As I was writing my diatribe against multiplayer video games below, I received a text message from my Boss, asking if I was okay? Well, sure... is there some reason I wouldn't be? "Well, you're not here and you didn't call in." Oh?
I didn't know I had to call in when I'm taking an approved vacation day, boss. "You're not on my schedule for having the day off, Wonderduck." You okayed it on Friday morning, I've got the e-mails. I even double-checked the request program. "...oh dear, my fault. So you're off supposed to be off Monday through Wednesday, right?
You have no idea how badly I wanted to say why yes, yes I am. Instead, I was a good little employee: "No, only through Tuesday, though if you said I could take another day off I certainly wouldn't say no." "Okay, considering all the stress I just put you through, I can approve that. See you Thursday."
Being on good terms with the boss is never a bad thing.
Boston Dynamics Mean To Another Bot
If you read The Pond, you're probably familiar with those cruel people over at Boston Dynamics. Y'know, the people who appear to make robots just so they can be mean to them:
Well, they've done it again... except this time, they're not just being mean to one, they're torturing the poor thing!
Making it dance to a knockoff version of Uptown Funk for our entertainment... if that isn't a human rights violation, I don't know what is. Synth rights (Fallout 4, salute!) maybe? Wait, I'm confused now.
Oh, Fallout 4... how I want to love you! But relationships require work from both sides, and you're not putting in the effort. As much as I love wandering around the scorched earth that is the Commonwealth, I'd like there to be a compelling story and Preston Gravy ain't doin' it for me. I mean, I can see how crafting a settlement or two would be fun for some players. I can, really! But y'know the term "social gamer"? Well, I'm nothing if not an ASOCIAL gamer. I'll play multiplayer games like World of Warships or War Thunder because of the tie to my MilHist background, but the fact is that there are a LOT of unappealing jackweasels out there. I mean, the last time I played WoW, some naval geenyus started berating me for firing HE shells from my battleship.
At practically unarmored light cruisers.
At Tier III.
And I was sailing an Orion, the first RN battleship in the game... which with flags has something like a 50% chance of setting fires with its HE rounds.
Yeah. I love being yelled at for doing the right thing.
So, "asocial gamer." On the whole, I like a good single-player game... Skyrim and Fallout 3 both have something like 400-500 hours on them. But having to build settlements and cater to the whims of Preston Gravy and settlers that are the least grateful NPCs I've ever made bedding for? Yeah, that's waaaaay too much like being screamed at by some wanna-be Panzer Oberst-Gruppenfuhrer because he didn't like the "68" I had on the side of my StuG III.
So love me, Fallout 4, love me!
Okay, enough of that. I'm going to write a sternly-worded letter to Boston Dynamics now.
I just can't get interested in Fallout 4. Every time I play it, I end up loading up Fallout 3 so I can have some FUN paying Fallout.
Posted by: Ben at October 16, 2018 11:21 AM (osxtX)
Uptown Spot is actually pretty impressive. It would not surprise me to see some very interesting artistic exploration with robots in the next decade or so.
I didn't get into Fallout, maybe starting with Fallout 4 was the wrong choice?
Posted by: David at October 16, 2018 12:02 PM (HWHxc)
David, you can get Fallout 3: GOTY edition for $11.99 on steam right now. For a game that good, it's a ridiculously low price... and yeah, it's a MUCH better game, I think, than F4.
Posted by: Wonderduck at October 16, 2018 12:43 PM (+Lve0)
I don't think I've ever had Preston Garvey as a companion. I spend most of my time avoiding him since puts "Cleanup on aisle 3" quests in my quest bucket.
The settlements are kind of fun once you get the hang of it, and they provide caps; quite a lot of caps if there is standing water. They do so directly as well as indirectly if you get the Local Leader perk. Depending on your crops they can also provide resources for crafting.
The reporter, the detective and the robot with the sexy sexy voice are actually fun, and the latter has an awesome questline associated with her.
You need to play the game a while to get to them though. (and the robot is not on anywhere near the main quest)
I think that despite its dumb as a box of hammers (and contra canon) storyline, Fallout 3 is much more fun at the beginning and better designed for roaming and exploring.
Fallout 4 has a good -game- in there. The shooting feels a lot more solid than in 3 or NV. The crafting works with my pack-rat instincts instead of against them; I'm picking up stuff and dismantling it to make more stuff and improve the stuff I have, not going with the same handful of cookie-cutter weapons because everything's lasted through 200 years of post-nuclear apocalypse just to fall apart as soon as I picked it up.
3 and NV are chock full of traps in character development - things that you COULD improve and put a lot of effort into, only to discover that you've created a high-level gimp that can't stand up to the tougher enemies that show up once you've increased your level. 4 mostly avoids this. Of course they did it through simplification, but it works.
Shame about the story, though. (Although the story in 3 was crap too!) And I don't really like the Mass Effect conversation wheels. Since 80-90% of them don't have any effect, why are you putting in the choices? I don't need a "but thou must" response - if I'm going to be on the rail anyway, just take me there, don't ask me to steer the train!
