Infopost | 2023.09.27

Spiderman pointing meme seven spideys

Continuing the small/indie/old-web saga, I wrote some code in the vague direction of my feature request.

Important: this post contains some disgusting xml that I found while processing rss feeds. It's intended for humor only and not meant to be read.

To review, rss is an xml file with formatted post information. E.g. my latest entry looks like this:

   <description>Some telephoto shots of the Blue Angels doing neat tricks.
   <pubDate>Sun, 24 Sep 2023 00:00:00 -0700</pubDate>

Since rss is succinct, well-defined, and covers the content from many pages, it's a great starting point for an indieweb explorer. I decided to start with rss 2.0 and ignore 1.0 and the 'feed' format for the moment.

Things started okay:

   <title>The Zozzled Cocktail</title>
   <atom:link href="" rel=
   "self" type="application/rss+xml" />
   <description>A drinker's guide to historic
   <lastBuildDate>Sun, 25 Jun 2023 18:46:53 +0000</lastBuildDate>
   hourly   </sy:updatePeriod>
   1   </sy:updateFrequency>

Uh oh, "generator = wordpress". Considering how unreadable generated html is, this doesn't bode well for rss. On the other hand, how ugly can you make a simple xml format?

<cloud domain='' port='80' path='/?rsscloud=
notify' registerProcedure='' protocol='http-post' />
<atom:link rel="search" type="application/opensearchdescription+xml" href=
"" title="The Zozzled
Cocktail" />
<atom:link rel='hub' href='
<dc:creator><![CDATA[Robert H.]]></dc:creator>
<pubDate>Sun, 25 Jun 2023 18:46:53 +0000</pubDate>
<category><![CDATA[lime juice]]></category>
<guid isPermaLink="false">
<description><![CDATA[The venerable Mojito. We’ve all had one. Most
are horrible; made with cheap ingredients and less than thoughtful
preparation. It’s a deceptively simple concoction and thus, like the
Martini, requires quality ingredients and… <a class="read-more" href=
reading <span class="meta-nav">→</span></a>]]></description>

Oh....... kay. Well luckily I just need link, title, and description for the moment and Jsoup can clean things up:

Before After
<![CDATA[The Maslow CNC router is popular because it is large, <b>open-source and cheap</b>. It is uniquely well-suited in the CNC space for making furniture on a b... The Maslow CNC router is popular because it is large, open-source and cheap. It is uniquely well-suited in the CNC space for making furniture on a budget. Th...
Finding what I don't want to find

Web page feed publishing

Web languages really aren't my thing, so I tried a quick and dirty scoring on each of the posts in a feed to avoid that stuff.

double score = info.getSimilarity("css", "javascript", "ruby", "seo",

Sure enough, it pointed me away from web languages and some inauthentic-sounding posts:
My web neighbors

Marginalia crawling web post blog

The goal of the exercise was Tinder for posts, not web sites, but I'm going to need more than the rss description for that. So I tried another experiment (not knowing if any of the feeds would have any overlap).
  1. I put all 2500ish tags from this site into a set.
  2. I put tokenized title and description data from an rss feed into another set.
  3. I took the intersection and normalized that size by the number of tokens in the rss feed.
Simply, I asked the rss feed how much of it overlapped topics from this site. A subset of the results:

