folded my hands in front of me in supplication... "Please please please come clear this for me please..."
And he did. Two minutes later, my car was freed from its snowy cocoon. And then came the time I had been dreading for two days: starting my car. As you may remember, the Duckmobile was having a conniption on Wednesday night, revving its engine without any input from yours truly's right foot. Thursday I took a taxi into work, and Friday was Snow Day. So this was to be the first time I'd tried it since then. I'd looked online and found so many different reasons for an engine to surge on its own that I had no way of even possibly narrowing it down... everything from a loose gas cap to a total rebuild of the starter, and no, I don't know how that would cause surging either. I crossed my fingers, put key to ignition, and started the car.
And it didn't act in any way out of the ordinary. Oh, the revs did increase on their own, but it was the normal way... when she starts up, she idles low, but it slowly speeds up to about 1000rpm more or less and then stays there. Which is exactly what happened now. Not believing my good luck, I immediately drove to the mechanic. Though busy, they brought her right in and spent a good two hours working on her. Meanwhile, I watched four very good episodes of M.A.S.H., a show I haven't watched in years. But all good things must come to an end, and the guy came in with the bad news.
They couldn't find anything. Oh, they could guess at what might have happened, but that would be all it was, guessing, because there was no evidence that anything untoward had occurred. Thus, the official diagnosis is "could not repeat reported problem." UNofficially, the answer was "it's an old car, stuff like that can happen." If it occurs again, I'm to drive it right to the mechanic immediately, and do NOT turn the engine off. But they don't think I'll have to worry about that. Which means they don't know me at all, because I worry about EVERYTHING. So the car is okay, they didn't charge me at all, and until the next time it snows, all is right with the world.
Oh hey, lookit that. It's snowing. Again. Huh. Go figure.
Aw, No! Dammit, Stop That Right Now.
It snowed Tuesday night. Duckford got about four inches, after we got about four inches Saturday evening to sometime Sunday. And that was after three different days where we got measurable snow the previous week. "Wow, Wonderduck," I hear you say which is quite the accomplishment considering the state of my left ear, "it's snowing in Northern Illinois during the winter. How passing strange!" Yeah, yeah, I know. But that's not entirely why I'm writing now.
See, Duckford has this nasty habit of not plowing the streets near Pond Central until very late in the process. It's almost like they don't understand the correct priorities and plow busy roads first. So the roads this morning were a little bit on the "oh god oh god we're all gonna die" side. No worries, driving in snow is just like driving in dry, only more carefully. Today, I judged that the Duckmobile could handle about 10mph below the usual speed before it turned into a pile of debris on the side of the road. However, the ginormous pick'em'up truck that came racing up behind me disagreed with my assessment and rode my rear bumper for a good mile or so. Fed up, as soon as I reached someplace where I could move over to let him past, I did so... and as the truck accelerated by me, the passenger threw a water bottle at me.
Yeah, like that... except nothing like that at all. Anyway, the mathematics for hitting one moving object from another moving object with another moving object was well beyond the passenger's capabilities, but the tone of the day was set. Work, as they say... was. It started, it ended, in between was work. And the horrible discovery that there is a winter storm watch/warning out for Duckford beginning Thursday at 6pm and going for 24 hours. We're expecting maybe a foot of snow. Whee. I drove home as I usually do, parked the car, reached for the keys, and...
...the engine began to surge, like I was sitting there revving the engine at a stop light looking for a race. Startled, I turned it off. After letting it sit for about a minute, I tried again... started right up, and immediately began surging. A little bit of experimentation revealed that it would surge in Park, Reverse, and Neutral, but not Drive. A bit of interwebbing suggests that this is a relatively minor problem... or it isn't. It might be as simple as removing my gas cap then putting it back on. It might be as difficult as having the fuel pump replaced. And any number of things in-between. All I really need to do is take it to the place that did my brakes back in December, and... oh wait. I have work. AND WE'RE GETTING 10" OF SNOW. I closed my eyes, leaned back in my computer chair, and...
Posted by: GreyDuck at February 08, 2018 08:20 AM (h8yX6)
Don't worry about the git in the pickup. Sooner, rather than later, he'll find his ditch. Probably blame a more sensible driver ("If that guy hadn't been going so slow...!") but he'll know deep down it was his own dumb fault.
