2018.03.07

Altered Carbon Takeshi Kovacs Hello Unicorn backpack
Murder room

Murder room cinder block tool storage concrete pour

Not too much progress on the garage annex. I did a final concrete pour on the tool storage area. The magnetic backer board isn't really a thing, instead it will be plywood with strips of magnets for holding wrenches, screwdrivers, and such.

Murder room concrete pour cinder blocks renovation shelving storage

Another layer of concrete and cinder blocks on the middle-of-the-room section. This will have paint buckets and plastic bins with car parts, low-use tools, and the like.

Termite damage in stained pressure treated wood cross section

If anyone ever tells you pressure treated wood is termite-proof...
Monster Hunter World

Monster Hunter World screenshot Zorah ships cave

Working my way through MHW. Once you open high rank content, the amount of stuff to do, craft, collect, etc. increases dramatically. It'd be overwhelming if it felt necessary. Not that all the game activities seem extraneous, they just can be consumed without interrupting the main task of, well, monster hunting...

Monster Hunter World screenshot trophy death begets life does it though whaling

... which has an eerie similarity to the Japanese whaling business. Am I really doing ecological work by hunting large animals and profiting off of their parts?

Monster Hunter World screenshot smithy armor set Aloy

At least Aloy hunted hostile machines (seriously, most times creatures in MHW are docile until you attack them). Maybe when I unlock her skin I can set these fifth fleet guys straight.

Monster Hunter World screenshot canon loading simulator gameplay

I'm a little relieved that we drove Zora Magdaros into the ocean because, well, the Zora missions were basically thirty minutes of carrying cannonballs while hunter captain shouts about how high the drama is.


But context and annoying bits aren't a huge deal. The game has interesting bosses that take preparation and dedication to defeat. And cooperative multiplayer.

Monster Hunter World screenshot rath
Real estate photography

Room photography fill flash before after long shutter technique real estate

Chase is renting his apartment and wanted some shots for the listing. It's probably obvious, but the best combination is long exposure + flash. The left images are 1/250 with bounced flash. Then my tripod arrived and I did 1/8 or so with flash to fill dark spots. Aside from taking advantage of warmer, sofer light, the blown out windows seem to add to the appeal.

Room photography fill flash before after long shutter
Site updates

Finished:
There's plenty more to come if time allows.
Altered Carbon

Altered Carbon intro snake angel lady

A little while back I saw a preview for Altered Carbon and got really excited - it looked really Blade Runner-esque and streaming services are doing a pretty good job with content. I cooled a little bit when I learned a little more and it seemed to following the trend of being unnecessarily misleading and twisting. I like a complicated plot, but purposefully misleading viewers is an overused tactic.

Altered Carbon bar Takeshi Kovacs Reileen Kawahara

As a fan of dystopian scifi, I dig the universe of this show. Premise alert: in the future our consciousnesses live in a piece of hardware (a 'stack') that can be implanted in whatever body you can afford. This allows for gory storytelling without necessary character loss, but everyone is as vulnerable as their stack - unless they are wealthy enought to have regular remote backups.

Altered Carbon fight announcer

The theme of severe economic stratification is prevalent and the underclasses are as vicious as brutal as in any scifi future. There's some dabbling in AI and interplanetary travel, though the latter seems to mismatch the level of technology seen on earth.

Altered Carbon interrogation room

It's ultimately a story about a reluctant badass whose past and present result in him getting his ass kicked a lot. So not exactly new ground here.

Altered Carbon CTAC assault

There's a lot of Matrix/Equilibrium-type action. It's well done, even if they fall into the trope of having a spiritual leader/zen master who can dodge bullets and catch knives because they know thineself. The fact that everyone's trying to kill the protagonist for reasons unrelated to the main plot arc means that the story develops fairly slowly.

Altered Carbon bridge scene

The settings are pretty diverse - you don't only see one or two futuristic undercity streets.

Altered Carbon virtual reality photo filter

The seldom-featured vr world is, well, a really crappy photoshop filter.

Altered Carbon virtual reality world cheesy photoshop filter
Academy of Cheese

Wine charcuterie board tasting cheese

Jes and I did the Venissimo Academy of Cheese: cheese, wine, and a pairing - in this case, sausages. It was delicous.

Venissimo Academy of Cheese tasting Liberty Station
Fallout board game

Fallout board game hex tiles

While Bethesda has been porting Skyrim to every platform known to man, Fantasy Flight ported their other flagship title to the tabletop. The gaming crew is just a few turns in, but it's a very faithful adaptation of the game. If Piper makes an appearance I may have to turn it into a legacy game.
AirBnB

And I ragequit AirBnB. I went to book a place for the first night of Superbike and they asked me for a government ID. Okay, I guess, I had one on hand and I guess a credit card isn't identifying enough. Then they wanted a photo too, I guess, corroborate the photo ID. Like what? Well, the only options were to take a photo using a browser (not an option as I don't have a webcam) or to take it using the app (recommended btw!!!). Nah, I don't want your shitty app.

This saga landed me at their updated privacy policy which looked basically like "we do what we want". Nah. I didn't even check for mandatory binding arbitration.

I still wanted the place I had found though, so why not be hypocritical just this once? I tried to use Jes's login (with her consent, more or less), which they wanted to confirm via one of three methods:
The third one didn't work out and we're not sure why. But yeah, I'm amenable to an alternative service at this point.