Jon, Dan, Derrick, and I took a trip to Park City. After considerable research, it appeared Snowbird would have been the preferred resort (acreage, conditions) but has a small and expensive inventory of on-site accommodations. To add to that, many of the ski areas have insane rental tax rates. Who would have thought Park City would be the more reasonably-priced option (for a ski-in/ski-out trip plan).
Jon found us a two bedroom basement a couple blocks from the lifts. It had a clean sauna and a grimy hot tub.
The interior was a bit cozy and dank, but it worked.
The first day was all about incessant rain. We got a few runs in, came back drenched, and then did a short afternoon session.
Day two was quite a bit different. Soft snowfall most of the day, very little wind, excellent conditions. We went all over the mountain and had a blast. Jon-video incoming.
The flights were pretty easy. Kansas and 'Nova kept winning, so my brackets are still good. And we had frozen pizza, pizza rolls, and takeout pizza all for the same meal.
Back home there's been some rain as well. Jes and I hiked though the mud to Strauss for a low key St. Patty's evening. The place was actually hosting an event - a PTA fundraiser - so we made a donation and hung out on the vacant patio.
Kafka got a plate full of chicken from one of the caterers, I think it made getting rained on worthwhile.
Track work shut down the train to OC, so I had a rainy drive taking Browe up to meet friends at Disneyland. It's fun to take the 3000GT out in inclement weather.
The new Lolbaters (gaming crew) choice is Sea of Thieves. Turns out it's for Windows 10 only and I'm on 7 (and am quite happy where things stand). The options were:
Buy a $250 (regular high def) or $400 (4k) xbox one for this game, then spend $60 on it and $60 for a year of online play.
Upgrade to Win10. It's free but you lose your license to Win7, which I prefer.
Dual boot Win7 and Win10.
The third option seemed like a winner. The standard direction to go with this would be to choose OS in grub or whatever. But my Win7 partition is on a 250GB SSD, so putting another OS on there might make things cramped. So I was already in for another hard drive, but Amazon had some decent clearance pricing on that same 250GB drive.
So, what if I had a Win7 SSD and a Win10 SSD. I could just plug power in to whichever SSD I wanted to boot to. Not great if I'm swapping between OSes frequently, but reasonable for a weekly gaming session.
It actually gets simpler, there's a HDD power switch front panel device.
So for $90 (SSD) + $30 (switch) + $90 (Win10), I get to play Sea of Thieves. Well, and if it's a terrible game, I have a second/backup OS install that will run whatever doesn't work on Win7.
I had to get under the hood of the rig to get this done. It had a bunch of leftover components (cough, floppy drive) that were unplugged and unused. Lots more space now.
The switch lights are unnecessarily bright. Luckily my case has a door, otherwise I would have needed to use electrical tape.
Sea of Thieves
We've gotten in about a session and a half of Sea of Thieves. The experience has been fun, but it's far too early to get a good idea of the game's quality.
The long and short of it is you form a crew of 1-4 scallywags and either hunt for treasure (missions, scouring the world) or engage in some pvp ship-on-ship battle.
The map is a fairly dense collection of islands, colonies, and rocky outcroppings.
The combat and teamwork elements really put the gameplay on a different plane. Some team games just give you an anonymous squad who really only affects you based on its collective skill level. MOBAs assign duties based on character class and it's quite rigid. Sea of Thieves is different - it requires a team effort just to get around effectively.
For starters, handling the ship is a task. The helmsman is looking directly into a sail, so you can forget about navigating easily (at full sail) without a spotter on voice comms. The galleon has three sails that can be adjusted to wind direction and desired speed. The map is below decks. And if something goes wrong, someone has to run below and patch the ship.
It's fun though, and rewarding to get it right. At least with a crew of friends.
Of course, if handling the ship isn't trivial you can bet combat is an adventure. Ship combat adds the elements of using the cannons, repairing damage, and sending/repelling boarders. The Lolbater crew was 1-for-2 in our maiden voyage, but the ship we lost to was way, way more skilled than us.
For the first engagement, we headed for their stern while the crew was on a nearby island questing. As they saw us and hurried back, we dropped the anchor alongside them and loosed our first broadside. Our inexperienced crew then fell into disarray with some 'baters boarding and others trying to maintain fire. Luckily the other crew was just as disorganized. They managed to hoist their anchor and make a run for it, but Corey and I did the same and finished them off when one of our boarding party respawned on the ship.
We tried the same maneuver once again. This time, however, we dropped the anchor too early and had no guns tracking their ship. They hit us with a few broadsides but we somehow managed to get the anchor up and escape. They pursued and we knew we were outmatched. We swung around a rock outcropping and dropped anchor hoping to catch them as they came by. But they were wise to it and came around the other side and out of our firing arc. A few good cannon shots had us sinking with a crew in the respawn zone. At least we had no booty to be taken.
If all else fails you can climb into the crow's nest with some ale and watch a sunset.
I got the tool storage backer board with magnetic strips up. I applied the tar sealer stuff to the new pours for both that section and the crate storage area.