2022.09.25

Blue Angels Miramar air show September 2022 skyline palm trees

Danielle is into planes right now so I took her to see the Blue Angels. I brought along the 500mm since, you know, when you have a telephoto, everything is far away.

This wouldn't be an unreasonable time to point out an unexplained feature of this site: the [+] next to each month shows all images at full res and no words. No disrespect to thumbnails, but they kind of make all the photos look the same.

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thumbnail Blue Angels Miramar air show September 2022
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thumbnail Blue Angels Miramar air show September 2022
thumbnail Blue Angels Miramar air show September 2022 thumbnail Blue Angels Miramar air show September 2022 palm tree thumbnail Blue Angels Miramar air show September 2022
thumbnail Blue Angels Miramar air show September 2022 thumbnail Blue Angels Miramar air show September 2022 thumbnail Blue Angels Miramar air show September 2022
thumbnail Blue Angels Miramar air show September 2022 thumbnail Blue Angels Miramar air show September 2022 dive thumbnail Blue Angels Miramar air show September 2022 thumbnail Blue Angels Miramar air show September 2022 thumbnail Blue Angels Miramar air show September 2022
thumbnail Blue Angels Miramar air show September 2022 thumbnail Blue Angels Miramar air show September 2022 thumbnail Blue Angels Miramar air show September 2022
thumbnail Blue Angels Miramar air show September 2022 thumbnail Blue Angels Miramar air show September 2022 thumbnail Blue Angels Miramar air show September 2022

The polarizer was great here. I probably should have tried dragging the shutter on a few of these. Btw none of these are cropped, the mild visual artifacts and color stepping are jpg stuff.



2022.09.20

PC build motherboard transfer

Video games, wood preservation, PC hardware, and a quick trip to Las Vegas. Read on.
How to defeat Archon Nihr (gameplay spoilers)

Across the Obelisk Archon Nihr death helmet jewel

Last time I had gotten as far as the Void on AtO. Having now completed the game on normal and two insanity levels, here are some late game boss spoilers that might help advise squad building.

Void

Across the Obelisk final void map

The Void (final map x2) is uniquely challenging, even the minions can melt your tank down and destroy your back line with dark explosions. Still, there isn't really a trick to these guys; you just need characters with a sufficient amount of minmaxing.

Dawn/Dusk

Across the Obelisk Dawn Dusk Sylvie Rapid Fire
These guys wait at the end of the first floor to test your DPS.

Dawn and Dusk (no relation) can be very difficult if your don't have a lot of offensive power.
The caveat to that last point is that they alternate putting up a powerful counterattack if you do damage past their shield. So on every turn you want to damage one and deplete the shield on the other (with enough buffer that your pets don't trigger the counter).

Lord Hanshek

Across the Obelisk Lord Hanshek Sylvie sharp build Sharpening Knife
There are a few mechanics that counter sharp, but imho it is the best ability to maximize.

The evil wizard guy summons 'shadow clones' on his first turn and it's not immediately obvious that he does this only once. It becomes quickly obvious that they give him a lot of heals, so they have to die first.

Hanshek deals a lot of damage and curses, so it's important to have dispels. The only tactical caveat (other than prioritizing his clones) is that his clones purge player buffs. So your thorn and regen stacks are largely wasted until the clones are gone.

Across the Obelisk Lord Hanshek Shadow Bolt
Zero sympathy for the pet killer.

Archon Nihr

Across the Obelisk Hanshek Nihr

Throughout your run you'll encounter enemies that totally subvert one of your build focuses. Immunity to a damage type, aura stealing, shield dispel - stuff like that. Archon Nihr brings a bunch of reverse uno cards that sadly limit viable builds when you have the endgame in mind.
Across the Obelisk Archon Nihr Doom

These nasty abilities accompany normal boss stuff; Nihr tanky, with lots of health and dispel. He summons Zombie Hanshek who players should prioritize. Nihr cycles elements and curses every turn, as you would expect from the final boss. And he introduces a new mechanic, Doom, that puts you on an instadeath clock.

Across the Obelisk Archon Nihr Martyrdom Doom

You can push the clock back by playing a mildly-painful, deck-polluting Martyrdom card. These nestle into your deck with all the Sad cards he tosses in there. Oh yeah, and both of these are vanish cards so see the first bullet above.

Across the Obelisk Archon Nir death scene
Say what you will about Archon Nihr, at least he didn't kill anyone's pet.

thumbnail Across the Obelisk Archon Nihr Zek deaths embrace thumbnail Across the Obelisk Archon Nihr divine punishment thumbnail Across the Obelisk Archon Nihr Shadow Awakening
How to preserve wood


Me
I'd already hit all the wood with a water-based stain/sealer, but looked around online for other views on wood preservatives. Somebody mentioned that the home remedy of using motor oil to treat wood probably isn't the safest option...