Even better if he DOESN'T learn, though, and keeps doing it, and then wonders why his insurance is so high....
Posted by: Ed Hering at February 08, 2018 02:12 PM (h8yX6)
Everyone knows ducks are migratory, so the city probably figures they can plow Pond Central last, as there's no one there this time of year...
Posted by: Narrina at February 08, 2018 04:06 PM (h8yX6)
"Will trade warmth for water", or "it's in the mid-70s and half of California's in drought again already".
Posted by: J Greely at February 08, 2018 07:50 PM (h8yX6)
At 5pm Thursday, it began snowing. It was very pretty! Pleasant flakes, a lovely flurry. By 6pm it was all "fsck you, fsck you, and especially fsck you."
Now at 8pm, the snow is trying out "don't drive, you'll die. Oh, and fsck you." It's very good at this as it turns out.
Posted by: Wonderduck at February 08, 2018 07:59 PM (h8yX6)
Y'all remember Moonbase Alpha? The co-op game that NASA put together to simulate spaceman life on the Moon? For a while there, there was a hot meme involving the game's text-to-speech program repeatedly saying, and later singing, "John Madden." It's that last bit that concerns us today, for some of the singing that was arranged was actually fairly good... I mean, as good as you could expect a Stephen Hawking soundalike to sound. I've played around with text-to-speech in one game or another, and making it sound like... well, speech... isn't all that easy, so even those simple bits impress me.
When you boil it down, that's all the Vocaloids do.
Posted by: Mauser at February 06, 2018 08:01 PM (h8yX6)
If nothing else I have to admire the intense dedication involved in not only getting that Moonbase vocaloid thing to render Soramimi Cake in recognizable(-ish) form but also to make all that OP animation.
Now we shall never speak of this again. Yegods.
Posted by: GreyDuck at February 06, 2018 09:59 PM (h8yX6)
It was a Saturday morning. I remember that very clearly. I slept in until 10am, dragged myself into Pond Central's kitchen, grabbed a can of caffeine, and made my way to the computer desk. Connected to AoL via dialup. And there, on the front page, was news that made this Shuttle geek's blood run cold. Columbia had broken up upon re-entry, taking the crew of seven souls with her. I remember calling Momzerduck and telling her what had happened and her being... not so very interested, which annoyed me. CNN was on all day, and I couldn't believe it had happened again. Unsurprisingly, information as to what exactly had happened was sketchy, but there was video a-plenty. Enough, in fact, that a fan of space flight and talented video editor gathered it all together and put together the best "video timeline" of the event I've seen... ever.
I remember downloading this from... kazaa, maybe?... and wondering why the networks never did something like it. To this day, it astonishes me... both the video itself and that it was never duplicated.
I remember this vividly, for a variety of reasons. Columbia was much more personal to me than Challenger. Mainly because I was older; the Challenger explosion invoked more confusion than anything. And then of course, learning much later that the problem was a possibly-avoidable, but still largely coincidental accident.
I never considered Enterprise "the first shuttle", even though a lot of people wanted to view it that way. I guess it's not 100% accurate to say Enterprise wasn't even capable of being an operating spacecraft, but it was never meant to be and never *built* to be that. So, to me, Columbia was the first shuttle, at an age where all I saw was that the shuttle program was the first step toward real spaceships, instead of the un-aborted boondoggle that the program was, and that the people in charge largely *knew* it was even in the early 80's. I was always more excited when Columbia flew, especially after the updated models were put into service and were intended to take over all missions.
And then, of course, learning that the Columbia tragedy was likely *completely* avoidable, makes it all worse. Beyond the loss of life that could have been prevented. I think that goes without saying, really.
Posted by: Ben at February 02, 2018 08:13 AM (h8yX6)
That Day. Just... Ugh.
Here's how you know you're in for a bad day. You wake up, and for whatever reason the water in your toilet is black and smells like sewer. A flush solved that problem... I assume something somewhere backfilled... and I moved to take my morning shower. And about halfway through, the head unit of the handheld shower fell off. Completely detached from the hose... or, more correctly, the hose detached from the shower head, as the threaded end was still in place. The hose just... broke.