Latest post Match pct Matches
spritesmods 12% doom | run | sonic | tree | christmas | pinball | zombies | table
skinnylatte 7% bicycle | shooting | raw | union | sunset | information | post | shelf | ride | live | coffee | college | camping | oakland | 50mm | boat | thanksgiving | law | christmas | lake | led | cheese | skills | java | night | photography | housing | kitchen | camp | wave | light | organization | travel | history | square | trip | beer | grass | food | easter | train | parts | party | dog | weekend | summer | camera | singapore | photos | equipment | film | switch | nikon | about | band | fish | california | ocean | learning | stocks | work | books | writing | event | culture | car
theoverspill 10% mgm | ai | google | chatgpt | email | watch | zero | view | post | france | privacy | apple | digital | reading | ski | twitter | work | books | light | phone | library | camera | pirates | chatbot | tennis | nissan | bots | insulation | amazon | switch | offsets | flickr
marginalia 5% investment | police | information | blogs | list | live | hats | block | intel | law | design | discussion | night | windows | twitter | options | light | computer | lexicon | history | meat | record | solo | simulation | messages | dragons | austin | topics | film | tactics | structure | about | fire | internet | preparation | work | books | writing | nice | apocalypse | space | html | quote | google | computers | pandemic | ethics | post | fails | movie | ikea | algorithms | markup | tool | gear | construction | ship | skills | english | art | run | engineering | camp | crop | book | news | race | discourse | study | modern | web | organization | bots | market | ai | drive | coding | search | seo | jobs | food | bed | startup | france | programming | parts | party | plot | digital | bathroom | table | break | pants | office | posts | expansion | code | dive | pc | paint | reddit | github | email | zero | learning | reading | technology | vaccine | software | flag | feature | site | magic | owl | said | arguments
caleb 12% about | proposal | google | bbq | programming | maps | list | book | ride | society | motogp | animals | dog | austin | writing | tire | hiking | pipeline | posts | photos | track | park | wheel | cota
synesthesia 4% investment | sunset | information | blogs | neural | hats | block | christmas | flickr | stats | watch | disaster | gallery | pipeline | island | water | toyota | training | government | stream | usa | logs | band | 17 | 18 | allies | 40 | wood | maps | apple | lost | work | europe | opinion | portfolio | html | clouds | covid-19 | computers | spring | canada | fails | horizon | driving | careers | strategy | skills | waterfall | microsoft | features | memorial | news | race | war | fan | chocolate | study | web | statistics | politics | ai | ar | virus | adobe | food | cv | interview | dc | startup | ea | ge | digital | diving | portal | photos | legacy | storage | dive | pc | seat | commentary | email | tv | yahoo | preview | reading | tools | podcasts | sound | translate | security | bugs | sets | gpt | alienation | retrospective | focus | wiring | covid | discussion | scanning | voting | video | wave | indieweb | tennis | beam | bear | history | square | meme | action | barbecue | topics | workflow | beta | puzzle | quotes | quoted | meta | spike | memes | nice | excel | culture | ubuntu | replacement | repair | advice | linkedin | pandemic | post | shelf | united | college | burnout | construction | debate | blogger | bender | bonds | captain | drive | jobs | programming...
jacquesmattheij 4% investment | hosting | characters | zombie | police | information | society | hats | gaming | law | floor | maintenance | led | mountain | night | watch | disaster | twitter | primary | computer | door | airbnb | water | electronics | record | shoes | articles | division | electrical | dog | trading | government | stream | map | julian | lists | backpack | about | crash | stick | 17 | 18 | wires | 40 | wood | maps | internet | apple | movies | lost | work | books | writing | ear | europe | facebook | opinion | portfolio | html | clouds | covid-19 | egg | music | google | computers | mechanics | ethics | spring | http | ride | fails | aliens | driven | tool | driving | careers | strategy | skills | java | microsoft | research | features | furniture | engineering | news | election | race | war | risk | taxes | fan | study | modern | web | nvidia | board | survival | market | politics | electric | ukraine | virus | coding | search | food | stairs | startup | image | elephant | plot | digital | library | photos | amazon | code | legacy | storage | rescue | pc | github | email | tv | support | privacy | learning | spreadsheets | reading | software...
andreacorinti 3% valheim | corona | forza | acid | post | fantasy | live | russia | covid | gear | gazebo | futurama | lightning | chatgpt | bolt | playstation | watchmen | news | twitter | fan | web | island | park | nostalgia | prime | ai | virus | deck | cyberpunk | chrome | solo | 2020 | meme | action | mario | summer | casino | seattle | film | netflix | monaco | troubleshooting | tv | internet | dragon | steam