The trick to enjoying 4 is to quit worrying about the stupid procedural busywork. There's no point running the quests when Preston says "hey, do this", or saving a settlement every time they stub a toe. Strap on a suit of power armor (another thing 4 did very well) and go explore and kill stuff.
Posted by: Avatar_exADV at October 17, 2018 12:00 AM (v29Tn)
Av, I kind of agree with you about F4's Power Armor. The armor itself, yes, much better than in F3.
But in F3, Power Armor felt like an accomplishment, something you worked towards. When you finally got a set, you knew you were something badass indeed.
In F4, you get a set during your very first quest. From then on you can't swing a dead mirelurk without hitting a new set of power armor. I just reached Level 9 with my character, and she's got SIX FULL SETS standing in the baby's room. I think I stashed another set somewhere too, but I can't remember where.
Posted by: Wonderduck at October 17, 2018 02:44 AM (OjmJE)
Four Days Off! A Clarification
This was not supposed to happen. I wasn't scheduled to have Monday and Tuesday off. In fact, I couldn't have had those days off, as October was closed for vacation requests back in August. But then, a funny thing happened...
...almost everybody in my office called in sick a couple Fridays ago. I was one of the few who showed up, and there was only one other person in my aisle, when normally there'd be 11 of us. Why that happened I leave open as an exercise for the observer... I'm sure I have no idea. The reaction from The Powers That Be was... confusing. Instead of grumbling about all the outages, they decided to reopen October for vacation requests.
No, I don't claim to understand it. I will, however, claim that I took advantage of it. About an hour after the announcement was made, I had my request in... and it was approved late last week. I don't have to be back in-office until Wednesday! I really need it, too... I took a nap this afternoon/evening, around 530pm. Jokingly, I set my alarm for 10pm, thinking there's no way I'd sleep for that long.
If you've ever read The Pond before, you know what this means... I slept until 11pm. There was a chance everything was going to go as planned, as at about 9pm I woke briefly. Then I reset my alarm for midnight and went back to sleep. Instead of cursing myself when I have to get up for work the next day, I just grinned when I finally did rise from my slumber. Two more days! It's like I've been set free. I'm trying to ignore the whole "going back to work" thing.
I don't have to worry about that for a couple of days yet.
Wellness Status Update
I think it's the weather. It's pretty warm for October, mid-80s today, and humid as all get-out. Tomorrow it's supposed to get down to the high-30s. That whipsawing has been going on for a couple-three weeks, which is bad enough. But that humidity is what's really killing me. It feels like my face is actually a couple of inches away from my skull, and faces aren't supposed to feel that way (newsflash, I know).
I almost called in, but somehow managed to drag myself to work. I'm so adult and stuff. Let's hope for a recovery tomorrow, after the rainy season is done. I'd really like that.
I Am... Unwell.
I thought the day started fairly well, but somewhere along the way I began to feel very cruddy. Bad enough that after eight hours on the clock, I just came right home instead of doing some of my overtime. It'll make the rest of the week suck, but I'm pretty sure I don't care about that right now. I'm going to try this whole "life" thing again tomorrow... hopefully there'll be better results. Maybe some sleep is just what this little ol' duckie needs.
Posted by: brickmuppet at October 09, 2018 01:35 PM (3bBAK)
I'm there with you. made it to 4, then booked my butt home. Brain was broken all day. 2 employees were out sick for 3 days last week, hoping I didn't get it. Hoping it's just Ragweed gone evil. Get well.
Posted by: Librarian at October 09, 2018 05:03 PM (kUEJc)
This Afternoon At Work...
So, like, y'know, test of the cellphone alarm system this afternoon? I actually didn't know about it, but no biggie for me. However, the same can not be said for everybody.
There I am, grinding away at the claims, feeling like a total idiot for being there, when at 118pm Pond Central Time, the test message is sent. That EAS alarm... siren... thing... then rockets through the aether to cellphones all over the country. In her office, my boss's smartphone goes off, screaming at the top of its little silicon lungs. In the office of the MiniBoss, her smartphone warbles like all the demons of hell are chasing after Garfield Goose.
And on the production floor, four other phones begin to sing us the song of their people. Which is kinda bad, because the production floor is supposed to be a smartphone/camera-enabled device-free area. You can have a phone, but it has to be shut off and stored in your filing cabinet.
Gotta say though... it was amusing as hell to see the frantic scrabbling and clawing at things that weren't supposed to be there as the owners (busted!) tried to shut them off.
So I seem to be completely unable to actually, y'know, concentrate on writing the F1U! for Russia tonight. I've started it, but I keep getting distracted by bright, shiny objects. So why I get a grip upon... something... here, have this:
In Which Wonderduck Complains About Audiobooks
As the three Pond Scum members remaining will recall, I work in a job that allows me... nay, friggin' requires me... to have something to distract my brain from the repetitive task I perform for 9-12 hours/day. Music was a good way to start but even with over 500 songs on the mp3 player, you start to hear the same songs over and over again.