I should have taken the hint. I didn't. I went to work. And literally as I was walking in, the system died. About 45 minutes later, it started to function again... fitfully, in jerks and spasms... but I wish it had stayed down, because it was serving us nothing but crap. All day. Nothing but crap claims, for eight stinkin' hours, crap claim upon crap claim. I'm going to take a nap. Then I'm going to install a new handheld shower. Then, and only then, might have I have some dinner. Maybe.
I don't want to adult anymore.
UPDATE: The nap was four hours long. It took 10 minutes total to remove the old shower head and put the new one on... mainly because the only pair of locking pliers I own these days could be used as a keychain. Seriously... when it's locked down, I cannot get my thumb into the space in the "mouth." When I purchased it from Amazon for another task, I thought locking jaw pliers, 4" meant the maximum space in the jaws, not the overall length. Oh well, no matter... I has a shower again. 1235am... time for dinner!
That Was A Weekend
I managed to watch or listen to about 16 hours of the 24 Hours of Daytona. Around 4am on Sunday, I really began to feel for the mechanics.
And I got a LOT more sleep than most of them did, in much more comfortable situation. That they could still function after just catching short naps here and there is amazing. I had five hours of sleep (4am - 9am), and I still felt zombie-like. Even after a four hour nap this evening, I'm still out of it. I mean, more than normal that is. I even lost a botmatch in World of Warships for the first time in months.
I don't know what sort of free icecream I'm going to drum up this week, but there should be some... I don't have overtime at work. Sit tight!
Seems that there central part of Japan has received a surprising amount of snow since Monday morning... indeed, it's the heaviest snowfall there since 2014. Something like 15inches is expected to be on the ground in some places in the Kanto region by the time its all over. Schools and businesses were letting out early due to a "heavy snow warning", the Rainbow Bridge across part of Tokyo Bay was shut down with cars stuck on it due to the snow... reminds me of when Lake Shore Drive in Chicago was shut down for the same reason. Tokyo itself was supposed to get four inches by Tuesday morning. Instead, news reports are saying there was half again that amount by 7pm and it wasn't letting up. It's so bad that Universities were postponing their Entrance Exams, and anybody that's watched more anime than DBZ knows how big those are.
When I heard about the snows earlier, I actually thought to myself "I hope Rambalac goes for a walk." I needn't have worried.
Some things are universal. Most people who own snowboards can't stay up on 'em. Snowmen must be made. Snowballs must be thrown. Other than the language, slight differences in architecture and zoning, and kick-arse playground equipment, this little scene in Chiba could just as easily have been from Duckford. A trite observation, of course, but still true. Kinda nice to see, actually.
Wonderduck Is An Idiot. In Other News, Fire Hot, Durian Smells Bad. Film At 10.
Duckford got it's first truly significant snowfall of the winter Monday! Oh, there was an inch or so earlier, sure. A light, fluffy snow began falling last night, and had not stopped at all when I headed out to the Duckmobile. Much to my pleasant surprise, at some time in the recent past one of my neighbors desnowed my car... instead of the three or four inches of snow the SUVs on either side of me had, I had maybe a quarter-inch, and most of that fell off when I shut the driver's door. The drive to work was a little unpleasant as it was clear the snowplows hadn't gotten to the tertiary roads yet but all in all not so bad.
Work went about as I expected, poorly, with an added side of "I feel a little under the weather and it's getting worse." I mean, I've felt like I've been fighting something off for a couple of weeks now, I hope my immune system didn't just throw up its flippers and say "screw it, time to go to the bar." That would be bad... I need my immune system. Anyway. Every time I got up from my desk, I would take a gander (nyuk nyuk, a duck taking a gander, see what I did there?) outside, and the snow which the weather nabobs had said would stop in the morning... never did. All day long we had light fluffy snow. By my back-of-the-burrito calculations, by the time I left work it may very well have been coming down for 24 hours straight... and if not, it was darn close to it.
Still, I didn't think there'd be any problem getting home. Duckford would have had their plows out all day, main roads and busy secondaries would surely be clean! It was with such thoughts in my head that I left work and promptly ignored the main roads and busy secondaries and took my normal way home. You know, all rural roads and more hills than a list of British F1 Champions. Why would you do that, you may ask. In reply, I say to you, "look at the title of this post." I should have turned around after I made the first turn onto the route home... and nearly went into a ditch. Nope! On a road I normally do 50-55mph on, I was doing 30 or less, depending on the wind, because when the wind blew, visibility sort of went away. Still, while unpleasant, none of this was beyond the norm for a Duckford winter. And then came the weirdness.