A few omitted datapoints and takeaways:
Moment of zen

From someone's feed:

<figure class="highlight"><pre><code class="
language-c" data-lang="c"><span class="n"
>interface</span> <span class="n">
IGroupBoostManager</span> <span class="o">:</
span> <span class="n">IDispatch</span> <span
<span class="p">[</span><span class="n"
>id</span><span class="p">(</span><span
class="mh">0x00000001</span><span class="p"
>),</span> <span class="n">propget</span>
<span class="p">,</span> <span class="n"
>helpstring</span><span class="p">(</span>
<span class="s">"Gets the Property of the GroupBoost
Enabled State - see enum GroupBoostState"</span><span class=
<span class="n">HRESULT</span> <span class="
n">GroupBoostEnabledState</span><span class="p"
>([</span><span class="n">out</span><
span class="p">,</span> <span class="n">
retval</span><span class="p">]</span> <span
class="kt">long</span><span class="o">
*</span> <span class="n">pVal</span><span
<span class="p">[</span><span class="n"
>id</span><span class="p">(</span><span
class="mh">0x00000001</span><span class="p"
>),</span> <span class="n">propput</span>
<span class="p">,</span> <span class="n"
>helpstring</span><span class="p">(</span>
<span class="s">"Gets the Property of the GroupBoost
Enabled State - see enum GroupBoostState"</span><span class=
<span class="n">HRESULT</span> <span class="
n">GroupBoostEnabledState</span><span class="p"
>([</span><span class="n">in</span><span
class="p">]</span> <span class="kt">
long</span> <span class="n">pVal</span><
span class="p">);</span>
<span class="p">[</span><span class="n"
>id</span><span class="p">(</span><span
class="mh">0x00000002</span><span class="p"
>),</span> <span class="n">helpstring</span>
<span class="p">(</span><span class="s"
>"Clears all User Generated Boosted Groups"</span><
span class="p">)]</span>

Gallerypost | 2023.09.24

Miramar air show 2023 Blue Angels San Diego

Last year I hauled the D850 and 500mm f/4 out to snap some Blue Angels photos. This year I made a few technique adjustments, hoping more variety of composition.

Miramar air show 2023 Blue Angels San Diego smog
The air quality was pretty bad, unrelated to the air show.

Miramar air show 2023 Blue Angels San Diego
Above the haze there were good shots to be had. The polarizer really puts in work when you're pointing upward.

Miramar air show 2023 Blue Angels San Diego kids watching Miramar air show 2023 Blue Angels San Diego

Softball backstops and rooftops were great places to watch the action. Mt. Soledad was not.

Miramar air show 2023 Blue Angels San Diego Miramar air show 2023 Blue Angels San Diego Miramar air show 2023 Blue Angels San Diego
Miramar air show 2023 Blue Angels San Diego Miramar air show 2023 Blue Angels San Diego wheels down Miramar air show 2023 Blue Angels San Diego Miramar air show 2023 Blue Angels San Diego kids watching
Miramar air show 2023 Blue Angels San Diego Julius Bratton Miramar air show 2023 Blue Angels San Diego Miramar air show 2023 Blue Angels San Diego
Miramar air show 2023 Blue Angels San Diego Miramar air show 2023 Blue Angels San Diego Miramar air show 2023 Blue Angels San Diego Miramar air show 2023 Blue Angels San Diego

Review | 2023.09.23

Specart desert planet

In July, I demanded that the internet start doing a better job of connecting user content outside the walled gardens of social media. The demand wasn't as profound and expansive as it sounds, I really just wanted someone to make a blogroll 2.0 service that was content-oriented rather than friend-oriented.

So I was excited to come upon this:

Kagi Initially inspired by a vibrant discussion on Hacker News, we began our experiment in late July, highlighting blog posts from HN users within our search results... Today, our evolving concept boasts a curated list of nearly 6,000 genuine websites featuring people with a wide variety of interests.

Kagi search prompt
Tbqh that dog looks like it has no interest in fetching.