This is not helped when the mp3 player in question loses its place when you have it on "random" and you press pause to go use the little ducks' room. Further, it's almost like the memory has a groove worn in it, because it seems to go back to the same songs repeatedly. The bad thing is, it's not the same songs every time. Today it might be this, that and the other... but tomorrow it'll be penguin, ocelot, and serval. So I can't even count on that. No complaints, but it does get a bit tedious.
So the next step was audiobooks. These have proven to be a mixed bag. On the plus side, some of them are long enough to last me a whole week of work. On the minus, dear god have these people never performed before? I can count on the fingers of one had just how many audiobooks I've listened to that do a good job on actually understanding what the author wrote. Just as an example of what I'm talking about, a few months back I listened to the audiobook of Starship Troopers.
Now, this is my favorite Heinlein novel, which means it's on the very short list of my favorite books. I cannot say how many times I've read it over the past 40 years... if you told me 100, I wouldn't be surprised. I know this book inside and out, is what I'm trying to tell you. It is at least theoretically possible that the man who did the audio reading had read the book before. I wouldn't put any money on it, but it's possible. Anybody who can read the line "C'mon you apes, do you want to live forever?" and make it sound like an actual question simply doesn't have a grasp on the subject material. And speaking of grasping, what they did to The Mote In God's Eye and the sequel, The Gripping Hand, is simply criminal. The reader does do a good job of differentiating voices, so points for that. Unfortunately, his interpretation makes it sound like everybody in the cast hates everybody else. Captain Roderick Blaine's relationship with his navigator, Kevin Renner, is completely and totally antagonistic, full of snarling and gnashing of teeth. Which is weird, because when I read it Renner was a much more lighthearted rogue trader, and Blaine the Navy captain/aristocrat that puts up with him. I'm fairly sure the reader took his cue from one line: "Blaine decided that he didn't like his navigator." If true, he blew it completely.
It's amazing just how common this is. Almost completely forgot the most egregious example: Robert Asprin's Phule's Company! If you've read it, you know it's a comedy novel. It's supposed to be funny. Somehow, the reader turned Willard Phule, aka Captain Jester, into a typical military man. Sorta puts a damper on the whole rest of the novel, y'know?
That's not to say they're all bad. I had cause recently to hear The Rise And Fall Of D.O.D.O., by Neil Stephenson and Nicole Galland, and it's a terrific listen. There's at least six different people doing different voices, which is pretty much a requirement for the book... in print form, it's made up of journal entries, computer logs, audio transcripts, etc etc etc, all of which look different from each other. So, in audiobook form, different voices for each character's individual entries. To be sure, if Tristan (our hero) shows up in Melisande's (our heroine/main character) entry, the woman who reads Melisande's stuff will differentiate for Tristan, it's not the person who reads Tristan's entries. Still, it works, and it's a hoot. Ditto for Gaiman and Pratchett's Good Omens.
But the best audiobook I've yet listened to is the classic With The Old Breed by Eugene Sledge. Unlike, I think, most other audiobooks, this one is actually read by someone who did research and knew the book inside and out. Which makes sense since Joe Mazzello, the man who played Sledge in the amazing HBO miniseries The Pacific, is the reader. It's a gruesome book, but that's good; it was originally written just for Sledge's family, so they knew what grandpa did in the War. It pulls no punches, and Mazzello brings it to life in a way no other audiobook I've listened to has managed.
More like that, please and thank you Audiobook companies. Get people who know the books to read 'em, huh?
The issues with audiobooks often are the same with dubs - the quality depends on how good whoever is giving instructions to the person recording it, and on the budget for the production (More budgets allow more takes.).
There is also the possibility that whoever is recording a book might not care too much about what they are reading and decided to have their own 'interpretation' on it. There is at least one person involved in audiobooks who has, off the recording, admitted to doing that occasionally.
I do like the audiobooks when they have a cast recording it, instead of just on person. It feels very much like a radio play - I remember listening to audiobooks of Clive Cussler's Deep Six and Cyclops years ago, along with a non-fiction book about the Walker-Whitworth espionage case.
Posted by: cxt217 at September 26, 2018 05:51 PM (EGo5e)
Does the local library have audio books on CD or other media that you can download to your device?
Posted by: jon spencer at September 26, 2018 07:48 PM (6SO50)
Jon, probably... but I can count the number of times I've been in a public library the past 15 years or so on the fingers of one wing. And even then, it was to visit The Librarian, not to check out books.
Posted by: Wonderduck at September 26, 2018 09:24 PM (8i+JN)
The audiobooks for Wiseguy and Casino are both excellent; except that they're abridged editions edited to follow their movie adaptations. Which also makes them short. Still very well performed, though.
Poor reading: I'm a big Jack Chalker fan, and I picked up all of his Flux and Anchor books on audio a couple of years ago. AWFUL. The guy reading them (all of them) speaks as if he's reading abridged Disney-fied fairytales to five-year-olds. Like in the hundreds of story collections Disney published back in the 60's and 70's. His voice has that sparkling delight and touch of humor designed for delivering Mother Goose to pre-schoolers.
If you've ever read Chalker, and specifically the Flux and Anchor books, they're loaded with body horror, depictions of corrupt, empowered bureaucrats abusing their powers, commentary on governmental extremes, and EXPLICIT SEX.