The turn I needed to make to get on the road to Pond Central isn't all that well illuminated. There's an overhead light at the entry to the power substation that you'd go into if you turned left at the intersection... I need to turn right. Still, it's bright enough that there usually isn't a problem. Monday night though, a car was coming from the right, and another from dead ahead. When combined with the blowing snow, I had a moment where it looked for all the world like a 3'-0" tall snowdrift had crossed the road. To call this "disconcerting" would be an understatement. I immediately began slowing down, praying for my lights to pick out the impediment before I hit it... but it never came. It was all light and shadow... I've never seen that before, and it was spooky as all hell. It did give me better insight into how the Flight 901 disaster occurred, I'll tell you that. The rest of the drive home was spent on the ragged edge of adhesion, on a road that had only been driven on, not plowed. Pulling into Pond Central's parking lot was one of the most relaxing events I've experienced. I was home!
A few hours later, I was alternately burning up and chilled to the bone. The whatever-it-was I've been struggling with finally overwhelmed my immune system and ignited a fever in my brain. I had the heat turned up nearly as far as it could go in Pond Central, was covered with two comforters and a couple of blankets, a pair of sweatpants, a long-sleeved jersey AND a sweater, and socks... I never wear socks in bed... and I was still cold. Until I was ridiculously hot and opened the window. Wash, rinse, repeat. Sometime during the night/early morning, like maybe 4am or so, I fell asleep. When my alarm went off at 730a, I dragged my carcass out of bed, washed down a bottle of tylenol with some sprite, took a shower, got dressed... and then called into to work sick and went back to bed. I probably shouldn't have gone in today either, as I still have the headache pounding away in my skull, but... well, look at the title of this post. Go me.
Posted by: GreyDuck at January 17, 2018 11:38 PM (h8yX6)
Ben, the fever broke somewhere around the time I fell asleep. GD, I went into work on Wednesday, feeling not great all the while, then woke up today (thursday) feeling like rats had dragged me into a sewer overnight... and left me there. A quick exchange of text messages with my boss then occurred, and she told me to stay home.
So I'm nowhere near peak condition... I'll be going to work on Friday though, for sure. Because when your boss is that cool, you go out of your way to keep them happy.
Posted by: Wonderduck at January 18, 2018 09:07 AM (h8yX6)
Add Maybe Another Thing To The List
We know that The Duckmobile is getting long in the tooth... she's legally able to drink, for heaven's sake. We know that in a perfect world, we'd have a better computer chair here at Pond Central Battlestation. And I've noticed that there's an odd thing going on with the computer monitor where in videos, all blacks are... um... I don't know how to describe what they are. Solarized, maybe? Black patches all look like they're backlit somehow, have an odd sort of glow to them that I don't see anywhere else.
But I didn't expect to be putting "a new computer" on the list anytime soon. Oh, to be sure, my current one, Nori, is four-plus years old, but it's not like software has outrun it or anything like that. It has been coughing up the occasional error every now and again... not too often, but not "never" like it maybe should be. But tonight, as I awoke from my nap, I pressed the power button, everything spooled up, I got the HP "I'm working on it!" screen like I always do, and then it just... turned itself off.
As the monitor said "no signal, going to sleep" and went to sleep, I sat here in the dark and actually said out loud "well, that's not supposed to happen." The Mutsu figure I have here by my keyboard said nothing, but I know she agreed with me. I pressed the power button again, and this time the startup went perfectly fine, though slower than normal. That's actually common... when it turns off without shutting down (for example, a power outage), the next reboot takes longer. But, and this is the important part of the story, that wasn't supposed to happen in the first place.
I'll admit to being concerned about my girl. But I also admit to needing a computer I can trust to work, too... I mean, it is my main form of entertainment, and how I do most of my shopping to boot. Losing it would be very grumpy-making. So, I suppose, onto the big list of new things goes "computer." Preferably one with an actual graphics card, this time.
My current laptop is named Basroil. It's a break from the previous theme that had lasted for 15 years, where my computers were named Abacus, Difference Engine, ENIAC, etc. (Meanwhile, my 6.5yo car doesn't have a name because Will wouldn't let me name it Pwny (I went from 102 ponies in my Civic, which was James, after James Madison, to 267 in this car) and I couldn't think of anything else. Oh well.)