I've considered subscribing to the paid search engine Kagi. Part of me thinks, "DDG and Goog are good enough for 70% of my searches, anything I want good search for is me wasting time anyway." The other part of me isn't sure it's good enough to justify whatever small cost the subscription is. The other other part of me knows that much of my searching is work-related and there's been a mutual push to keep all personal information/logins off work computers. So I'm not a Kagi customer, but in some ways I like what they're doing, particularly since they look for good, noncommercial content when indexing the web:

Since inception, we've been featuring content from the small web through our proprietary Teclis and TinyGem search indexes. This inclusion of high-quality, lesser-known parts of the web is part of what sets Kagi's search results apart and gives them a unique flavor.
Blogosphere Indieweb Small web

I've come across a handful of terms to describe the blob of the internet that is comprised of honest user content, Kagi uses the term 'small web'.

Kagi "Small web" typically refers to the non-commercial part of the web, crafted by individuals to express themselves or share knowledge without seeking any financial gain. This concept often evokes nostalgia for the early, less commercialized days of the web, before the ad-supported business model took over the internet.

Kagi Small Web offers a fresh approach by promoting recently published content from the "small web." We gather new content, published within the last week, from a handpicked list of blogs and surface it.

First off, I like the term 'small web' as an alternative to 'blogosphere', 'indieweb', and 'old web'. But since it's been two decades since the dawn of the blog, I imagine the lack of a dominant term is telling: the authentic part of the internet is difficult to categorize.

What's on the small web? Real blogs written by real people, sure. Microblogs are in, I guess. What about content on that imperiled microblogging service or Tumblr or LiveJournal (if those still exist)? Blogger and Substack publish a lot of authentic content, but the services and users often have commercial goals. Kagi's own service includes 'Small YouTube' which seems both useful and strikingly similar to the mindnumbing, infinite-scroll-web that it ostensibly rejects.

I imagine we could get two people to agree that a navigable/discoverable small web would be nice, but they'd never agree on exactly what's in and what's out. So it's probably hopeless but also pointless to try to find a name that fits everyone's expectation.

The small web HOA

Corporate Memphis construction building project

The Kagi post references a small web manifesto written by one Ben Hoyt. Hoyt's post includes some aesthetic goals of the small web community:

Ben Hoyt A few months ago there was a sequence of posts to Hacker News about various "clubs" you could post your small website on: the 1MB Club (comments), 512KB Club (comments), 250KB Club (comments), and even the 10KB Club (comments). I think those are a fun indicator of renewed interested in minimalism, but I will say that raw size isn't enough - a 2KB site with no real content isn't much good, and a page with 512KB of very slow JavaScript is worse than a snappy site with 4MB of well-chosen images.

For some, the 'small web' describes both the notoriety of the creators and the physical (virtual) size of their content. This immediately makes me think of those microblog posts that are a bunch of meaningless words that the author thinks is profound or poetry or whatever. I'd hate to join the small web club only to get booted because I post a lot of photos and screencaps.

Is the 250KB club all poetryposts? I clicked one:

Board game roll table

Whoa, a post about computing odds for some video game mechanic. Having written companion code for Axis & Allies and MtG, I am on board. Good post.

The < 1MB club isn't a requirement for Kagi and even Hoyt cautions against small-for-the-sake-of-small but he still doesn't embrace graphics-for-the-sake-of-graphics:

Ben Hoyt Speaking of hero images, you don't need big irrelevant images at the top of your blog posts. They just add hundreds of kilobytes (even megabytes) to your page weight, and don't provide value. Include relevant, non-stock images that provide value equal to their weight in bytes. Bare text is okay, too, like a magazine article.

Bare text is okay, but barely okay. I've seen too many textwall Powerpoint decks in my time to think that web content should be a meal of all veggies and no meat. What's more, when you're already in the small web mindset (static site, image thumbnails/previews), sprinkling a few 60kb images on the post isn't the end of the world.

Death Star orbiting planet Earth
Pic unrelated.

