Probably too old at this point to realize that life is a series of missed opportunities to make mundane choices. Tiny victories, hedging against the bleary haze of the next day. She’ll wake up anyway, may as well stay up. What shall I do? Continue reading
Archaic monster that I am, I prefer paper books, and I’ll spare you the whys. I also have an e-reader. It is a small and entirely outdated Kobo Mini. Here it is:
It’s got a small screen, has no light, it’s slow, has only 2GB of memory, an e-ink screen two generations behind the times, and it’s not a Kindle. It’s perfect. Again, I’ll spare you the whys, except to say that it serves my basic needs and addresses a few dislikes I have for the Kindle. And it fits in my back pocket in a pinch.
The Criminal podcast just reminded me to push Raymond Chandler a little further up the list. I really liked The Big Sleep, I just don’t have a good explanation why it took me almost two years to read it (starting over more than once).
He published his first book at 51 years of age. Never too late.
I’m a dad now, and when I think of things, it’s usually with the tinge of what sort of horrible legacy my actions or thoughts will have on my daughter. I just dropped a small amount of cash onto some nice modern tactile BPA and gluten-free toys for her, with nary a grumble on my end. Of course I want the best for her. And I tremble at the threat of maybe providing slightly less.
I have the grumblings of my elders to fall back on instead. Here’s Roland Barthes, on the meaning of modern toys in his time.
First of all, French toys in Barthes’ time were apparently miniaturized replicas of objects in the adult world, the effect being:
…reduced copies of human objects, as if in the eyes of the public the child was, all told, nothing but a smaller man, a homunculus to whom must be supplied objects of his own size.
This tin of mackerel fillets was discovered in 99 Ranch, one of a chain of Asian markets in California. It was about $2. I consumed it atop a bed of instant tapioca noodles, which came with a dehydrated vegetable seasoning packet and a sachet of XO sauce. Continue reading
Q: “What is it?”
A: It is Open Transport Tycoon Deluxe, a video game designed by, and for, people with certain kinds of control issues.
Are zombies passe yet? Yes, they are. Some time ago, this game captured my imagination, and apparently I kept a short log of one play-through. I found it, sitting in my drafts, dating waaaaay back to 2008. I chopped up some old photos I took and put a wrap on it. This is me, playing the free-to-print solo game Zombie In My Pocket.
With a few small decks of cards and a notepad, you role-play an intrepid adventurer trying to stop a zombie uprising by locating and burying an idol in a randomly-generated, besieged house. You must do this by midnight. It’s a roguelike in pocket format.
You do this by laying down square tiles, each representing a room in the house. Each turn, 10 minutes in game-time passes, and an event happens by drawing a card. You might find a weapon, you might fight some zombies, or you can take a moment to rest and gain some health back. In all, you have 18 turns to finish the game.
In my experience, it was a pretty well-balanced game, giving you maybe 40%-60% odds of winning each time, with room for tactical choices. A really nicely-designed gem, and free, to boot. Read, and enjoy the purple prose.
Three Hours to Midnight
9:00pm – At the center of the terror lies a house. Continue reading
It’s hard for me to tell what Oolite really is.
At first, it’s obvious. It’s a space trader/shooter, in the grand tradition of Elite. (Elite, a brilliant game that, much like Master of Orion, seems to inspire no end of remakes, none of which succeed in innovating on the same scale as their inspiration.) Continue reading