I was, of course, familiar with pressure treated wood and retroactively adding copper green to regular lumber. Online woodworkers seemed to point to boiled linseed oil as a safe alternative to 10w-30

Following up on the above-excerpted post, Rob sent me this video on shou sugi ban:

Wikipedia By slightly charring the surface of the wood without combusting the whole piece, the wood becomes water-proof through the carbonisation and is thus more durable. It also protects against insects, as well as making the wood fire retardant.

Here are some stills, but the video is really short so check it out:

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thumbnail Shou Sugi Ban wood preservation how-to video
How to manage a bunch of hard drives

PC build Fractal Design R5 hard drive bays Corsair RM750 ssd

Earlier this month I posted about changing out my power supply and then case. I'm happy to say the R5 storage solution is great in theory and in practice.

PC build Fractal Design R5 hard drive ssd sata back plane

Wires tuck into the backplane and there's enough slack for my hard drive switch to connect without hassle.
How to do a 40th birthday

Top Golf Las Vegas birthday cake

The marathon of 40th birthdays continues, this time in Vegas for some Top Golf and a lot of pickleball.

thumbnail Southwest plane seat front row Nintendo Switch airport thumbnail Pickleball home court thumbnail Ivanpah solar power plant thumbnail Salton Sea
thumbnail Las Vegas Top Golf thumbnail Las Vegas airport Southwest monorail
How to continue stumbling through Elden Ring

Elden Ring Giants Mountaintop bridge riding moon night

Okay this one isn't a how-to, just some pretty scenery.

thumbnail Elden Ring Morgott sword attack thumbnail Elden Ring Bestial Sanctum Caelid thumbnail Elden Ring Ancestor Spirit moose thumbnail Elden Ring Morgott the Omen King combat hammer
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How to draw The Cool S

Drawing cool s

Step 1: Be cool
Step 2: Draw an S

Terrace play area tricycle swing veranda tree
How to excite your fans

Payday 3 announcement tweet
Heck yes.
How to avoid prison

A little while back, this happened:

Rolling Stone The feds claimed that [Steve] Bannon and his three co-defendants "orchestrated a scheme to defraud hundreds of thousands of donors." While donors were promised that 100 percent of funds raised would go toward border wall construction, they used bogus vendor agreements and fake invoices.

But Trump pardoned Bannon in the final hours of his presidency, seemingly bringing an end to the far right firebrand's legal woes. Kolfage and Badolato, on the other hand, pleaded guilty on April 21, 2022 to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud.

More recently, New York went after Bannon on state charges for the same criminal enterprise. One of his accomplices managed to get a mistrial thusly:

Rolling Stone Shea was the only We Build The Wall defendant to go on trial. The proceedings ended in a mistrial on June 7, 2022, following 11 jurors' allegations that the 12th panelist showed "political bias" and allegedly described the proceedings as a "government witch hunt," The New York Times reported.

Maybe we'll see more jury nullfication in the Bannon proceedings. Maybe others.



2022.09.03

Across the Obelisk burn Inigdoh

In this post:
Across the Obelisk

Across the Obelisk Ylmir tree guard card

Just when I thought I'd played all the Slay the Spire clones, Mark (or someone) mentioned that there was finally(?) a cooperative deckbuilder.

Let's start with the big question: does the genre work as a co-op game? Yes.

90% of hands are pretty straightforward (not uninteresting or untactical) and involve decisions that can be made on the fly, so the downtime between your hands is pretty minimal. There's an obvious exception: if your teammates have no attention span and are watching Pokimane or something between turns, everything slows down. So don't play with people who leave their phone on the table at a nice dinner.

On to the the 'regular' roguelike/deckbuilder elements.

Across the Obelisk void map

Usual stuff: map, paths, battles, loot, encounters, heals, boss, tentacle airship.

Across the Obelisk secret room map Senenthia
It's a secret to everyone.

Across the Obelisk events saving the treants

Encounters have the usual lore and involve dice rolls, skill checks, risks, and rewards.

Across the Obelisk town shops with callouts

Each map starts with a visit to town where two major currencies are exchanged for deck/equipment customizations. I quickly found that equippable items are the cornerstone of any build. E.g. the elf girl has a lot of cards that stack Sharpen (increase a damage type) but these are worthless in the late game without the item that provides bonus stacks.

Across the Obelisk town upgrades

Replayability (which was somewhat missing from the deckbuilders I played recently) comes in a few forms:
Across the Obelisk perks
I had played... a few times before I noticed that there are other perk tabs.

There are also perk points that allow persistent (but reassignable) character customization.

Across the Obelisk level traits Evelyn

Over the course of a run, you level your character and unlock powerful abilities that ideally complement your deck. These go away at the end of the run.