Big pages on the small web

Burning Man photos

Most would probably agree that the small web is more about people and content than any set of rules. The screenshotted page above breaks a few small web rules: it's big/graphical, it's from a small business, and it uses js. But (for me) it's far more engaging than someone's Kubernetes tweak guide.

The static web

RGB spiderweb

I was happy to read that static sites and static site generators are part of the small web aesthetic:

Ben Hoyt JavaScript is a mixed blessing for the web, and more often than not a bane for small websites: it adds to the download size and time, it can be a performance killer, it's bad for accessibility, and if you don't hold it right, it's bad for search engines.

If you're developing a browser-based application like Gmail or Google Maps, you should almost certainly be using JavaScript. But for your next blog, brochure website, or project documentation site, please consider plain HTML and CSS.

Another thing there's been renewed interest in recently is static websites (these used to be called just "websites"). You upload some static HTML (and CSS and JavaScript) to a static file server, and that's it.

Improving on that, there are many "static site generators" available. These are tools that generate a static site from simple templates, so that you don't have to copy your site's header and footer into every HTML file by hand.

The small|indie|old|static|blog|photoblog web

So I'll use the terms interchangeably, knowing none fits. Rob came up with a better name, one that captures the independence, (relative) isolation, and authenticity of blogs, forums, and enthusiast sites. The only downside is that he's too preoccupied to implement it.
Kagi Small Web

Kagi smallweb feed example bisq

Oh right, we started by discussing Kagi's product announcement.

Kagi Kagi Small Web offers a fresh approach by promoting recently published content from the "small web." We gather new content, published within the last week, from a handpicked list of blogs and surface it.

After all that small web culture talk, it may be somewhat disappointing to hear that Kagi Small Web is more or less the same as blogroulette page I linked many months ago.

Kagi smallweb example
The Kagi part is the navigation bar on top. Hitting 'Next' sends you to another page. It could be about desk accoutrements, it could be about React.

I expect Kagi added (or will add) a small web knob to their search product, though without a subscription I can't say for sure. While search is considerably more useful than just a 'Next' button for "surfacing content", as a seasoned software engineer with a background in cognitive science I can say with authority that small web discovery should resemble the wikihole user experience.

Fish weight challenge spreadsheet
Source. While I don't want every post referral to be about fishing, what more demonstrates the humanness of the small web than a blog post with a fishing competition tracked on a spreadsheet?

I did a sampling of seven posts:
  1. A post about a crypto exchange I have never heard of.
  2. A dude impressively committed to fishing, with friends commenting, "You've got the mini lure chubbing sussed Mick."
  3. did not load until I temporarily unblocked js.
  4. A post with decent photos, discussing autumn, home projects, and travel.
  5. A post about the pros and cons of the ACM stopping print publishing for most of its works. On the one hand, they're an organization dedicated to computers so it's surprising that they still use parchment. On the other hand, they're called the "Association of Computing Machinery" (a rather antiquated way to describe computers) so I am not surprised that they still use parchment. It's easier to understand OP's concern for web-only publications when you consider that his blog's background color is #ccff99.
  6. A textwall with no capitalization and an extremely narrow fontface. Despite the length, OP still feels the need to use the v-for-very abbreviation that hipsters love. "you resisted reading the famous writer's books whereas all the adults hoarded his works, first editions and what not, pride, and so on."
  7. A transcribed interview between a music editor and a musician. I like the idea of transcribed interviews, but the content wasn't for me.
All of that is small web goodness but none of it is for me. Of the 10,000 sites on Kagi's user-submitted RSS list multiplied by however many posts they have, I shouldn't have to wade through wells of ink and rivers of fish to find neat desert photos or My life in the Telegram Bitcoin scam group chat of ghosts.

I should grab those RSS feeds and see if any 'description' tags look good.

Infopost | 2023.09.18

Baldurs Gate 3 reading Necromancy of Thay tome book

I have two posts at the top of my backlog:
But it's Monday night and there's no way I can get either of those done so here's a great way to prime that discussion: I found a blog that is everything I want from the indieweb/smallweb/blogosphere.

