Saturday, 27 June 2020

Space Force is actually ok

Heard yesterday about somebody who recently came from Sweden to visit Germany, and that person had to fill in and sign an official document at the airport: 14 days quarantine. That's why I cannot really go unless I find a test before I return here, but I don't want to rely on "unless", not this time of year. Germany is scared of people coming from Sweden, for good reason. Nonchalant crowd-loving Swedes make it difficult for the rest of us to see our families :/ Only this other person had a trick up their sleeve: not staying in quarantine. Oh wow, I got upset when I was told. Fortunately there's a lot of people who care and show respect to offset the rats, I know of people coming from "hot zones" doing the right thing. I don't get angry easily, but this really does it. If I ever meet that selfish prick I'll say what I think.

So what is the right thing to do? Come on, don't be a self-centric child and use your head. We don't have 14-days quarantine or face masks because the Illuminati wants it.

Ordered and am currently going through a Probierpaket of three light roasted coffees, very fresh and aromatic. Every now and then it's nice to have a fuller cup still, I might have to order another such medium package.

Adagio is really tricky. I wonder how I managed to play through it the first 2 times I tried it, I can't even finish a couple of seconds of it now. With better understanding comes more caution and sensitivity I suppose, annoying.

Oh right, finally, the topic of the title. Just watched Space Force and I quite enjoyed it. Not amazing, but I would like more. Apparently the reviews are mixed, where pro industry reviewers think it's bad and the plebs think it's ok. The main reasons it's considered bad is supposedly that it poorly reflects (regurgitates?) the current state of top US politics, that the jokes are all misses, and that Naird is not psychotic enough for Carell. The first is in the news all the time (news > "TV" show for that, let TV explore so many other things we could have, also if you want satire you go to the UK), jokes are so very subjective (I laughed at a comfortable rate, not every 10 s but I also don't want that), and do people physically express weird behaviour even close to as much as Naird does or should snazzy pro reviewers lay off some binging of extreme displays of outrageous media to have a normal sense of the world again? Oh wait, I just said that they should be more normal, that's probably irony. Btw, bit risky to make the Chinese the villains, I wonder if that could have had any impact at all on the ratings... Hah, just kidding around... From Russia to China, I wonder who will be next. It's more of an honor than anything else though, isn't it?

Back to enjoying the summer heat, yay.

EDIT 2020-06-29: Forgot about the most astounding life-style change for me since many years; during the last two weeks I go to bed between 23 and midnight and wake up between 6 and 7. Feels nice, but I still work until just as late. Some people might think I'm a little clever, but I'm really not.

Thursday, 21 May 2020

It lives

Ignoring all the obvious real-life topics, because there's enough coverage of varying quality of them and I don't have any better insight, I finally watched They Live. Fun, pretty good, not amazing, it's like a futuristic simpler version of Hypernormalisation.

Comandante C40 is really expensive, but it really is a lot nicer than my old Porlex. Years of pining with a toyish tool makes me appreciate the real deal a lot. To be fair, the Porlex is really good, but it does feel cheaper and the grind is notably worse. I'd recommend it over the C40 for a beginner, it's probably enough for most, and it handles the arch nemesis of coffee grinderers, static, better than the C40. Red-listed trees and various other arguments made me choose the bamboo version, I hope I didn't mess that up. Also bought a funny little scale, the Tanita KD320, which can measure in 0.1g steps immediately from 0g. First thing I did was to try to weigh the plastic wrapper in which the batteries came in, 0.4g. I didn't find any other kitchen scale that can do that, not even the lovely g&g scales, although they have better precision all the way up to 3kg (depending on the model, but I shant complicate tings). The Tanita looks like a piece of kitchen equipment from my childhood too, I had to have it. Oh crap, They Live, I see it now!

Been playing around with Vulkan again, it gets easier after simply accepting some of the initial torrents of code plus making building blocks of common features. Extending shader features and textures etc was easy after the initial steps. Reminds me of a second job tho...