It is such a complete failure on tone, it's unlistenable.
Posted by: Ben at September 27, 2018 12:49 AM (4TRZx)
The series I can recommend are Terry Pratchett's Discworld books (read by Nigel Planer for the first half of the series, then Stephen Briggs), Lois McMaster Bujold's Vorkosigan and Chalion books (mostly read by Grover Gardner, except for those with a female lead character), and Steven Brust's Vlad Taltos books, read by Bernard Setaro Clark).
They're all good books with consistently good readings.
One other thing that might be of interest is the Dragnet collection available from Audible. I don't have it yet myself, but 379 episodes for 1 credit is kind of tempting.
Posted by: Pixy Misa at September 28, 2018 05:17 AM (2yngH)
Mrs. Will - The Dresden Files books are read by James Marsters (Spike from Buffy). The actor in the TV series (which I liked a lot) was Paul Blackthorne.
Something about Marsters' performance doesn't sit right with me, but I'll give them another try.
Posted by: Pixy Misa at September 28, 2018 05:20 AM (2yngH)
FWIW, I talk about the Dresden audiobooks here... I stopped after the third one. Harry's outlook on life was seriously depressing.
Posted by: Wonderduck at September 28, 2018 06:53 AM (8i+JN)
Interesting sidenot about James Marsters. IIRC, commentator Knirirr at Hell in a Handbasket commented that Marsters' accent as Spike was the closest he had ever heard an American properly do an English accent - so much so that he had to double-check to make sure Marsters was not English.
The audiobooks of the Monogatari novels are interesting because they used several different VAs to perform the characters from the books, which is not often the case. Maybe they will actually not drive me to distraction compare to reading the actual light novels.
Posted by: cxt217 at September 28, 2018 05:30 PM (EGo5e)
Larry Correia's works are read by either Adam Baldwin or Bronson Pinchot. They are both reputed to be very good.
Posted by: Mauser at September 28, 2018 07:32 PM (Ix1l6)
12"The audiobooks of the Monogatari novels..."
CXT, there's more than one now? Hmm. I might need to look into that.
Posted by: Wonderduck at September 28, 2018 09:01 PM (8i+JN)
No, that was my mistake. I did think they had recorded more than Kizumonogatari, but it appears not.
Posted by: cxt217 at September 28, 2018 10:31 PM (EGo5e)
Figure Foto Fun Four: All Right Mr DeMille, I'm Ready For My Close-Up
A little while ago I picked up a set of extension tubes for my camera lens... basically they turn it into a macro lens for closeups. I mean, it's not like it was terrible at them before, but now it's a whole different portrait level. For example:
The lighting on this one is... pretty okay. But I got better.
Just a tiny bit of color editing, and voila, Haruhi's happy.
One of these days I'll take a good picture of this figure and I'll be so surprised I'd probably drop dead. Something about it defies good photography, and by "good", I really mean "whatever I'm able to produce."
Seventeen Years Ago
It was a Tuesday morning at Pond Central. Tuesdays meant New Release Day at the bookstore I ran at the time, which required resetting the new Top 20 display at the front of the store. I woke up about a half-hour earlier than I normally did, intending to get to the store early. Nothing too out of the ordinary there, truth be told.
That all changed when my clock radio turned on. Instead of hearing the usual light-hearted sports talk, I realized that the morning duo sounded... serious. I mean, really serious. Something about one of the World Trade Center buildings having been hit by an airplane. Honestly, my first reaction was one of total unconcern; as a World War II buff, of course I knew about the B-25 Mitchell flying into the Empire State Building in a thick fog. Of course I thought that it would be something similar. I headed out to Pond Central's kitchen, grabbed some orange juice, then turned on the TV to see what was going on.
I had had just enough time to say to myself "that's a really big hole, and a lot of smoke. It sure wasn't a light airplane." I also noted that the sky was clear and blue, so it couldn't be that the pilot had gotten lost in the fog like the B-25 had. But before I could really boil all that down to the obvious conclusion, the second plane hit. In my rush to get up close to my 13" TV/VCR combo, I spilled my orange juice and barked my shins on the coffee table. I stood there for 10 or 15 minutes, before heading for the shower. Listened to the shower radio the whole time, got dressed, then watched the TV until I absolutely had to leave. At the time, I literally had to drive from one end of Duckford to the other, at least a half-hour long jaunt.
As I was driving, the South Tower collapsed, and I very nearly bent the Duckmobile's steering wheel in shock and surprise. I drove the rest of the way in thinking to myself, "there's a sister bookstore in the mall underneath the WTC." It was kind of a weird feeling, knowing that some people that you've got a very very weak tie to have probably just died... people just like you, probably got in early to set the new Top 20 display, and they just had one of the tallest buildings in the world fall on their heads.
(I'm going to interrupt my story to let you all know that no employees of that bookstore were killed, or even injured, that day. The rest of the chain didn't find that out for a couple of days, however. I can only imagine how the manager's phone call to their District Manager went...)