I definitely know the feeling of having a list of major expenses that are likely to come up soon and deplete the emergency fund. And then surprises get added to those...ugh! Good luck!
Posted by: Mrs. Will at January 11, 2018 06:19 AM (h8yX6)
Some of Microsoft's fixes for the Intel and AMD vulnerability were bricking computers. Maybe that is the problem?
Posted by: Suburbanbanshee at January 11, 2018 08:35 AM (mX3O4)
Well, Nori started right up this morning... better than I did, come to think of it... so hopefully that's not it!
Posted by: Wonderduck at January 11, 2018 08:54 AM (h8yX6)
Backup computers are a good thing to have. Thus Himawari the desktop and Etna the laptop. One can be used to look up the websites for cures to the things ailing the other.
Posted by: Mauser at January 11, 2018 08:40 PM (h8yX6)
Suburbanbanshee, as far as I know the computers getting bricked were 10+ years old. The Athlon 64 X2 5200+ was mentioned. I have one of those, purchased late 2007. Nori should be safe from that.
Posted by: Pixy Misa at January 12, 2018 01:11 AM (PiXy!)
The first picture reminds me of a horrible pun I saw on twitter. So advance warning....
"It's only a murder of crows if you have probable caws."
Posted by: Mauser at January 12, 2018 07:48 PM (h8yX6)
Here Comes The OGRE...
Back in 1986, Origin Systems, the company that would bring us the amazing Wing Commander and Ultima series of computer games, took a little foray into something a bit larger scale. Instead of a party of adventurers or individual starfighters, they sat down and cranked out the videogame adaptation of Steve Jackson's OGRE.
I played the heck outta that game on the C64. It wasn't great: the graphics were nothing special, even for the time, and the AI... well... it was 1986. But I could still play OGRE alone with it, and that made it good. For a long, long time I've wondered why there was never a remake... it's not like Steve Jackson Games doesn't have a history with computers, after all. Around Christmastime, friend Ben from Midnite Tease said to me "I've been playing the new OGRE videogame." To which I replied "Huh??? WHAT new OGRE videogame???" I'm not a clever duck when I'm surprised.
Holy crepe. Holy crepe! It took me very little time to add it to my Steam library... $20 for heaven's sake!... and went through the tutorials to get used to the interface. It's not the most intuitive system, but it works well enough. Once that was done, I called up a skirmish match against the computer and went at it. And lost.
In fact, the computer handed my feathered butt to me and made me wear it as a hat. So I started another game... and it all came back to me. I danced GEVs around the Ogre, pummeled the thing with heavy tanks, pounded it with howitzers...
...the above picture was essentially the last view my command post saw. Well, I'll be damned. I was pretty good at OGRE back in the day... good enough that I expected to win every time I sat down against a human opponent. I didn't, of course, but I knew I could win and had a good shot at doing so. And here this computer game is, kicking me up and down the map like I didn't know a superheavy from a light GEV. COOL!!!
The AI isn't perfect... I've seen it make some seriously stupid moves... but it's more than good enough. And once it stops giving me a challenge, online head-to-head is available too. There's a single-player campaign to go through as well, which might prove interesting. And, of course, any of you squishies that wanna go up against the Duck. Better make sure to make your sandwiches using rye bread though... since I'm going to knock you down and take your lunch, you may as well make it something I like.
I'll get to it once my budget and time bandwidth both open up a bit more. (Even if I could buy it I'd almost never get to play it, the way things are right now, so I might as well wait a bit.) Since I'm a total neophyte I'll probably have a steep learning curve ahead of me. I did play some hex-grid strategy games here and there so I'm not entirely unfamiliar with the concept, but still.
Posted by: GreyDuck at January 09, 2018 08:25 AM (h8yX6)
Your learning curve won't be steep at all! "A minute to learn, a lifetime to master" fits OGRE well. You'll be playing the basic game within 15 minutes, and winning games against the AI within an hour.
Just make sure you start as the Ogre... it's easier to deal with.
Posted by: Wonderduck at January 09, 2018 08:59 AM (h8yX6)
I've gone through the tutorial a few times, but I'm still not 100% comfortable with the flow of a game. Haven't tried to skirmish the computer yet. I'm not sure how viable the "ram everything" strategy is, in the long run.
