Battles [r]

In this post:

Space plane games [r]

This isn't actually about space flight simulators but rather Switch games I picked up for the Hawaii downtime. Both happen to have a sci-fi setting.

Plane games [r]

This isn't actually about flight simulators but rather Switch games I picked up for the Hawaii downtime.

Slay the spire [r]

Slay the Spire was one of the PS+ games a month or two ago. I'd heard good things, so I gave it a whirl. Here's a pictoral commentary:

Packs [r]

I try out a new kid carrier, do some data entry, and slay my first Elden Ring dragon.

Lands between [g]

Just some scenery and light commentary from mine and J's Elden Ring adventuring.

Diversions [r]

I have another post queued up for real world stuff like Ukraine and the market/return of Gamestonk, but let's talk about the big March PS5 releases.

Revanchist [s]

The plan for this month to rave about Horizon: Forbidden West and Elden Ring. The Ukraine crisis was an ominous but interesting situation three weeks ago. Sadly, now people are fighting for their country and seeking refuge and having their lives destroyed by a pointless invasion.

Exeunt [r]

My Mass Effect Legendary Edition playthrough has come to a close. Since it's wordy and spoilery, I'll put it last.

Off repeat [s]

So other than progressing plot and content, I don't expect to have much to add to my initial take on Far Cry. Well, except a surprise visit from Danny-f'in-Trejo.

Risk mitigation [s]

The backyard terraces need fencing. Since there are two terraces, it almost made sense to connect the two and create a verdana/gazebo/pergola/palapa over the middle terrace.

Current events [i]

The last two weeks have been... strange. Since the controversial stuff seems to have finally burned out, I'll do what I can to recap the lunacy and the memes. For posterity.

Cover [i]

A little starfighter chat and then my next iteration in trading. I passed pilot level 15 after maybe a dozen dogfights and fleet battles, that doesn't intrinsically mean much except in the context of unlockables. I have most of the mods I want, leaving a few to acquire for tuning and experimentation. And I've acquired some fun cosmetics like the Twi'lek skin and some neat fighter paint jobs. I'm pretty happy with the rate of unlocks, though it'd be neat to have more variety in cosmetics.

Squadrons [r]

I'm a few hours/levels into Squadrons and I'm pretty happy with it so far.

Hot start [s]

Pretty fun football this weekend. I have to agree with Rich Gannon however, the fake crowd noise is just silly.

Revisiting [s]

Covid time is time to revisit old projects and entertainment.

Sniping [s]

Still waiting on the lens, I've made headway on the monopod. I won't cut the main pole until I know how high the lens sits, but I assembled the stem piece.

High/low country [s]

The album isn't new or anything, just decided to use the art.

The Last of Us Pt. II [r]

Saturday I put the remodeled media room to good use with some socially-responsible zombie killing. The Last of Us Pt II was released on Friday; the long-awaited follow up to a game that ranked third on J's all time list and fell just behind Metal Gear Solid on mine.

Plenty to do [s]

Another week of quarantined programming, video games, and hitting f5 on economic news.

Shadow of the Colossus [r]

Here's a little gallery/writeup on Shadow of the Colossus, the PS+ free update on the PS2 classic. In case anyone's considering a playthrough, I start with a short summary of the gameplay then - with callouts - progress to show each colossus (gameplay spoilers) and finally wrap up with the ending (plot spoilers).

Biohazards [s]

The uncertainity of two weeks ago has given way to various stages of compulsory home isolation.

Neural fails [i]

I did some more Keras dabbling since there was cold weather and time off. I continued down the autoencoder thread that I'd explored a bit previously.

P-games only [s]

Cattle's xmas Steam gift this year was Pako - Car Chase Simulator. It had me pretty well captivated for my first two-hour session. I think I worked out a little bit of strategy:

Up and back [s]

We headed up the coast for some holiday time with the family.

It's nicer indoors [s]

Winter has arrived, it's cold and wet. But that's why there's egg nog and 500W graphics cards.

Castles [s]

Friendsgiving this year was up in Santa Cruz. On top of the usual fare (kids, turkey, burned killa bread), there was great beach weather.