With that image in my head I pulled into my mall's parking lot, and practically sprinted into the building, so best to pull the boom box out of the back room and bring it to the cashwrap so to keep listening to the events of the day... and discovered once again that fluorescent lights scream like banshees in all sorts of radio frequencies. I managed to find a station that wasn't drowned out by static, waaaaaay up at the top of the dial. I think it was broadcasting from Wisconsin, but I don't remember for sure anymore. And sometime between leaving my car and tuning in WCHZ, the North Tower had collapsed. Not knowing what else to do, I started resetting the Top 20.
At 10am, I opened the gates to let the flood of customers into the store... and by "flood", I mean "nobody." Exact times get a little hazy around this point. I did have one customer come in, we talked for a bit, and then she left. She almost looked dazed, and to be honest, I probably did too. My DM called, said that half of the stores in our district were having to close because their malls were shutting down early. I hadn't heard anything yet from my mall's manager, but I'd let her know as soon as I did. I suspected it wouldn't be long: other than dazed woman, I couldn't see a single customer anywhere in the mall.
Then stores began closing up on their own. The guy who ran the tuxedo place directly across from me said that his boss had called and said "I don't care what the mall is doing, get out of there." If you weren't working in a mall or a big building at the time, you might not remember the fear that permeated that day. There was a lot of concern that more attacks might occur. I know that they evacuated both the Sears Tower and the John Hancock Building in Chicago because of a report of another hijacked plane. Why would terrorists attack a small, dying mall in upstate Illinois? Doesn't matter... there was a lot of irrational thought occurring just then. Eventually, the Powers That Be at the mall said "shut it down," so after calling my staff to tell 'em not to come in, I did just that.
On the way home, I stopped at a grocery store. Looking back at it, that was a weird decision for me to make, but what the hell, I needed my frozen pizza. Unsurprisingly, there was no wait for a cashier. Once I got home and got my foodstuffs put away, I turned the TV back on and took up residence on my couch for the rest of the day and a good portion of the night. A little while ago, I mentioned this to a coworker. He asked me why I didn't get on the internet to follow events that day. Did I mention that he is a very young coworker?
I've probably told the story before, but: We usually woke up to the "adult contemporary" radio station's morning playlist, so basically the soft-rock option (it's what the missus-at-the-time and I could agree on). When the radio kicked on at its usual time and all we heard was news commentary, we realized something was up. It took a couple of minutes to figure out what was going on.
Basically none of my family was left in NYC by that point and I had no Internet friends there either, so it was a more generalized horror for me. And then we got news that Grandma Hjordis died that morning. (Of natural causes. In Kingsville TX.) So it was weird to be at work (at a radio station) dealing with... all of that. I looked terrible enough to get a lot of "Did you lose someone?" and having to go, "Well, yes but not for the reason you think."
Posted by: GreyDuck at September 12, 2018 07:47 AM (rKFiU)
"The rest of the chain didn't find that out for a couple of days, however."
The place I was working at the time had an office in WTC7, and we had the same issue (like you, nobody in our office was hurt). Communication out of NYC was pretty fragmentary for a couple of days.
My mother-in-law was driving from Maine to Florida that day, though, and we didn't hear from her for hours. She'd been through NYC well before the planes hit.
Posted by: Rick C at September 12, 2018 08:30 AM (Q/JG2)
I was at my ATC facility (Denver ARTCC) that morning, out on break in the cafeteria. The "Today Show" was on the TV behind me. They cut to their New York correspondent, who said that it appeared a bomb had gone off at the WTC. I turned around and looked, and realized what everyone else already had. Big plane. We all went back to the control room, where it was already news. We put 258 aircraft on the ground in about 23 minutes. Then, for several days, there were nothing but military aircraft in the sky. (Well, I did have one pilot who chose to go it alone on day 2, but he got caught... that's another story).
Posted by: skyhack at September 12, 2018 09:56 AM (KrC5e)
I turned on the TV for some odd reason that morning. Not a normal routine. Saw the plane hit the second building. Left for work following the events on the way by listening to WLS where Roma was doing her best to calm Don down because he was losing it on air. Got to work where co-workers had no clue what was going on. Was unable to keep it together enough to explain what had happened. Had to do storytime that day. Drove home that night on 20 flanked by flags.
Posted by: Librarian at September 12, 2018 09:02 PM (kUEJc)
I was at home at the time. It was around the start of my long period out of work, and I was building my BattleBot down in the shop, when my neighbor Robin came by and said "Did you hear? A plane hit the World Trade Center," and I was glued to the TV for the rest of the day. Like everyone, at first I thought it was an accident, until I saw the second plane hit, and I got that icewater feeling in my gut, knowing that something was going seriously wrong.
Posted by: Mauser at September 13, 2018 12:17 AM (KeWu2)
I Call For A Boycott!
There is a minor league baseball team in Akron. They are called the Akron Rubberducks. I am calling for all right-minded waterfowl (humans can join in, too) to participate in a boycott of the Akron Rubberducks.
I can hear you saying "But Wonderduck! They're the Rubberducks! It'd only be natural for you to love them!" And you would be correct, normally. But! A team named the Rubberducks should sell Rubberducks rubberducks, and they don't. They do sell rubberducks, but those rubberducks aren't Rubberducks rubberducks, they're regular rubberducks.