Across the Obelisk emberstorm

Combat isn't unlike other games of the genre; attacks, defenses, buffs, and ailments. There are some clever asymmetrical combinations, e.g. water buffs lightning damage, cold status both increases frost damage and slows.

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Shower cartridge swap

Moen moentrol valve shower assembly diagram

The master bathroom shower developed a slow leak (out of the showerhead with the handle in the off position). I disassembled the control to verify that the handle movement wasn't sticking.

Moen shower cartridge puller

The cartridge didn't come out easily, so I picked up the purposebuilt puller tool along with the replacement cartridge.

Moen shower old new cartridge 1200 comparison Moentrol 3320

The new one has more metal and less plastic. It also uses normal-looking seals rather than that weird halfpipe one. Oh yeah, when I first installed the new cartridge it leaked slowly out the front. I didn't have a good brush for the job, so I taped some sandpaper to a chopstick and scrubbed off the calcification inside the pipe (WD-40 helped). That worked.
PC component swap

Gaming computer wiring cabling Thermaltake sound card

And things kept breaking; my PC suffered a sudden loss of power one night. On subsequent boots it would die just as the fan was spinning up.

I went to swap in my older Corsair 650 power supply and found that the support rail on Steve's Thermaltake case prevented that. That is, it prevented removing the power supply without also removing the motherboard (or cpu/heat sink).

Fractal Design R5 ATX case side open hard drive bays

Since that was really annoying and the hard drive enclosures have started rattling, I decided to move to a Fractal Design R5. What did it for me was the great hard disk access that works well with my hard drive switch (for multi-boot).

Corsair RM750 power supply white

I bought a new 750W Corsair (since the old Corsair one was still going strong and the EVGA one died) in anticipation of a 3080 TI. I am hoping September throws the graphics card market into chaos.
Gloomhaven

Gloomhaven Nightshroud intro

I previous mapped out the scenarios required to complete my Quartermaster's retirement objective of completing three Lingering Swamp scenarios. There were two follow-on scenarios after that, but at last I retired my very Level 9 Quartermaster. Prepared Bee is succeeded by a Nightshroud called Shuriken.
Activities

Battle Mage Brewery tasters beer

I was really impressed by Battle Mage's Divine Light (with Pineapple) but disappointed that the canyon between Belching Beaver and Battle Mage was not traversable.

On the home front, Dani has been into stickers, cooking, and taking her stuffies onto the swing.

thumbnail Battle Mage Brewery table conversation thumbnail Stickers thumbnail Making waffles
thumbnail Wolf stuffy swinging

Guh

SPX index CNBC August 31 2022 guh

The pullback is real and has featured some -2%+ days. Energy has been good, especially with Russia doing "extended maintenance" on their pipelines to Europe.


/u/NumerousAd7185
Jackson Hole to be renamed Jackson Prolapse

I've been bullish on NVDA, especially once the price corrected for the ARM deal falling through. But the hits keep coming.

Bull case for NVDA: they make great AI chips.
Bear case for NVDA: they make great AI chips.

Nvidia more or less held a monopoly on the desktop/workstation GPU market until AMD bought ATI and breathed new life into the Radeon. But they were too good and got ITARed.


/u/PatrickSebast
Biden gonna forgive margin loans too right?

The indieweb

Indieweb rocketink thumbnail
I'm not sure if the crawler didn't load the dynamic content correctly or if the page is meant to be tongue-in-cheek. Either way, this definitely has the Old Web aesthetic.

Rob sent another link to a blog stumbler, Marginalia. This one has thumbnails.

Current events


Following up on the Mar-a-lago news, the former president's request for a special master apparently prompted the DoJ to release some limited details of their investigation. /r/law had this take on the (knockoff) tweet shown above:


/u/kiklion
No representative was present. Therefore the only way he knows [the documents] were not found that way would be if he knew where the files were previously. Further he knows, and admits, they were in a carton.

Imagine, if you will, they had found cocaine in a bag in a dresser. This post is saying 'They did not find the cocaine on the ground! They found the cocaine in a dresser and put it on the ground for a photo!'

He could have said 'That cocaine was not there when we searched for it before!' Or 'We had no representative there so we believe the FBI planted it!'

But instead he said 'We have no idea what happened during the raid, as we had no representative present, but we know those illegal items were in a container and not spread around on the ground!'

The commentary has continued to be funny:
NYT cleared up some additional ambiguities:

New York Times Files or documents are not tossed around randomly, even though they might appear that way; they are usually splayed out so they can be separately identified by their markings. The ruler seen in the image is to give a sense of their size in relation to other objects.

One noteworthy element of the photograph, as the Justice Department pointed out in its filing yesterday, is that none of the folders bear a label or stamp indicating that Mr. Trump declassified them, as he has periodically claimed when asked about his retention of government materials requested by the National Archives. Documents that have been declassified typically contain explicit markings indicating the change.