board games & golf

Feb. 19th, 2019 02:35 pm
brainwane: My smiling face, including a small gold bindi (Default)
[personal profile] brainwane
I grew up understanding "golf" as "a game rich people play while doing low-key industry networking." Indeed I know at least one executive woman who learned how to play golf tolerably well in order to acquit herself well when invited to play by colleagues, clients, etc.

Here in NYC it feels like game nights/board game afternoons are the golf of the programming class. It's kind of assumed that you can play socially, there are gaming circles that also end up serving as industry networking. And you can invite a coworker to a game night and they'll understand that it's social, and not a date, and it's ok if they play really badly as long as they show good sportsmanship.

Is it like this in other cities too?

Edited to add: By the way, I am someone who loves a few board/card games and doesn't love most of them and is willing to play many of them if that's what everyone else in a group of visitors wants to do, and I believe I recognize many of their virtues and their downsides. What I'm specifically curious about is what other cities have this same kind of scene.
brainwane: My smiling face, including a small gold bindi (Default)
[personal profile] brainwane
I saw the Sandra Bullock thriller The Net at some point not long after its initial release. Yesterday I rewatched it with my spouse (who'd never seen it) and realized I remembered nearly none of it. It's trying to say something kind of interesting, and the giant technical inaccuracies and TV movie-level plotting/characterization/cinematography aside, there's still something there worth watching.

(This is a kind of successor post to my review of Antitrust, another Internet-centric thriller from a few years later.)

Angela Bennett (Sandra Bullock) is a schlubby, isolated beta tester who lives in Los Angeles, works remotely for a San Francisco software firm, and is about to go on her first vacation in six years when her colleague tells her about a weird new virus-or-something. She forgets about it until she starts to get hunted -- the dude she meets on vacation tries to kill her, all records of her existence seem to be scrambled or lost, etc. All that you can probably get from the trailer.

Some disjointed responses follow.

spoilers )

Done Since 2019-02-10

Feb. 17th, 2019 03:11 pm
mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)
[personal profile] mdlbear

There is sadness this week, as NASA's Opportunity Rover Mission on Mars Comes to End. Oppy's last transmission amounted to “My battery is low and it’s getting dark.”. Several songs have already been written; I'll almost certainly try to write one of my own. Probably from Oppy's POV; I seem to enjoy anthropomorphizing AIs and other inanimate objects.

Not a whole lot has been getting done this week. I did manage to run some errands Thursday and Friday, with the car on the street. Pulled back into the driveway Friday after things were done, anticipating that the predicted good weather would make it possible to get up again the next time I need to. Fingers crossed.

I started working on the potential writing (tutorials) gig -- we'll see whether $editor likes my proposal. Not many notes Friday and Saturday as a result. Not sure I'm working fast enough. That remains to be seen; it's going slower than I'd like but that may just be because I'm working on the outline.

If you're into music at all, you'll get a kick out of (Gimme Some of That) Ol' Atonal Music - YouTube and Twelve Tones - YouTube (via ysabetwordsmith).

And I was highly amused to find someone seriously advocating the use of RFC 1149, some 18 years after I wrote a song about it.

Notes & links, as usual )

Thankful Thursday

Feb. 14th, 2019 06:05 pm
mdlbear: Wild turkey hen close-up (turkey)
[personal profile] mdlbear

Today I am grateful for

  • My family.
  • Our cats, with extra thanks to Desti for letting me type with her on my lap.
  • Fifteen years of Opportunity, and a lot of good memorials.
  • Warmer weather and mostly-clear roads.
  • Finding something that looks very much like a profitable writing gig.

Pentagonal Signal Boosts of Joy

Feb. 13th, 2019 06:57 pm
jesse_the_k: Finding Nemo's Dory, the adventurous fish with a brain injury (dain bramage)
[personal profile] jesse_the_k

I’ve spent the last two days trying to catch up my reading list. Not yet successful, but I sure have enjoyed the journey. So I'll share:

hours of enjoyment )


Unicorn chaser is the marvelous ThreadReaderApp, which makes a Twitter thread into a single webpage. I was happy to throw a little money their way, and they create PDFs for me to download.

https://threadreaderapp.com

some miscellaneous prose & thoughts

Feb. 12th, 2019 10:05 am
brainwane: My smiling face, including a small gold bindi (Default)
[personal profile] brainwane
On what helps some people decide to attend social gatherings.

On the Short Trek The Escape Artist.

On noticing that I'm trying to read inaccessible fiction.

"Random" (as in the modern slangy sense, e.g., "the Mountain Goats are making an album about D&D? That's random") means: unexpected in a way that I disapprove of, unjustified, and I resent having to make room for this unexpected thing; where do I even file this?!.