So until the Rubberducks sell Rubberducks rubberducks, I will boycott the Rubberducks. Really, it's quite sad. After all, I collect rubberducks, so a Rubberducks rubberduck would be great to own. But I can't put a Rubberducks rubberduck in my rubberduck collection, as the Rubberducks don't sell a Rubberducks rubberduck.
So hop to it, Rubberducks! Carry an Akron Rubberducks rubberduck, so I can send you my money for an Rubberducks rubberduck. Oh, I know there's some problem in licensing since the Major Leagues doesn't have a rubberduck manufacturer anymore, but c'mon! The ball is in your court... pond... stadium... whatever.
F1U! Where, Wonderduck?
I ended up sleeping instead of doing the F1U! for Monza. It was a good race, well worth your time to watch it if you can. But this weekend has either been annoying (Saturday), or relaxing (Sunday, Monday).
The plan had been to do it Monday morning... get up, do morning things, sit down at the computer and bang the writeup out... but I didn't actually get up until 1130a. So I got up, did morning things in what technically turned out to be the afternoon, had lunch, put together what is basically a one-shelf bookcase, though that's not what I'll be using it for, fiddled about, then I took a nap around about 630p. I had intended to to wake up at 9p and do the writeup then.
Intentions are not what happened. I actually woke up at 11p. Which brings us to now. But it was a nice nap, and with the office on mandatory 10 hours of OT this week even with the holiday, a nap that is likely to be needed.
I did try to get some of that OT in on Saturday, but the system was down. The system was down. The system was down. Down down down. Zakazakazakazakazaka system systemsystemsystem. The system was down. Which pissed me off to no end, since I had willingly come in on a day off to do work. Okay, not that willingly. Which made it worse, actually!
So, yeah, OT sucks. I'll do F1U! on Tuesday. Hope y'all had a good holiday off, or for my non-US readers, a good monday.
*looks at picture* And where IS our next great feel-good slice-of-life girls-doing-obscure-activity anime, anyway?
Speaking of anime, I'm several episodes into Love Live! and I'm enjoying it far more than expected. (Moreso than I am Revue Starlight, come to think of it.) The writing's moderately smart and sharp and it's adorable as all heck. Thanks for the rec, good sir.
Posted by: GreyDuck at September 04, 2018 07:39 AM (rKFiU)
2Sora to Umi no Aida. Girls go fishing... in space!
There ya go, GD!
Posted by: Wonderduck at September 04, 2018 08:29 AM (BR8oG)
Having it be in space might be over-egging the recipe a...
<body suits with thigh-high boots because it's IN SPACE!!!!>
Posted by: Ben at September 04, 2018 10:50 AM (osxtX)
I enjoyed Love Live! more than Revue Starlight, but that is primarily because I enjoyed the original Love Live! a great deal. It was less expensive to enjoy than Idolmaster.
Revue Starlight is, if you can get pass the PCP-fueled trip that is the first two episodes, an enjoyable series so far. It is an insane mix of Love Live! meets Utena, or even Yuki Yuna is a Hero. It is not the best show in the season, but unlike Cells at Work, I did not have to watch an episode that made me angry at an anime (For the third time ever.).
Posted by: cxt217 at September 04, 2018 10:16 PM (BcQU4)
I'm a Love Live Sunshine guy, m'self. It's not often you get to see an idol group actually FAIL at their main goal, but LLS did.
Posted by: Wonderduck at September 05, 2018 12:23 AM (8JgDk)
I could never get into Sunshine, though the backlog I had at the time (And still possess.) did not help.
Posted by: cxt217 at September 05, 2018 01:54 PM (BcQU4)
CXT, while I obviously don't agree with you, I can certainly understand liking the first LL series over the second. It's not like there aren't a ton of similarities between them after all. Even the girls are more or less duplicated.
I just like the LLS girls MORE. What it comes down to is that they're almost all hicks from the sticks. Either Riko and Mari have much greater exposure to the city than all the rest combined. Riko is actually from Tokyo, having moved out for good reasons, and Mari's American father is a hotel magnate, she's lived all over the world.
But the rest? Well, back when I lived in Minnesota my ha-ha-only-serious description of where I lived was "People from Mankato go to the Twin Cities for fun. People from New Ulm go to Mankato."
LLS essentially takes place in New Ulm. I like that.
Posted by: Wonderduck at September 05, 2018 09:38 PM (42Vhn)
I'm nowhere near Sunshine yet. Still only about 2/3 through original-LL.
Posted by: GreyDuck at September 10, 2018 07:33 AM (rKFiU)
It's 2016 All Over Again
Last night the Cubs were facing Max Scherzer and the Washington Nationals. If you're not familiar with the National League, Scherzer is on the short list of "best NL starting pitcher." And by short, I mean "him and Clayton Kershaw of the Dodgers". And for seven innings, he proved the old maxim that good pitching beats good hitting, completely shutting down the Cubs.