Had a few amazing violin sessions where 1006 Bourrée and Gigue sounded divine, quite a few more not so nice sessions :p The kind of up-hill battle that one wants to fight.

Just met Strider. The Libra is really much more convenient than a printed book, I be a happy blind consumer.

Let's see what happens in the near future, I'd like to see my home land again one day...

Friday, 3 April 2020

gg

I have to write something about this.

So, I've been having a fishing line out for a game called Firewatch ever since I saw Ron Gilbert twittering his interest in the game way back. Looked nice, I like story and character driven media. Then I heard about the polarizing views on its length and an unsatisfying ending and so I decided to wait until it got cheap. Well, today it got really cheap, and I thought I could at least install and play it over the weekend. In the end I couldn't put it down until it was over, and I have to write something down to let off some good steam.

I'd say it's one of the best of its kind, and a very good example of some of the strengths of games compared to books, music, and films. I'm sure I've mentioned this before, but here I go again: books are great for driving a story while our own minds paint landscapes between and inside characters, music I cannot really describe in a good way (goes deeper somehow?), and films join the two and present to us a much more tangible version that we wouldn't imagine ourselves but that is very easy to digest. Games can go the extra mile of putting us on the spot in the moment, and let the player control much of the flow of time and where to be, and in some cases choices. As I've grown older I've started to appreciate choices that have no technical long term effects in a game, before I thought they were stupid and pointless. The connection between the player and the two main characters in Firewatch is more than I've ever felt before. The time in the forest did some strange stuff to me too, but the intro was rather forced and alien to me, I'm guessing a fixed intro would have worked better. Some of the tools were a bit cumbersome and broke the flow of things, but it wasn't too bad. I'll remember the paths, places, mornings, and conversations for a very long time.

The ending. The beautiful ending. I can see why people don't like it, it's so real. No fireworks (well, the setting and environment were very powerful), just a reminder. But if it didn't break your heart just a little bit, you don't have one. If you want a fairy tale ending, don't play this. If you want a luke warm ending, maybe play this. If you're ready for feels, play this. Still not as heavy as Spoorloos, my goodness that ending almost killed me.

If I knew it would be this good, I would have bought it for more money. And now I'll need to watch some otters to cheer up and then go to bed :)

Sunday, 29 March 2020

Gurk

My life didn't change very much since the "incident" has slowly progressed engulfed most of the world, however it is lonely at work from time to time. One great way to combat that is to exercise my nerdy hobbies, and one reoccurring is keyboarding. I never quite liked my Let's Split, I like things simple and small, and it was larger than I thought plus I don't really like split keyboards I suppose.

So after that weakly dramatic intro, let's continue where the previous post left off:


Specs, again:

  • Standard green Gherkin kit.
  • No LEDs.
  • Kailh Box Pink.
  • MDA Pineapple PBT.
As always I was in great pain for several weeks trying to decide what and which and why. I was thinking that non-green PCBs would be neat, but decided finally it has to be green since it's a Gherkin. No LEDs because that's just annoying; I want a functional small great keyboard that's nice to look at, not a disco machine. Kailh Box Pink because I wanted something modern and light that's fun to type on with my weak nerd hands. And a very colourful keycap set to cheer me up every time I look at it. Shiny black SA with white print would have been great too, but I'm perfectly happy with my choice. I accidentally put both pin headers for the Pro Micro on the wrong side of the PCB, that lost me quite a bit of time. In the end, I got a keyboard better than I had imagined.

My thoughts, which might even be considered a review:
I don't see the point with going with 40% keyboards, just go straight for 30% and experience utopia. It's much nicer than my enormous Let's Split. Both need layers anyhow, even my 60% HHKB Pro 2 has an Fn key. One day I'll file down the pins on the Pro Micro, find shorter M2 brass stand-offs, possibly sunk-head screws and thinner rubber feet, but that's my only complaint. It's also perfect for introducing my thumbs in my typing for moar.
The Kailh Box Pink switches are glorious compared to the Cherry switches I've tried. Personally I could do with slightly lighter springs, but they cannot sell a strength for every taste, that's just silly. Very solid and smooth, and the crisp clicking is wonderful.
The keycaps are lovely, and a perfect match with the green PCBs. They look like candies and I want to eat them. That's good.