I got there from an aggregator because Rob's recommender implementation is still pre-pre-pre-mvp.
Apple snark

Apple advertisement fake text message photography

The post is titled A literary history of fake texts in Apple's marketing materials, though the clickbaity Hacker News title Things that do not exist in Dimension Apple is considerably more direct. In his post, Max Read (if that is his real name) steps through marketing materials to see what life is like in Apple's version of reality.

Apple advertisement text message ravioli Rich Dinh

Suffice it to say, everyone in Dimension Apple takes professional commercial photos. Because the iphone camera is just that great! And everyone punctuates rigorously, never uses shorthand, and prefers single, redundant emojis (click through for examples).

The post is, as advertised, a timeline of Apple marketing materials. Toward the end Max brings it all together with a list of everything you do and don't see in Apple messages.

Futurama 1984 Apple commercial Mom corp

It's probably worth mentioning that focus grouped advertisements are characteristic of any large budget media campaign. Google's various Super Bowl commercials are some of the biggest groaners of the lot. But the quirky consistency of Apple marketing's vision of their user base is, well, something else.

The real DD is in the comments [ref]

Simpsons Apple 1984 ad parody

I'll return to why Max's post is "everything I want from the indieweb" in a little bit. For now, let's talk about the other cool thing the internet has. No not that, I am talking about the comments section.

ajmoo I worked on many of these! Was on the Marcom team that rebuilt screenshots for content swaps and hi-res output. Every screen went through multiple rounds of approvals by many different teams, including writing. Unfortunately any Easter eggs I tried to hide in there were all caught ;)

To no one's surprise, the focus groups are real, but apparently around the time iphone releases became as stale as Madden releases, the marketing department found a sense of humor.

More amusing is the commenter that went CSI on the things:

Nition This doesn't even delve into the hidden deceit!

In the first image, the sender says they went camping in the mountains, but then sends a photo of the seaside. Did they really go camping at all?

In the soapbox derby image, the sender claims they "just finished the latest renderings" for the sushi car design, yet the design is clearly AI generated! They've been lying to the team about how they're creating the designs.

Rich Dinh, who's dominating the chat with his ravioli dish? It's a stock photo by Helen Rushbrook! Is he making anything himself?

How many people in Dimension Apple are secretly struggling like these three? There must be huge pressure to conform.

We already talked about how the iphone makes you a stock image photographer, to wit: one of their fictitious users changed the exposure value. The grammar, punctuation, and lack of shorthand seems to follow the best practice of not having typos in your marketing material. But not punctuating every sentence with "lol"? How are you going to reach the youth?

Perhaps texting in the Queen's English is Apple's vision for how society should be. Perhaps it's what society will be when their VR goggles become mandatory. I prefer the idea the Dimension Apple NPCs are as illiterate as you or I but they are uplifted by Apple's autocorrect technology. It seems like the kind of vision they'd need to push considering how often the bluebubbles in my life get mad about an autocorrect substituion and then try to swear at autocorrect but fail to do that. Lol.

I wonder if I can dump a list of every capitalized brand from iOS Rob
Capitalized brand?
Apple will automatically capitalized brands: Adsense, barf, Intel, Apple.
Fuckin overlords
Oh yeah. Buls on wsb are always saying it's going to be a 'Green Day', with caps.
And nobody turns it off?
Lol you're adorbs
Turning it off is a knob. Too many knobs confuses the user. No, no, it's either all auto-capitalization or none.
I would immediately install a custom rom.
lol Rob
Also adorbs
Here's a blog post idea. You get an iphone for a month, I'll get an android for a month, we'll write about it
Another post: wrong text scams

Scam text message Hannah

I clicked around to see if Max had other posts like this one. His mission statement was encouraging:

Max Read Explaining the weird new future, one newsletter at a time. Subscribe for a twice weekly delivery of internet culture, mega-platform grotesquerie, crypto conspiracies, deep forum lore, fringe politics, and other artifacts of what's to come.