Apexes [s]

Taking a few weeks off for the mcl tear, I did a photo session at volleyball. I started with a post-mounted off-camera speedlight triggered by the on-camera flash. It had the best lighting (side lighting woo), but was hard to keep the flash out of the frame. Probably would have been better to use the 20mm rather than the 50.

Another lap [s]

I'm on MCL tear number... err too many. Still, that just means no vball or sball, I can still game and do GBES events. For Brian's expedition, we started with Tiger Tiger donuts and finished at Street Car for some unbelievably hot chicken.

New games [r]

The August-September handoff has been hot and muggy - perfect weather for AM runs and surf sessions followed by afternoons in the cave.

Sweltering [s]

July is beach month, we did some vball at dog beach where Lana and Kaf and Herman got some swimming in.

Chipper [r]

Review time. Well, review + how-to. Written like I might copy and paste it as a product review.

Europe: food [r]

I'm not really a fan of photographing food, but as this was a food/wine tour, I figured I'd at least aggregate food photos/commentary to a single, skippable post.

Some improvements [m]

A couple small changes that are fairly evident below: I created an about page and a list of lists.

Bouncing around [s]

Last month's journeys were followed by an early March trip out to the east coast, so suffice it to say I've been happy to spend some time in the man cave.

Entertainment [s]

2019 has been all work and all play.

RPG [s]

The Brogue Squadron finished the Heroes of Eturi campaign, winning three victory points to one with one VP mission to spare. The final few scenarios included some cool variations like a space station and ground station.

Drafted [s]

First and foremost: Tori and Jon got a pup.

Vidya [r]

Still more heat, still more man cave.

Tactics [s]

Brutal heat has meant lots of tabletop and video gaming between surf and pool sessions.

Graphics [s]

Since Jes enjoyed rafting, I thought maybe she'd like an ocean kayak for her bday. We did a sunset paddle before going to see Isle of Dogs.

Drenched [s]

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).

Spoiled [s]

Few spoilers inside. But first, more renovation.

Horizon [r]

Santa brought me Horizon: Zero Dawn. Here's some media and discussion, nothing in the story beyond an hour of play is spoiled.

Sunsets [r]

Jes and I took Kaf down to the cove. Rain had washed part of the path away, so we had a difficult descent and even more challenging return.

The craft [r]

The Duc needs a new clutch, a valve adjustment, and maybe some troubleshooting of the cutch hydraulics. Between that, 50k+ miles, and having my eye on the ebike scene since I first saw them at Laguna, it seemed like a good time to go for it.

Fantasy [s]

The Cooley Halloween party moved to the Tonkers' place due to special circumstances, but it still had costumes, pizzas, and beers. Jessica's Gamora costume won best of the night, (another) Chris's beekeeper won worst.

Weekenders [s]

Jes and I took a trip up to Oakland to catch up with the hometown crowd and see some Raiders football. There was a bit of haze from the Santa Rosa fires, but not, like, SD in '03 or anything:

Fancy, flying [s]

Of course more east coast trips. I can't be mad, I brought some Pot Belly peppers back this past time. And the one before that I got to ride the sweet Detroit airport tram that is overhead in the terminal.

Completion [s]

Finished a few things this month, the first of which was a resurface job on the pool. It wasn't in bad shape, but since I'd drained it I figured I'd go ahead and apply a new layer of epoxy. The canopy made all of this considerably easier, although epoxy in an enclosed area has some disadvantages.

Killing Floor 2 [s]

Since Dying Light was just a bit too cerebral for two-day gamefest, J and I mixed in some Killing Floor 2.

Dying Light [r]

The newest game J and I are playing is Dying Light: The Following. AKA parkour simulator. AKA lockpicking simulator.

The calm [r]

Mark brought Civ into the office and we've played through it twice. It's pretty amazing - it captures the spirit of the franchise while making it tabletop-able and adding a few elements that don't exist in the computer game.

Horizons [s]

Two work trips this month. Luckily, there's Fire Emblem Fates, Liar's Dice, and some awesomely-named beers.

Roaming [s]

Between the Jeffsea xmas sweater party and being recruited to photo a couple of Christmas cards, seasonal garb has been in full effect.