Meanwhile, the Nationals were having a difficult time with the Cubs newest acquisition, Cole Hamels. While not quite as sharp as Scherzer, he still had a great outing for a team that hasn't had many of those this year. Despite that, the Cubs were down 3 - 0 going into the bottom of the ninth.
The Nationals brought in reliever Ryan Madson to close it out. He got the first batter, then gave up an infield single. He hit the next batter, then coaxed a pop fly for the second out. Madson then hit another batter to load the bases. What happened next was magic.
Skip to 2:45 for the moment of a lifetime
David Bote has played a grand total of 35 games of major league ball in his career, all of them this year. He became the third player in baseball history to hit a walk-off grand slam with two outs and trailing by three... and he had two strikes on him,and he was a pinch hitter to boot. Good way to end a game.
I'm starting to get those 2016 vibes from this team, because this is exactly how the 2016 team did things. I'll take that, yeah.
It was another late night at the job last night. 11 hours on the clock, almost 12 if you count the lunch break... by the time I finished my mandatory 10 hours of OT for the week, it was 945pm and I was the last person in the building that wasn't one of the three cleaning crew people. Even they were leaving out the back door as I was heading towards the front. Honestly, I think I had been the last person in the building since around 7pm... pretty much everybody tries to be gone as early as possible on Fridays. Except for me, of course, mostly because I enjoy singing while working and I don't want to disturb my coworkers.
Sure, that's the reason. Really. It has nothing to do with my not being able to drag my butt out of bed with any alacrity in the morning. Anyway. My work done, I grabbed my cane and headed out the door to the parking lot. Where I saw a police car sitting right behind the Duckmobile, headlights on and clearly running my plates, or whatever they do these days. Technology: ain't it grand? Immediately I began wondering what did I do wrong? Because that's the first reaction of anybody when a police officer begins an out-of-the-blue interaction with you: the police are talking to me, ergo I must have done something wrong. Even if, like me, you haven't had a traffic ticket in 32 years and the last time you were in court was for jury duty.
I began trudging towards the car, parked at the far end of a decent sized parking lot and after a long day of work... and ohbytheway, the police car too... when the police officer yelled "Is this your car?" I had to restrain an insane impulse to yell back "No, this one is," point at an empty parking spot, and start miming unlocking the door, getting in and driving away. Instead, I behaved like an actual adult and yelled back "Yes, that is my car." Another question came back: "Are you Wonderduck?" "Yes...?"
The officer backed up a bit, then drove right up next to me, driver side window to my left. He smiled, or at least that's what I inferred from the movements the big furry caterpillar on his upper lip suggested. "There's no problem, it's just that a lone car in a big darkened parking lot late on a Friday night... just thought it'd be good to check it out, y'know?" I explained myself, finishing overtime, last one in the building, yadda yadda. "Great, glad there isn't a problem. You have a good night, Mr Duck."
And he pulled away, leaving via the lot's back exit (coincidentally, the same way I usually leave). A few moments later, I see him go flying past, gumballs spinning, siren screaming.
So that was how my Friday night at work ended. Upon reflection after a day's separation, it wasn't as exciting as I thought at the time.
Maybe it's my attractive female privilege, but I would have been more bemused than anything else in this scenario. I've been pulled over about a dozen times, mostly for speeding, and have a grand total of one ticket and one written warning. So I don't really get nervous in this kind of situation.
(Of course, said privilege works the other way - part of the reason I don't have more tickets is that the times I wasn't speeding, the REAL infraction that got me pulled over was not stopping in the crosswalk (I mean, come on) but rather "driving while attractive". Luckily, nothing came of those incidents. I was always very businesslike and polite, which brought the interaction to a quick end.)
(I also once got pulled over for driving a Honda Civic. The officer told me he was checking it out because one had been reported stolen in the area. I said, "Thank you so much! As a Honda Civic owner, I know this is the most stolen car in America, and I am so glad you're checking it out!" and handed over all my information. He was a little taken aback by my enthusiasm but quickly cleared me and sent me on my way.)
Posted by: Mrs. Will (Kathryn) at August 12, 2018 07:35 AM (JPRju)
Yes, I'm Still Alive! Hooray!
Overtime is really kicking my llama's arse. Weekends have been spent sleeping or doing even less than usual. Weeknights... well, I'm usually getting home between 9pm and 10.
Which is not to say I haven't been keeping eyes on things, heavens no. For example, Smiley Ricciardio is going to be leaving Red Bull at the end of the season and moving to the Renault works team. Lets face it, with golden boy DH Verstappen on the scene, Dannyric was never going to be The Man at the Bull. Whether moving to Renault will be a good career move or not remains to be seen, but at least he's free of the Dutchman. Who will be replacing him at Red Bull? I don't know, because there's a huge X-factor involved, namely that Verstappen has the ability to nix any driver the team tries to bring in. So don't be so quick to say Pierre Ghastly, current hotshoe over at Toro Rosso, my friends. He'd be totally logical, which means that DH might just say "no."
