Weekly linkage

Just a couple this week. It feels like everyone’s quiet on the blagowubs lately.

  • Giving Away, Not Selling, My Stuff – So very timely for me. I sold the desk, but clothes, stuff… I just gave it away. I, too, am lousy about getting mail out and keeping up with stuff like listings. I just want it gone, and the money was spent and gone years ago (generally).
  • Vince Vaughn Responds to the Gay Joke in The Dilemma Controversy – Vaughn says, "Drawing divided lines over what we can and cannot joke about does exactly that; it divides us. Most importantly, where does it stop?" But the issue isn't what you should and shouldn't joke about. The issue is the use of the word "gay" in a derogatory fashion. The joke wasn't subverting that use.

Crocheting and Knitting: Having the MIPS

Um, that’s more this kind of MIPS, not that.

More like a Triple "Threat" than a Triple Treat.I haven’t been a heavy crocheter since shortly after I left teaching in early 2008, but way back then, I started a blanket. It’s a gorgeous design, and I picked the colors based on the decor of a friend’s house. I don’t keep up with him anymore–and he’s married, so no telling what his house is like these days–but I still love the blanket. It’s wide: wider than 6 feet, which makes doing each row a painfully long endeavor.

My favorite times to crochet (and knit, whatever) are when I’m watching television or on long car rides. Unfortunately (or fortunately), I’ve been wrapped up in a lot of computer-based volunteer work, which means my television time is spent on my netbook. In cleaning out my former office for our upcoming roommate, though, I tidied up all my yarn. I found the 10 skeins of midnight blue yarn for the cable-knit afghan I was going to make my father (I didn’t end up with very usable cable needles, alas), the little purple baby blanket that only needs about 5 repeats of its purl/knit checkered pattern to be done, and all my thick wool squares (presumably to be quilted into an afghan).

Continue reading Crocheting and Knitting: Having the MIPS

Chapter 12 of Witches Posted

From her spaying in 2008.
From her spaying back in 2008.
Happy Friday! I present to you Chapter 12 of the Witches of Ming Ung, “Making Peace“:

Hardi scoffed. “Give it up. Give us the antidote. They’ll get you eventually, and another ten thousand people might be dead in the meantime.”

His jaw set, but he didn’t say anything.

“I’ve got a deal for you…” taunted Hardi.

I want to go home and play with my computer now.

I’m a Betazoid Scientist!

Too bad I haven’t figured out how to use my science skills yet…

I tried my hand at the Star Trek MMO Saturday night as I was avoiding standing up, sitting down, or walking up and down the stairs in our house. I generally stay away from MMOs: I don’t like internet video game people, I’m prone to throwing myself into video games for hours, and MMOs seem to be geared towards grinding. Greg’s explanation–and this makes sense–is that it’s a server resource necessity to try to lock people up in personal instances of the game (dungeons, etc.) instead of in the shared world. (Edit: Two different issues, per Greg’s comment.)

I went into Star Trek cold, having read a few reviews but no guides to character building or game play. This may be the cause of some of my problems with the game.

I didn’t get a major grind feel from Star Trek in the couple of hours I played, but I also didn’t get a feel that the gameplay was much more advanced than A Final Unity: fly around in awkward battles; receive awkward, under-clued missions; run around awkwardly on planets.

That said, I still want to give the demo a couple more hours of play to see if there’s anything more. Wandering around in the Earth starbase, I watched as people chatted about how much the game sucks and they’re about to cancel their accounts, the game’s going to fail after another 8 months, etc. Do people do that in WoW?

Aside from the starbase chatter, I felt like I was completely alone in the game. All my officers are NPCs (don’t know if that’s normal), and no one’s randomly attacked me while I was shooting down Borg. I’m okay with that.

So far, though, all I’ve done is fight. It’s a rare thing for me to want puzzles in a game, but I made a science officer, dammit.

I’m not sure what a lot of things in the game are for, like Kits. They give me stuff that I don’t get to use. Why do I have a science office slot on my bridge… when I’m a floppy-armed, prancing science officer myself? Do I really need to pick these bridge people carefully?

So far there’s nothing to investigate, and the few anomalies I find that I can scan have an absolutely ridiculous game mechanic. You have about 5 seconds to match the waveforms of the item to unlock some info, and it’s a dumb mouse interface that requires clicking up-down-left-right buttons to change the amplitude and period of the wave form. By the time I get my mouse on the controls and process what I need to do, the damn thing is gone and I apparently need to find a major research facility to figure out what some be-boop (rock, mineral, whatever) is.

Using up skill points is confusing, too. It’s unclear if there are “levels” to each skill or what exactly the numerical bonuses are adding to. I don’t see a clear strategy to point distribution, because I don’t foresee an end goal: I don’t know what my character could possibly become, so I can’t plan for any eventuality.

It’ll get about two more hours of my attention, if the demo doesn’t cap me before that.