Watery [s]

Back in July we hit Cache Canyon for some rafting. Jes and I survived the day after the Southwest computerpocalypse and barely survived the insane temperatures.

Back to work [s]

After a morning paddle out with the bros, Jes and I went down to the cove to watch the fireworks. The bluffs above the caves were a great spot, although the people on kayaks might have had more fun.

Spare time [s]

Ty got married.

Satisfying [s]

Last year some League of Sporters undertook an incredible journey, one that proved too strenuous for a single weekend. But like any semi-casual athlete, giving up just isn't in our nature. To celebrate Dave finishing his master's, we completed the second leg of the Camp'n'crawl.

Warframe [r]

So J and I are letting The Division rest a bit and give the developers a chance to get their act together or move on and deal with the irate fans. I'll defer to his analysis:

Indie [s]

We went to Austin for Ty's bachelor weekend. The shirts were absolutely top notch.

Moving earth [r]

I judged Monster Jam at the ballpark because a friend/parts dealer needed a last minute replacement.

Bombing it [s]

At long last we can crawl the postapocalyptic wasteland again, Fallout 4 is here. I haven't played all that much of it, and it's taken awhile to settle back into the gameplay style.

Completion [r]

A little more on Far Cry now that I've reached the end.

Far Cry 4 [r]

A weekend of running, surfing, and sun is not complete without restorative video gaming sessions. J and I recently started co-oping Far Cry 4.

Transition [s]

Somewhere along the way the Duc's voltage regulator decided to crack and leak. The problem manifested as a dead (new) battery and may well have been the reason my led tails blew. The prescribed voltage/resistance tests indicated that the alternator was fine, to my relief. When I pulled and inspected the regulator it seemed pretty certain.

Destiny [r]

I finally stepped into the new gen of consoles with Destiny for ps4. No xbone for me. Microsoft angered me far too much with crappy hardware and paid-for internet on 360 followed by the kinect snafu, subsequent lies, and a too-high price point. I'm no Sony fanboy, but a few leaked credit card numbers and prosecuting people who put Linux on their consoles started to pale in comparison to Redmond's transgressions. Sadly, Sony began charging for internet play with ps4, but at least they try ...

Postfriendsgiving [s]

Everyone made it out alive. No zombie flu, only a few stitches between the lot of us. The food rocked, there was a massive handegg match, dogs were all over the place.

Prefriendsgiving [p]

Friendsgiving is returning to San Diego next week so I've been working hard on the house.

Entertainment [r]

+ Zombies.

Lapse [s]

As expected, life and times got pretty exciting. The Cathcart breakdown:

Casual weekend [s]

I added a second sunsail to complete the effect.

Starcraft [r]

I bought Starcraft on Friday, it's been awhile since I had any rts fun. The game's great, but I think I'm done with Blizzard, they pulled some serious Sony crap with this one. It all stems from the innocuous system requirement listed on the box, "Broadband Internet connection". Here's about how it went down:

Transitions [s]

I bought the Sealy cal king that Costco stocks. It's comfy, it's big, it needs a frame.

Precedents [s]

I finished drywalling the 6x4 loft made accessible by the closet removal. It still needs to be patched, textured, and painted, but that's a breeze. What will it be? Storage space? Cat flat? Panic room?

Miles [s]

Two weekends ago was a trip out east to the Commonwealth. J and I co-opped Army of Two, ODST, and New Mario, start to finish on consecutive days. Monday featured some epic Halo firefight scenarios. Of course we mixed it up with some MST, Always Sunny, and a trip to the Dulles air museum. Mandy was awesome throughout, and filled me in on some of the great new J-isms that I've missed.

New stuff, brah [s]

Jessicat and your favorite east county bro spent Halloween was at Mesa. Everyone else's costumes were not G rated. Particularly Ty's.

Some reviews [r]

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.

Unexpected surprises [s]

This past Friday I was honored with my first piece of original art. My old boss came over with his family for some steaks and wings, his wife brought along an awesome Japanese-style painting. (And I did in fact straighten the frame after taking the photo.)