Now honestly, the initial reason for green PCBs, Kailh Box Pink rather than Jade, and the Pineapple keycaps, was that they were pretty much the only options available at the time in Europe... Turned out to be the perfect combination, I'm so fortunate :D

Still working on the layout and layers, another few weeks of headache and trial and error... Couldn't be better.

Tuesday, 17 March 2020

Rational panic

Well, what can one say...

Be considerate to others (i.e. make sacrifices to not go out and don't hoard like a retard), don't put yourself above others (anybody can get ill, everybody can spread), and just try to understand how anything spreads (forget cool catch phrases like "exponential growth", just think about the mechanics of how things spread). Shouldn't this be considered reasonable advice, or common sense? Is this what the news tell us, or do they keep rattling on about empty store shelves and how slow western governments are? Fakking keck.

I never noticed the toilet paper apocalypse, since I don't use much. Later pasta, rice, flour, and eventually even lentils (when we get desperate...) were gone in the supermarkets. The corner shop in the village I live in has everything still, seems like people there are more reasonable.

I started cancelling my private travel plans to safe locations in the world already back in early February, meanwhile others went to and returned from hot zones for adventure vacations and fell ill. *sigh* Of course, in crazy international hubs like airports nothing can be considered safe, which is why I didn't go. Business trips, that's where things get a bit more complicated...

So sick of hearing about it from people who know little, so I should stop writing myself :p Very quiet at work, that's the last I'll say.

Gherkin keyboard kit! But what key switches... It's tearing me apart, all the modern ones are so cheap and supposedly rather bad compared to the good old Japanese Alps.

It's almost summer here some days, I even go outside from time to time when the sun is out.

EDIT 2020-03-21: Online streaming must be seeing a surge these days... Green Book was really nice. Got a bit too buttery at parts and gave in to some common dramatic film tropes ("stop the car!" followed by meaningful insight in the rain, meh), so it's not a masterpiece but was a lovely watch. Reminded me of how keeping an open mind, listening, and exposure can really make a difference. There's quite a bit more in there than just social injustice. I was working on something while it started, decided after a bit to leave that and just focus on the film. Oh I forgot, the compositing when he played the piano was pretty horrible, all my years of graphics programming ruined it for me...

Finally ordered stuff for the Gherkin, went for Kailh Box Pink switches and MDA Pineapple PBT keycaps. It hurts to pay, but I keep hearing "money is worth nothing when you're dead" and "0 deepz when you're dead". Was leaning heavily into Cherry browns for a long time, but after some deep delving on yt I changed my mind on some MX clones. Cherry has ended up being too comfortable, and they can afford it. After all, I considered browns first simply from prejudice to be honest. Kailh seems to be have been doing some pretty good stuff in the last few years, at least after some very motivated people got in touch with them. Let's see, there will for sure be photos soon!

Thursday, 6 February 2020

Quality time

Having a week off work, not reading e-mails and having my phone on "do not disturb" so I reply to people only when I feel like it. Lovely idea. Somehow people are fine with me behaving like this, I keep a few slow conversations and have been invited for dinner tomorrow. I know some nice people for sure. Was hoping to do some soul searching for my future, but it doesn't seem to bloom out. I might take a bike ride deep into the forest (the forests here aren't as deep as in Sweden though, so I need to plan ahead) one day and just let my mind travel.

Just watched Porco Rosso since Netflix brought in a small set of the Ghibli films recently, it's the one that I lost on the way somehow. They're all in a league of their own, I'm in such a warm wonderful mood right now. Just like the SW OT, 2001, Blade Runner etc. If only the industry could stop remaking and sequeling and prequeling so we can see good original stuff again. Oh right, I forgot about Joker, that was nice. It's never that simple in the end.