Posted by: Ben at January 09, 2018 09:22 AM (h8yX6)
I left Pond Central at 850am to head off to work. I had an 11.50 hour day ahead of me, and the earlier I could get in, the earlier I could go home. Or I could extend my lunch break-slash-nap time, one of the two. Whichever was more important, y'know. In truth, I was kinda looking forward to this... particularly because I had read that the bone-breaking cold that Duckford has been in for the past two weeks was finally coming to an end! Fantastic, I was sick and tired of wondering if the Duckmobile was going to start both in the morning and at night when it was time to go home. For the record, she was a rock, only once giving me a scare... this past Wednesday morning, in fact, when it went down to -17 overnight. Turned the key in the ignition, and... all I heard was a whirring sound. The engine finally began cranking, and once it started it might have been idling at about 50rpm, but she started. So I left Pond Central with my head up and a warm glow in my heart.
Fsck. Really, I don't know why I'm complaining, it was only -9. Getting the frost off the windshield was... really, an exercise in futility. For whatever reason, I would scrape off one side, move to the other, scrape that side clean, by which point the first side was already slightly fogged. Cold and damp. Oh, and as it turns out, a wind chill advisory though at least my building's parking lot is at the bottom of a not-insubstantial hill. Between that to the north and the apartment building to the south, and much of the rest of the complex to the west, I've seen 20 mph winds blowing the tops of the trees around while it was dead still on the ground. Nice trick. Turns out that the cold is supposed to break on Sunday. I hope so... I'm too old for this.
UPDATE: Completely apropos of nothing, I LOVE BASEBALL. Wonderduck needed this.
Posted by: Pixy Misa at January 07, 2018 02:59 AM (PiXy!)
Brr! I am a wuss when it comes to cold. Heck, Houston is too cold for me. I fantasize about retiring to a tropical destination where I never have to wear a wool coat again. (won't work out in reality for a variety of reasons, but it's a nice fantasy)
On the hot side, whenever I feel tempted to complain about the 100 degree days in August, I just remind myself that we don't have to know anything about thermal underwear. (Sometimes I remind myself about being nine months pregnant several Augusts ago. Now, granted, I DID still wear a sweatshirt in my office even then, but still.)
Speaking of Australia, I saw an interview with RIC where he said he basically gets two summers since so much of the F1 season is during the northern hemisphere's summer. He seemed to think it was a sweet deal.
Posted by: Mrs. Will at January 07, 2018 08:45 AM (h8yX6)
Mrs Will, "RIC"? RIC? What's a RIC? I know I've seen those initials somewhere before... Oh yeah, all that F1 thing! I never thought about it, but yeah, Smiley would get two summers, wouldn't he?
Weather update: 1051 Sunday morning, it's 24 F and I'm wearing shorts.
Posted by: Wonderduck at January 07, 2018 10:55 AM (h8yX6)
I have a small confession to make. See, I had me a great idea for a bit of fiction and I thought I'd have it done by now. Except I forgot just exactly how much mandatory overtime we had to do this week, and as a result, my goofing off on Tuesday has come back to bite me in the tucus. Instead of having five hours of OT to do by Friday, I actually had NINE hours to do.
So, yeah. This week, not going as well as I had hoped. Still, Ben from Midnite Tease and I completed a simultaneous runthrough of Go Go Nippon!, and it was as hilarious as I expected, so that was worth the time. Only 3.50 hours left to go!
So what do we make of 2017? Sure, there were the physical problems... my left knee simply doesn't bend well anymore... but I actually did fairly okay at the job. The F1 season wasn't all that much of a much, and the Cubs weren't as good as they were in 2016, but I have a hard time criticizing either of them on the whole. Even The Pond sorta just chugged along at a middlin' pace.
So is that it? Do we declare 2017 "The Year Of The Meh"? I'm really struggling to think of anything particularly outstanding about the past 365 days as a coherent whole. There were good times, there were bad times, but I think 2017 was like vanilla ice cream... it's not bad, but it could have been red bean mochi.
But I did have you, the Pond Scum, and that makes all the difference, doesn't it? Here's to a better 2018, for myself, for The Pond, and for all of you, my lovely readers. Now it's time for the funny hats and noisemakers... happy new year, everybody!