A few events [s]

Wednesday was Settlers night. There was great anticipation as we finally cracked open Cities and Knights. The expansion adds considerable complexity to the game, it's a little intimidating at the outset, but is great for playability. The development capabilities in the expansion add quite a few options up front, but they also change as progress is made. I am simultaneously excited for- and fearful of the inevitable Settlers/Seafarers/Cities stratorgy.

Speed night at the theater [r]

Rides has finally been done right. The featured machines hail from many countries, decades, and backgrounds. Caymans, Camaros, Skylines, new Mustangs, M3s; the list is extensive because no car survives more than a fraction of the film.

A few more shots of the carnage [s]

There are a few wires to dispose of, all in due time. The couch is a bit off the wall to center its occupants more and provide a space for the woofer. Um and I'm terrible at pillowing couches.

The return of the leaderboard [r]

The leaderboard updated and redistributed:

The unnerving bits [s]

New lighting for the living room. You probably didn't notice, but I ms painted in a bookshelf to indicate what it'll look like sans line of sight to the light sources. Here's how it is now:

DC never looked so good [r]

I picked up Fallout 3 a couple days ago.

I can haz blinds [s]

Impressed: My blinds came in yesterday - a pretty quick turnaround from whenever it was that I ordered them.

Gears of War 2 [r]

Ty and I just finished Gears 2 with some help from Kevin. It was a two-sitting playthough thanks to a midweek cold.

Rifftrax II [r]

Jon, J, and I watched the Aeon Flux Rifftrax. Such great commentary for such a terrible movie. If only we'd had the time to also do Over the Top.

Indy film [r]

Never has shark-jumping been more punctuated. The new Indiana Jones movie is impressive until you see Shia LeBeouf straddling moving jeeps whilst sword fighting - looking very much like he's on water skis. From this scene on Lucas and Spielberg work their hardest to wreck the film.

Rollies [r]

Is it a shame I have new wheels and tires before Jon? Yes. Will that be the case when his come in and they're shiny and scratch-free? No.

Cheers and tears [r]

2 Fast 2 Furious (5)

Brawl [r]

Smash Brothers Brawl is pretty good. At first the game appears to be little different from the previous installment. The controls and mechanics are the same, in fact you can play with a GameCube controller. The canon of characters, moves, and levels has been preserved but with quite a few additions.

A winning combination [r]

If it were 'Japanese Rides' the score would asymptotically approach a perfect ten, but as it stands, we are left with a lopsided field. The only American entry is a Corvette with a bad custom interior, and I really hoped our evil German would bring his Carrera to the streets of Hong Kong to test the rice, but no such luck.

The leaderboard [r]

Still to come...

You must have eight cylinders to ride [r]

Three more automotive blockbusters spanning three very different decades.

Bring on the band aids [r]

We finally got on the bandwagon. Hah hah hah hah hah hah hah hah hah hah hah hah hah. Apologies, sore tendons makes me giddy. Rock Band is basically Forza with instruments instead of a wheel. It takes practice, patience, and you really can't compete at a high level without knowing the track. Damn, pun counter is at two already. I'm on fire.

Retirement [s]

Today featured a long-anticipated Del Mar session followed by a screening of Streets of Legend. Unfortunately the movie did its Sundance award little justice. And there wasn't much in the way of racing. But I have high hopes for Driven.

Riding dirty [r]

At long last I got my hands on Colin McRae's DiRT (henceforth referred to as Dirt). After Polyphony introduced rallying in GT2, off road competition has been a necessary complement to racing sims. Since Forza is all tarmac, I had my eyes on Dirt since its release.

There and back again [s]

The flight out was excellent all around. No rush, no traffic, no waiting. Jon was happy to take me to the airport at 5:45 and I got into Portland on time. Getting through Portland was smooth, the trolly is adjacent to the baggage claim and will take you all the way to Beaverton for a mere $2.00. I got through a fair amount of I Am America (And So Can You!) on the way.

Transformers [r]

Eight reasons to like it:

Forza [r]

First impressions (midnight until two last night)...

Call of Duty 3 [r]

This game will have you squatting behind every bush in sight. But hilarious duty jokes aside, COD is a lot of fun.

From under the tree [r]

Santa brought me the four gig e260. It's compact (i.e. very portable/small screen).