Made a new sourdough starter, goes quick. Bought lots of cheese and pizza toppings, so I'll try sourdough pizza. I should make some sauerkraut too, I've collected a few large glass jars.

Finished the Hobbit last week, not sure what to think. Not as silly as the films which was nice, and I thought the descriptive language was a little vague even though I've heard people think it's too much. I painted some nice views in my head while reading it, that were quite different from the films. But, I didn't learn much about the characters, that bit felt a bit rushed. Again, one must consider that it's a children's book. So, it was nice, not great. I'm currently reading a small book called Omon Ra, lent to me by a co-worker. Russians call it satire, I initially felt it's my stereotypical perception of Russia after having visited the place a few times. The tone is definitely satirical however. Only half-way through and the plan is clear by now, but I have no idea how it's gonna play out, so I should get back to reading it!

We got the full Inky Kraken set for our boat in Sea of Thieves! Taking a break with Deep Rock Galactic right now, the music is so nice. All the mining made me think of 7DTD, I made some proper Moria caves under our bases a couple of times, maybe we'll try that too.

Another two days off, then weekend, then commissioning run and experiment. Four more days to sleep ;)

EDIT 2020-02-08: Omon Ra finished. The ending makes about 50/50 sense, if one takes the whole book into account. I see what the author aimed for, but it's a strange feeling to end on for me. Overall a fun thing to read, if one can stomach some darkness. In contrast, there's a few moments in Black Lagoon that I've been watching recently that's a lot deeper, stuck between all the annoying anime tropes. Perhaps I should actually read some manga, I never tried. Anyways guys (super niche meme), I've acquired a taste for reading, it's like a gentle cleansing workout for the mind, so I'll just keep going at it!

Monday, 6 January 2020

Great start, zozo?

Got woefully ill around the new year, been bed-ridden for a couple of days, even had to re-book my flight down the continent. Things are a lot better today, though I should care that I don't make anything dumb. Two friends with wives came my insignificant hometown for a visit, and I missed them both because I was ill. Drat.

Loving the Kobo Libra, and because I'm odd I took a white one even though everybody else told me to pick black. I thought the white would attract less smudges and white specks of dust. Still I was worried about how much a white bezel would affect my concentration while reading (I'm a pretty bad reader tbh, very little practice...), and it turns out I don't think about it one bit when engrossed. Phew, just need to find good books. Ploughed through the first Sherlock Holmes book, I found it for tree in the Kobo store. Reminded me of how superior the Jeremy Brett version was to all others, and how much better books are overall, the emotional payoff is a lot more meaningful. Then I started with the Hobbit, and truth be told it's a little disappointing. Not sure what I expected, but here's hoping the ring series is really better. Btw I finally know what's hiding in JRR. And on top of that I have some ~20 classical books (all in the public domain!) considered among the best ever, that'll be tough and inspiring. After that I'll consider getting a library card.

Nothing new except for that. Oh right, I forgot, happy 2020! Let's see what Wikipedia has to say about the number 2020... Perfect vision, thanks for reminding me of my rubbish eyes... Hmm, seems to be an exceptionally unremarkable number mathematically, so we'll just have to make it a cool year by other means!

EDIT a little later: A certain person's 250th birthday! Completely forgot... Also, Hobbit isn't really bad, it's better fantasy than any game in the genre (Dark Souls comes close, but it's so dark :p ), and I knew it's supposed to be suitable for children, but constant flashbacks to the films are really annoying. Shouldn't fault the book for that. Let's see, over half-way through!

EDIT even later: Coco started well, Pixar is pretty good with that. Then they have their usual slightly sugary first act which is always annoying, and the plot was not too hard to disentangle (although I never do that, it was just too clear this time). Then the film became really great for the second half. Best Pixar film in a long while. Could be due to some sentimental values from the great Grim Fandango... Still, personally I feel that the surreal emotional world in the best Japanese animated films is in a higher league, I'm still trying to figure out what it is. It's somehow akin to books, whereas Western media slams the emotion buttons at the right times. In any case, it's nice to feel.