Something I feel I've been remiss about this... well, this whole year... is a project that my brother in feathers Greyduck has been working on. He called it "3WA"...
...is that how we're going to play this? No, not the Worlds Welfare Works Association, but the Weekly Word Working Assignment. And before you ask, no, no Kei and Yuri. In this case, GD decided to make himself write to a schedule: one post per week for the entire year, talking about, and I quote, "a bunch of the animated stuff I like best and why you might (possibly) like it, too." And an eclectic collection it is, too. From Aardman to ARIA to Aang to Animaniacs, he's all over the map... when he bothers to stick to a map at all. I had heard of most of the things he talks about, and understood his reasoning for many of those. Daria, however, was a bit too far, but the fact that he talks about a MTV-based animation from the '90s in the same project as Blast of Tempest and... yes, Kanon '06... gives you an idea of the scope of this project.
While I was composing this post, I actually went back to his Entry #1 and reread the entire series. It maybe took me an hour, tops. This is some good, fast, reading that's entertaining as hell and might just get you to look at some shows you wouldn't have otherwise. Not a bad way to spend a year, that. Here's the entire category entry for you, but I'd recommend starting with the previously mentioned Entry #1 and working your way up the calendar. Better do it quick though... he's about to start the next 3WA project, and this one will be truly special: music.
But really, GD... Daria?
EDIT: Just to clarify, when I say "truly special," that doesn't mean THIS 3WA project wasn't special. It simply means that I've been immensely impressed by GD's musical leanings over the years, and have learned that if he suggests a band or album to me there's at least a 50-50 chance I'll love it. Think about it... how many people do you know that have that good of a track record with something as uniquely personal as your musical likes? I can't wait to see what is, essentially, his Top 50 album list.
Wow, that second picture brings back memories. It lived on floppies before I had a computer even capable of displaying it properly, and I used it to test color printers and briefing software at my first job out of college. I still have it somewhere... The image, not the floppy. Although who knows....
Posted by: Mauser at December 30, 2017 01:00 AM (h8yX6)
I second Greyduck's efforts; his review list was top-rate all year.
I tried a few years ago to re-visit Daria, and was pleasantly surprised that the show mostly holds up better than I expected considering how firmly grounded in the 90's it was. The nostalgia beats would probably overcome some of the shortcomings if the original music could be used, but that's effectively impossible at this point.
I suspect you have to really wallow in the show's cynicism to get the most out of it, especially the early seasons, but that's possibly just my experience.
Posted by: Ben at December 30, 2017 01:57 AM (h8yX6)
And yes, Daria. It's probably a more defensible pick than Gundam Wing: Endless Waltz at any rate. *cough* All kidding aside, this is where my disclaimer at the project's beginning comes into play. The show gave me joy, everyone else's mileage may vary.
Come to think on it, "your mileage may vary" is a phrase I quickly learned to watch out for. It applies to every single selection! My fingers would be partway through bashing out the phrase or the YMMV acronym and I'd go, "Wait, wait. We can't just write that into every one of these posts, Me."
The point behind the point of the project is to get back into the habit of writing and to improve as best I can during its run. Given that I'm actually quite pleased with #52 I think the project is bearing fruit in that regard.
Though I have a lot to learn before I'm ready to save the w-- ow ow ow stop that okay I'm sorry!
Posted by: GreyDuck at December 30, 2017 10:40 AM (h8yX6)
...and yes, it's somewhat ironic that I didn't work Affair of Nolandia into the list. I decided that I had enough heavily retro nostalgia picks already. Ah well.
Posted by: GreyDuck at December 30, 2017 10:43 AM (h8yX6)
It's moments like this that make me think about how humankind has progressed in my 50 years on this earth.
Some random person in Los Angeles, using a broadcast-quality camera in a hand-held communications device connected to a datasharing system that can be accessed world-wide, has recorded the flight of a reusable rocket 160 miles away, then shared it with potentially millions of people that, using equipment that is considered commonplace but in reality is more powerful than the combined processing power of entire nations when I was born, can view with amazing clarity the spectacular launch of a true reusable rocket into space carrying 10 communications satellites that will become part of an orbiting network that can be seen from your backyard without the use of telescopes, and nobody even blinks an eye about it and goes on looking for cat videos.