I checked out another post that answered the question that everyone's thought about asking but has not asked: What's the deal with all those weird wrong-number texts?

The answer is the uninteresting part, here's the tldr:
  1. The wrong number is basically a cold call that's used to start a dialogue (probably obvious).
  2. With their foot in the door, the scammer 'befriends' their mark.
  3. They convey an air of wealth so the mark thinks they know how to handle money.
  4. They convince the mark to deposit money into a phony crypto exchange (or similar) that won't let them withdraw their balance.
Max posts a bunch of example messages, demonstrating the variety and accidental humor of these dialogues. But it doesn't end there.

ZacZac Geez, that got dark toward the end.

The post links news and Reddit posts that discuss the scammers themselves - sizeable business entities that occupy abandoned casino properties in southeast Asia. And so there are human trafficking and indentured servitude aspects of the story owing in part to China and the Philippines cracking down on gambling.
Moment of zen Conclusion

Fear and Loathing Hunter S Thompson gaming laptop

I used to like to end posts with something orthongonal and amusing, a moment of zen in homage to now-on-Apple Jon Stewart. But having recently searched for a bunch of BG3 things and a bunch of IDA API things, I realize that if you want to rank on Google, you need a conclusion section. Does your post list the skill checks required to complete the Necromancy of Thay? It should have a conclusion, lest people forget the four bullet points they just read. Do you have a code snippet that demangles C++ lambda functions in IDA? Conclusion.

Here's my conclusion: the indieweb isn't all text-only microblog posts and Ruby cookbooks. These two posts are what blogging can be. They're well-written and they explore subjects that are both approachable and not beaten to death in the media. They have graphics, citations, critical analysis, and humor.

Orthogonal humor

Calling back to the Apple convos:

wzdd One of the screenshots has a dentist appointment at 2:30, which is an old pun.

*opens dad joke spreadsheet

Storypost | 2023.09.18

Baldurs Gate 3 Blood of Lathander mace reward
BG3: everyone is a bad guy, right?

Baldurs Gate 3 Rosymorn monastery roof eagle

I think I figured it out: no one in BG3 is sympathetic. Even the eagle - noblest of birds - is ill-tempered, particularly when my party pathfinds over her nest. Don't get me wrong, I like games that aren't all black and white, but since everyone's a zealot in BG3, I'm not sure I can stay neutral for long. (And not indecisive-neutral, more like I-distrust-all-of-you-neutral).

Baldurs Gate 3 Lump the Enlightened dialogue Baldurs Gate 3 vampire hunter Astarion dialogue Baldurs Gate 3 d20 roll wisdom check

The story-related NPCs are zealots, anyway. There are plenty of fun, quirky interactions when you take a branch out from the main path.

Is there such thing as a good (minor) spoiler?

Wizard of Oz illusion Baldurs Gate 3 Vlaakith

Let's talk about Vlaakith, the goddess of the Githyanki. When you kill one of her lieutenants she holograms in to threaten you/ask for you help. So, like, this is a Wizard of Oz thing, right? There are no actual gods in D&D, right?

Wrong. If you tell her to pleasantly 'gfy', you get insta-killed by a dialog box. And while the surprise is the most painful part, you also have to re-fight the lieutenant.

I like that in this game I have absolutely no idea what to expect from any scenario, but I also find myself with some cause-and-effect headscratchers.

Come in peace, go in blood

Archer rampage chemo Baldurs Gate 3 Creche Yllek guards ambush

This is the strategy so far:
Baldurs Gate 3 monastery gondola Rosymorn trail Baldurs Gate 3 zaithisk Baldurs Gate 3 astral plane

Tongs PJ Masks Armadylan figurine Terrace enclosure hammock alphabet evening

Dani's favorite show is PJ Masks. Her favorite character is Gekko. But also Catboy. But also Armadylan. She's had the Catboy/Gekko/Owlette action figures since before any of us knew the show existed, but really wanted an Armadylan. Naturally, the Armadylan minifig was only made in like 2018. There were a lot of international stores listing him as sold out, one UK store claiming to have him in stock, a bunch of ebay listings for used Armadylans, and a single ebay seller with two new ones.
And the boys

Harland Ube milkshake IPA

We called a last minute audible for GBES, opting to meet at the more central Harland brewery in Scripps Ranch. They apparently had just thrown an event for their Ube Milkshake IPA but still had some left. Best purple beer I've ever had.