The coverage of celebrities (especially actors) and sports that I run into is usually a way into telling stories about labor and power.

Arrested Development loved showing us how its characters clung to the perceived power of names/categories, to make other people see things their way. "It's a satire!" "Illusions, dad!" "Mr. Manager." And, relatedly, mistook fake things for real -- living in the model house, George treating all dolls as though they were people.
brainwane: Sumana, April 2015, with shaved head. (shaved head)
[personal profile] brainwane
After I wrote this review of Manikarnika and this tiny review of, among other things, Victoria & Abdul, I started showing Black Panther to my spouse and I was talking with him about it and about Thor: Ragnarok. And I started wondering aloud why Black Panther and Thor: Ragnarok, which are about royalty, actually have reasonably interesting things to say about geopolitics, while Captain America: Civil War tries to and is incoherent.

(Do I actually believe everything I say here? Not 100% sure. Iron Man 3 spoiler ahead.) )What I said about Victoria & Abdul and about Manikarnika: The Queen of Jhansi was: "both of which seem to think the problem with the British oppression of India is that local subjects were deprived of a wholesome, classy, righteous queen (rather than, say, that Indians were deprived of representative democracy)." And I think that message isn't just about the Raj. I mean, representative democracy is cognitively demanding and there are a million ways it's broken and everyone has to keep making decisions. Wouldn't it be nice for someone else to do it for us??

But -- no. We tried that.

[personal profile] yasaman, basically I am waving my hands around not sure whether I'm full of crap, and would particularly welcome your input here!

Done Since 2019-02-03

Feb. 10th, 2019 11:41 am
mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)
[personal profile] mdlbear

So, it's been a (mostly snowbound) week. It started snowing last Sunday morning; by Monday we had five inches and the streets were impassable. Tuesday I drove down the driveway because C had a Wednesday appointment and I needed to get the car charged; Wednesday we had to cancel because I couldn't get up the driveway. Good thing, because if I had Colleen and I would probably have gotten stuck at the bottom of some hill.

I was able to get out Thursday and shop for staples (and L's drugs). I had very sensibly parked on the street again. Apparently it takes two or three days for the crews to plow and sand the streets to the point where a two-wheel drive car can use them. C cancelled her Friday appointment just a few minutes before they would have called her. We have seven or eight inches total right now, with more on the way tonight, Monday, and Tuesday.

I've been less productive than I'd like for FAWM, but not entirely idle. I got my second song out on time, and then got totally stuck trying to come up with either a follower to that one, or something about my father. Total blank. I guess, in retrospect, that getting derailed was not really surprising, but those songs really want to get written. I was rescued yesterday by a collaboration with [personal profile] pocketnaomi, and it did involve a truck, but I'm still behind.

Notes & links, as usual )

mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)
[personal profile] mdlbear

I am falling behind in FAWM -- it's the 9th, and as of this afternoon I had only two songs up. Now, thanks to a collaboration with [personal profile] pocketnaomi, I have three (which is still behind, only not as much).

Today's s4s is Weird Load, and it was a heck of a lot of fun. N had the initial idea, and wrote the chorus (including the melody). I filled in the verses, and N posted it after some edits. Then I consed up the verse melody (which is almost the same as the chorus). It continues my short string of truck songs, although it's not connected at all to the other two.

Lyrics )

February Album Writing Month: FAWM.ORG/fawmers/mdlbear/.

Thankful... oh, right... Friday

Feb. 8th, 2019 02:38 pm
mdlbear: Wild turkey hen close-up (turkey)
[personal profile] mdlbear

Today I am thankful...

  • that I was able to get Molly (our Chevy Bolt) down the (snow-covered) driveway and on the charger Tuesday;
  • for our newly-installed charger, that can charge Molly from empty in nine-and-a-half hours, as opposed to fifty;
  • that I was able to get Molly up out of the driveway yesterday, and do some grocery shopping and drug running between snowstorms;
  • that Colleen's appointment in Freeland was cancelled (just as she was in the process of cancelling it herself);
  • that I was able to retrieve Desti after the silly creature decided to go out in the snow;
  • that I was able to get a couple of songs written for FAWM (whether I will manage to write any more remains to be seen);
  • for Boot-Repair.

DISCO realization

Feb. 7th, 2019 05:09 am
brainwane: My smiling face, including a small gold bindi (Default)
[personal profile] brainwane
I was just rereading the Star Trek Encyclopedia I got for my 13th birthday and realized: this season of Star Trek: Discovery has every reason to feature Sybok.
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