Wednesday, September 3, 2014


The weather hates me. We've finished the sanding despite the weather. But now we need enough sunlight to dry out the wood, and then enough sunlight to cure the two coats of paint required to finish the deck. For the last few weeks and the foreseeable future we get maybe enough for one but not the other. Right now the deck is dry, but there is rain and storms in the forecast for the next three days. Then there are two days with sunshine... and then more rain. Worst case we'll rip the darn deck out and set up a stepladder. So that's gnawing at the back of my mind.

Then there's the cryptic good news from last post. The news shall remain cryptic for now, but steps are being taken. Steps that should help confirm that the news is actually good news and not just good news because of its potential (and our hopes) that it is good.

When we first got the house we took one of those "What Breed is Right for You?" Quizzes online. We're both pretty sure that we want a dog in our lives. The quiz came up with a breed called the Wire-haired Pointing Griffon. Which was great up until we started seeing more and more Corgi pics and videos. They are freaking adorable dogs. Now it looks like one of the local kennels has a Corgi puppy and is testing our willpower.

Why did I label this post "Anxiety?" Because I'm feeling it. There's so much in flux right now. Global politics are a mess. Global economies are rebalancing and shifting. The environment seems on the cusp of... something. Stress is high. Desperation is high. It seems more and more likely that someone is going to push for an endgame rather than coasting along until the future happens. I'll grant that this seems to be a repeating theme these last few decades, but it feels so much more immediate in this world with near instant communication. And that's just the faint background noise for my own personal issues.

Possibly more on that as I get time. For the moment though? Minecraft just launched version 1.8, and I've been spending time with a modpack version called Direwolf20 which is running on a much older version. I'm enjoying the mods a lot, but it makes it a much different game. In hindsight I kind of regret picking such an ambitious package of changes. There are hundreds of new recipes for conflicting, duplicating, parallel devices. So far I've encountered three different 'power' models that are not directly compatible with each other. I won't embarrass myself by trying to list them here, but basically a lot of my confusion with the various added items was alleviated when I focused on two or three core packs. This makes me think that maybe I should just start a new server with just those packs installed so I don't have to fight the clutter of all the extra stuff that I'll probably never touch. The mods I'm actively trying to work with: BuildCraft, Ars Magica 2, Thaumcraft (not as much though since I've explored that one independent of this pack), Forestry, and IndustrialCraft2.
I also found a PortalGun in a dungeon chest it is my new favorite thing. It works just like the portal device in the game Portal. Which means it breaks the game a little but in a great way! Point the gun at a wall and right-click to create a red portal. Then point the gun at a wall anywhere else and left-click to create a yellow portal. Going through one instantly teleports you to the other. It took me a while to recognize the full potential of this. Going on exploration runs is hard. Limited inventory space means that you're constantly balancing picking up something new and dropping something you might need. With the portal gun you can pop one portal in your base, and then just pop the exit portal wherever you happen to be! No more spending the twilight rushing together a hasty shelter in the dirt to huddle in for the 9 minute night cycle. Portal. Sleep in your base. Empty your backpack, top off your food and torches and portal right back to where you left off! Like I said, it breaks the game a bit, but now I also don't have to commit several gaming sessions to finding the biomes that spawn the materials I need to progress. Something as simple as a chicken or carrot can take in-game weeks to locate if the random generator gods are not smiling.

I'm having fun, and using the 'down' time to keep building my own world and catch up on podcasts.

I've set myself a bit of a coding challenge and I want to see if I can follow through with it. But more on that later.

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