Storypost | 2009.10.25


So the little one had is first birthday this weekend. Cuteness abounded, and was equilibrated that night when his pops and friends went to see Zombieland. Great movie, I'd recommend it to anyone. It's funny, gruesome, and doesn't try to shoehorn too much meaning into a horror/comedy hybrid.

Fence pool leaves

After a year of skimming, I've put up a net to catch most of the leaves upwind of the pool.

Deck cable sheer support

I bolted a steel cable to opposite ends of the deck to manage shear forces, but lacking help I haven't been able to tension it yet.

Shower copper green studs

I pulled the rest of the drywall and plywood super-subfloor. Beneath that was some very thin acrylic that can stay. It's all been green sealed. Capping the shower revealed that the leak, it was at the soldered section at the topmost L-bend.

Shower insulation studs

The interior walls weren't insulated, I took the opportunity to amend this for thermal and acoustic reasons. Small spaces were filled with foam, as was the area surrounding pipes since I hear the foam is superior to fiberglass.

Shower tile sketch idea body sprays

So I'm thinking a main shower head aimed at 45 degrees so I'm not right next to the wall with six feet of unused bathroom space. The new wall should make plumbing the thing a bit easier; more space for the extra knobs and piping required for side sprayers.

Storypost | 2009.10.22

Jack o lanterns Trogdor pumpkin drinking beer

Shower teardown

Storypost | 2009.10.21

Nikon Nikkor 20mm

My 20mm f/2.8 came today, the one with the 62mm diameter. Doctor Daddy wants me to shoot his kid's first birthday party and the 50mm and 105mm won't cut it. The plan is to foreshorten the crap out of them (below) so they all look like bobbleheads. That's cute, right?

Dog weimaraner

The 20 will likely be my default lens, good for shooting renovations, people, and events.

Fiberglass shower insert teardown

Speaking of renovations, I've started on the fiberglass insert in the master bathroom. Jon and I learned form the first one that you want to detach the edges first since they're the most solid parts. Though you still have to rip it apart, piece by piece.

Dog weimaraner yard

I've cleared the rocks out of the top terrace, irrigated it, and tossed on some seeds.

Grass terraces yard pool

The middle terrace is still greenifying. Also I've patched the various holes made from reducing electrical boxes and carelessness.

Dom Perignon

Monday is the day one at work. There was some casual celebration.

Toyota FT86 concept stylized

My next vehicle is going to be a truck. But that's only cause the ft86 is a year away. That'll round out the dream stable: Italian sport bike, high power tourer, beater truck, and light rwd with low miles.

Fantasy football

This week is my first head to head with Jon. He was apparently so overcome with confidence in seeing the schedule that he drafted two kickers with the same bye week. He's either still optimistic or unwilling to spend $5 on a trade.

Said by R:

'... and then let me homestead on your land.'

Normally I outro with a cute puppy photo, but I found something cuter.

Preview | 2009.10.14

Xbox360 wheel driving rig Gulf livery

Forza 3 arrives in two weeks. Now that I have a fully adjustable driving seat (next love sac goes in the GTO), I needed to fashion a new wheel-bracing mechanism. The double door hinge design provides great rotation resistance and a high degree of adjustibility.

Xbox360 wheel driving love sac dog

Xbox wheel dog lovesac

Review | 2009.10.09


So Bungie finished their contribution to the Halo series and did the dreaded franchise handoff. This has led to the titles Halo Wars and Halo ODST. After Dan came down again I had a jones for more shooter action so I picked up the recent release. As expected, it plays pretty much the same as the last three with minor visual tweaks and new features.

The last game succeeded throwing action at you in a crescendo/decrescendo fashion, everything contributed to the mood. You knew from the music, the scenery, and the dialogue when to expect wandering and when to expect a scarab assault. ODST takes a stab at this, but doesn't accomplish it so smoothly - it fluctuates between Resident Evil and choppy, unpredictable action.

ODST's win comes from the set piece battles that are replayable in the team survival mode that I have yet to try (having no team). Maybe tonight intermixed with Beatles.

It's good and faithful/identical to the franchise, but some of the liberties taken by the designers don't work as well as others.

Sins of a Solar Empire screenshot

Also I've spent some time with a 2008 release, Sins of a Solar Empire. Hailed as the epic-est strategy game ever, I like their attempt to make Rebellion right and, to paraphrase their mantra, create a strategy game that doesn't base success on how fast you can click the mouse.
It's grandiose, with culture, resources, economics, tech, tactics, experience, topography, and the lot. It seems like everything, however, is a means to create the big fleet that you will need to win. This stands in contrast to Civ, for example, where you can succeed as an isolationist until the game ends.

But, like I said, it seems everything comes down to a large clash of fleets. This might be cool in most cases - it worked well when I played on the small map. But my two medium map games resulted in a fighting stalemate where I had enough resources to defend my planet but the ai could not be diminished. This owes in part to the number of tiny ships in its fleet and its ability to easily focus firepower while I had to do lots of clicking to send everybody after a particular target. To make matters worse, my ally kept announcing reinforcements had arrived - in the form of one or two light frigates.

The action leading up to this endless frustration is enough to let me give it a few more tries, but if every match is similarly predestined, it'll be a bitter end - like the pointy side of a Novalith Cannon.

thumbnail Sins of a Solar Empire novalith cannon thumbnail Sins of a Solar Empire planet culture thumbnail Sins of a Solar Empire fleet battle thumbnail Sins of a Solar Empire asteroid resources thumbnail Sins of a Solar Empire map
thumbnail Sins of a Solar Empire battleship experience thumbnail Sins of a Solar Empire fleet combat thumbnail Sins of a Solar Empire technology tree

Futurama wild green yonder

I finally saw the last of the Futurama movies, Into the Wild Green Yonder. Excellent. The previous ones either had a muddled story, subpar slapstick, or sparing use of the characters' entertaining personalities. This one succeeds at all three.

Bacon gorgonzola burger onions grill

Bacon gorgonzola barbecue burger gets an A+.

Grass terraces yard

The grass is coming along.

Plants driveway