PUBG Battlegrounds glider sunset Erangel

The lolbate squad has gotten some drops in but are collectively excited for Payday 3.

Storypost | 2023.09.10

Kilroy was here Chernobyl exclusion zone

I moved travel out of the navigation bar to the right and expanded it into its own post.
Big trips


European honeymoon

A two-week honeymoon to Switzerland, France, Belgium, and Germany.

Posts: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20


World Cup Brazil 2014

The American Outlaws World Cup 2014 trip to Brazil.



A small gallery of my trip to Hong Kong and Chengdu.


Mt Shasta

A three-day trip to the summit of Mt. Shasta.

Posts: 1 2 3



I went on a photography-oriented RV trip with J and his family. We roamed Alaska from Juneau to Fairbanks.
Hawaii and scuba


Dive log

My scuba dive log.


Big island

Black sand beaches, mantas, and dolphins.


Maui wedding

A Maui trip during humpback season.



Hiking, boating, and surfing the north shore.



Staying mostly submerged in Kauai.


Big island

The big island at 14,000 feet above sea level and 60 feet below.


The Pipeline Pro and Kalalau Trail

Watching Kelly win the Pipeline Pro then backpacking the Na Pali coast.


Kauai, Oahu

Golfing and diving Kauai, then an Oahu layover.



Some motorcycling, diving, and golfing on Maui



Flew out on United, landed at five local time. It's amazing how pleasant a flight can be with DS, an mp3 player, and copy of MC with twelve articles about the new Gizzixer. Mom, brother, and I ate at Coconuts. It wasn't bad, but a bit pricey/touristy.



A ski trip to Whistler.



Mount Hood brocation.


Park City

Park City ski-brocation, a Kingwin HDD switch for multi-boot, and first thoughts on Sea of Thieves.



Wiffle ball, high tide surfing, a Raiders game, and skiing.



Skiing Kirkwood and taking the dogs to Fiesta Island.



Swapping HIDs into the VR4 and lots of powder in Tahoe.



Ski trip.

Gallerypost | 2023.09.03

Pool volleyball backyard bbq

Erik hosted the annual League of Sport pool volleyball championship. The shallow side won, mostly.

Pool volleyball backyard bbq Pool volleyball backyard bbq Pool volleyball backyard bbq Pool volleyball backyard bbq

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Nugget also took some great photos:

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thumbnail Pool volleyball backyard bbq
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thumbnail Pool volleyball backyard bbq thumbnail Pool volleyball backyard bbq thumbnail Pool volleyball backyard bbq
thumbnail Pool volleyball backyard bbq thumbnail Pool volleyball backyard bbq thumbnail Pool volleyball backyard bbq
thumbnail Pool volleyball backyard bbq
thumbnail Pool volleyball backyard bbq thumbnail Pool volleyball backyard bbq
thumbnail Pool volleyball backyard bbq
thumbnail Pool volleyball backyard bbq thumbnail Pool volleyball backyard bbq thumbnail Pool volleyball backyard bbq thumbnail Pool volleyball backyard bbq thumbnail Pool volleyball backyard bbq
thumbnail Pool volleyball backyard bbq thumbnail Pool volleyball backyard bbq thumbnail Pool volleyball backyard bbq

Storypost | 2023.09.01

Souls of Mischief Music Box San Diego 93 til infinity anniversary tour

xcharlesbronsonx and I went to the 93 Til Infinity anniversary show at Music Box. The show was pretty good, but the venue isn't great for people stuck under the upper levels.

tags: concert music