In other F1 news, Force India nearly died recently... because Daimler-Mercedes and team sponsor BWT supported FI driver Sergio Perez essentially sued his team for $4million of unpaid debt. Force India's engine manufacturer Mercedes says the team owned them around $10million, while BWT claimed that their sponsorship deal was really "just a loan." The team went into receivership, and was quickly snapped up by a group of five deep-pockets, led by Pleasant Stroll's daddy and the billionaire father of GP3 driver and FI's test driver, Nikita Mazepin. I'm pretty sure I know what the driver lineup for Force India will be in 2019.
Posted by: Ben at August 07, 2018 10:56 PM (4TRZx)
I don't actually still use WinAmp, but c'mon, who can forget a line like that?
I think the last connection to India Force India had was its owner, Vijay Mallya, and he's mostly been too busy avoiding extradition to be involved in the team.
Posted by: Wonderduck at August 08, 2018 12:43 AM (/HvlQ)
Man, I hope there's light at the end of your OT tunnel. I'd have snapped by now, in your situation.
Posted by: GreyDuck at August 08, 2018 07:29 AM (rKFiU)
Note My Life
I'm still on mandatory overtime, and with Monday night spent at Best Buy bringing home Triela I'm running behind. I was on the clock for 11 hours tonight, which leaves me with 5.5 hours of OT to do by 10pm Friday.
I've got a new gaming computer, and I haven't had a chance to actually DO anything with it yet! I'm d/l'g Fallout 4 to the SSD, but that's a 25GB game... it's taking a while.
Coming off of five days of high ibuprofen intake to deal with a wonky shoulder. (Shoulder's still wonky, but it's down to a periodic twinge instead of full-on "I can't do my job.")
We're smack in the middle of a heat wave, so no computer-y things for me at home except for a half hour in the morning before I leave for work. Sigh.
The girlfriend and I are working our way through the 2012 Yamato series; I never watched Star Blazers, but it was her jam (mine was Robotech... I've noticed that people are either one or the other, rarely both) so this has been entertaining on both sides.
Posted by: GreyDuck at July 26, 2018 07:34 AM (rKFiU)
Vacation starts tomorrow! Got tentative plans to head down to Corpus and check out the Lexington.
Step 3: See Step 1
The moment I expected, yet feared came Saturday. In the afternoon I started my old computer, browsed around for a couple of hours, then watched Quals for the German Grand Prix, shutting it down as I did. I then took a nap.
Saturday night, I hit the power button on my computer and... nothing. The hard drive just gave a rhythmic, constant, flashing light with no sign of life otherwise. She had finally given up the ghost after doing her best for me. Press F to pay respects.
So I spent the rest of Saturday night tearing down my computer setup, figuring out how to store the old computer until I can get around to beating the hard drive into a very small smear, the better to keep my info safe y'know? Also accomplished was removing the old 19" 1440 x 900 monitor... over 12 years old would you believe... and putting the new 24" 1080p monitor in position. And then I slept, ready to get the new computer in position and move up in the world.
This was duly accomplished around 4pm on Sunday. Everything plugged in, everything ready, I hit the power button, and...
...nothing. I tried another power cable.
...nothing. My brand new computer was DOA out of the box.
A quick run to Best Buy got me an exchange for another, this time with free setup. It only took an hour to accomplish this, an hour, two managers, two different salespeople, one customer service rep, and a sugar glider named Hugo.
I may be exaggerating part of that.
Monday rolls around, and after work I head back over to the BigBlueBox, getting there exactly on time for my appointment, and... I had to wait for a half-hour while two biddies who looked old enough to remember a time when the most complex computing device you could find was an abacus tried to understand what the tech was telling them... "power button is here on the side."
A quick demo of the new computer (it works! it works!) led to me loading it into the Duckmobile and driving home to Pond Central. At which point, I was faced with some difficulty. How do you get a 30 pound computer up a flight of stairs when you use a cane? The answer is "slowly, step by step." Carry the computer to the stairs, put it as many steps up as you can, go back to the car to get the cane, go up a couple of steps, lift the computer up another couple of steps, climb some more, repeat as many times as needed (five, in case you were wondering).
Just as an aside, at the time I returned to Pond Central, somewhere around 845pm or so, it was still in the mid-80s outside, with ridiculously high humidity, and no breeze whatsoever. As a result, Your Hero was drenched in sweat when he got the computer inside. Also exhausted: it had been a long day at work, and the whole "carrying things up stairs" gig was awkward. And painful: a poorly placed foot as I was trying to maneuver the tower through the door to Pond Central resulted in rather a lot of ankle pain. I'm hoping I didn't sprain it; we'll find that out tomorrow morning.
After taking a while to regenerate some action points, I found myself back where I had been Sunday evening: everything hooked up and just needing to hit the power button. Filled with trepidation, this I did.
Posted by: Mauser at July 24, 2018 09:28 PM (Ix1l6)
Were you able to save all your stuff from the old drive before death and get it on the new machine?
Posted by: Mauser at July 24, 2018 09:29 PM (Ix1l6)
Everything important, yep. Really, I've simply been procrastinating regarding this... I've had everything I've wanted moved to my external drive for some time. It's just that it was going to be so much work, y'know? And I am, at heart, a lazy duck.
Posted by: Wonderduck at July 24, 2018 11:07 PM (7eIzj)