Tuesday, 25 August 2020

Back in business

Fun time over, time to work- erm, to have more fun?

Planned to buy something for a friend of mine since he drove to and from Stockholm so that we could hang out with even more friends! Rather small group though, we didn't take any crazy risks given the current situation in the world. All very responsible. Then suddenly the online shop which had the something just up and vanished, strange. Of course, when I don't know what to buy for people, my go-to gift is some paper that I fold a couple of times. He has a few figures already from when we shared a flat at university, but he didn't have a Tomoko Fuse modular thing, so I made this (my mother joined in for some of the folding):

Making two connections (the orange thingies) between the cubes at the same time while keeping the paper in pristine shape without visible creases is sweet pain, but that also has its charms. Oh btw, the cubes are some 9 x 6 = 54 pieces of paper and the connections 10 x (3 + 3) = 60 (each connection needs 2 types of folds, 3 of each type), for a total of... 114 pieces of paper. The largest modular thing I've made is, hmm, (10 + 10 + 6) x 3 + (11 + 11 + 6) x (2 + 2) + 6 x 3 = 208 pieces of paper. No photo, use your imagination. I should probably make something bigger than the two decorative boxes to the hosts too, didn't expect all the stuff they had in store for the weekend, for the next visit mayhaps.

Cannot wait to play the violin here, but gonna wait until the shop downstairs is closed... I'd like to be a considerate tenant.

Enough, let's have an evening.

Tuesday, 4 August 2020

Go go go

Traveling in these times is very much like before, I was expecting more hassle at the airport. I don't know about other flights, but people just wouldn't keep the distance at the gate no matter how much the staff begged everybody, even though they decided to board three groups at once... What were they expecting. Oh well, what can one do, I decided to stay back since I was anyhow on the first row so I should really get on late. Yay, business class, the food which I shouldn't get in these times was really underwhelming and that was about it. To continue on the previous thread, I never understood why people cram themselves into the plane, I'd rather stay out of the plane as much as possible which I'm sure I've said in an earlier post. Also, boarding order is a very complex problem that tends to be done best in random order, except in Japan and maybe some similar places. Groups such as families/relatives first, then window seats, then middle, then aisle; the problem is this approach puts some faith in the majority of the passengers which in practice one unfortunately cannot do according to numerous tests :/ Anyway, generalizing and mentioning emergent behaviour in people is considered unethical and immoral so I better stop.

Went to the forest today to look for mushrooms, found a few, but my parents found "a lot". Bit dry even with all the rain that supposedly has been falling here. Later I went for a bikeride in Alandsryd, there was an MTB SM there some years ago and I finally tried what was left of the trail. Fun, I've missed MTB:ing. The trail started and stopped intermittently though, so it was difficult to keep going.

So, every paragraph is related to the title in several ways, and here are two more topics: go in Japanese is five, and I've been studying some Japanese recently, currently memorizing the radicals for kanji and some basic characters. All the readings, ugh. Plus, after the MTB tour, the scales at home flipped between 55.4 and 55.6 kg, so that's maybn 55.5 kg? Tada. Being fat might be annoying and carry some stigma, but losing weight without noticing is scary as hell. My tummy hurt so much after lunch, I made the mistake to tell my mother :p

I better continue being lazy at home...

Friday, 17 July 2020

Bibs and bots

Title alludes to nothing.

No mandatory quarantine in Germany for travelers from Sweden any longer, yay, finally I can take vacation. Business ticket was cheaper than economy one way, so I'll have a crack at that. Biz was actually less expensive the other way, but then economy was even cheaper. I shouldn't get used to extravagant luxury anyhow, it's not my calling.

Why haven't I been making kefir earlier... In Sweden one buys it in 1L nicely disposable cartons just like milk. I've only been able to find kefir in smallish plastic cups or yoghurt in 1L plastic buckets here in Germany, so I stayed clear. Well, buy kefir once, keep a couple of spoons of it at the end, add milk, let stand warm for a day, and poof, 1 L of kefir. Life is too easy sometimes. I should bring one type I like from home.

I haven't done much (any?) origami lately, but I challenge myself from time to time, because it's still very relaxing. I need some external motivation these days, too bad. So, I was invited to a 4th of Juli celebration and I made this for the occasion:

I didn't have time to treat it with methylcellulose so the body and legs ended up rather flimsy and wild, and the wings came out at the wrong height. I saw this model many years ago (Eagle v.2 by Nguyen Hung Cuong) and I've wanted to try it for a long time, so that's that one.

Bourree and Gigue are now mostly in my memory, so I'm working on them without having to stare at a book. I'm getting rather used to the E major scale, it doesn't take a complete paradigm shift in my mind to change to it any more. Some scales still help. Adagio is something else though, so many more techniques to get in place. I almost, almost cheated and went for bars 132..209 in the Chaconne, but I may not touch that yet, I'm not worthy. Adagio first, then...

EDIT 2020-07-18 00:42: Oh right, I started to watch Dark after a recommendation. I heard some time ago that someone else in the physics community had to stop watching because it was too wrong on certain touchy topics. Well, yeah, save for some really boring films/series that will always be the case for someone. So, I went in with an open mind, and imho somewhere between Stranger Things and Dark would be the perfect show of this kind. I liked the slick flow and production of Stranger Things season 1, but I prefer the more personal perspective in Dark, although many of the characters are a bit thin. Worst is the pacing and structure, they're a little weird. Great to see more of this stuff, and glad to see it's popular. And even though the writers seem to have foregone physics consultants, it's a lot better than Big Bang Theory which does get the physics right, however everything else in that show is hot steaming poo poo. Finally, I'm also glad to have learnt that the yt film reviewers I like are not over the moon with Blade Runner 2049, because outside of its technical implementations it doesn't have much. I wonder how long that 24 hour podcast will take me (yeah, I listen to the long men, blessed by the Don himself).

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.