Humblebundle: Shadows of Mordor

Sep. 19th, 2017 08:56 pm
green_knight: (Skyrim)
[personal profile] green_knight
This remains one of my favourite games. I am nowhere near finishing it, and it's not an _easy_ game to play, but I love sneaking up on Uruk-hai and stabbing them in the back...

(The trick for this game is that you have to think in three dimensions: climbing up and jumping down are very much a part of it.)

It's the 'pay-what-you-want' bundle, so currently at $6.11 as I speak, and if you've been wanting to pick it up, now might be a good time.

Me? I'm bitter and twisted that the next offering will be Windows-only. (I seem to recall that Shadows of Mordor also took some time to be ported, so I still have hopes.)

And no, I would not pay $80 for a preorder - I have too many games to play - but still - I'd like to play Shadow of War eventually.

fiber monday

Sep. 17th, 2017 08:59 pm
thistleingrey: (Default)
[personal profile] thistleingrey
___Sand is shelved until my mother's cardigan has been finished. Having put myself more or less on deadline for my mother's cardigan and the pi shawl (how is the weather fall-like already?), I found the next day that I needed something more portable than a cardigan and less fussy than the pi shawl. (I worry that carrying the shawl around would fuzz up its yarn.) For back-to-school night I've cast on my sage/off-white Herbarium, and its one small ear will sit in a bag until the next time I need something easy. For back-to-school night I've also written a sentence about something I did in first grade (visit the local library once a week, every week) and drawn a quick picture to accompany it: minus ten potential knitting minutes. :P

(Who knows whether she'll even wear her cardigan---she hasn't worn the poncho that she requested and I knitted two years ago---but this pattern is loose enough to fit me, too, though the sleeves would be short. We currently wear the same storebought shirt size but with different proportions at each point. Anyway, Reason wants like burning to inherit this cardigan despite being too small for it now, and I've been bidden not to rip it back.)

I've realized that for the paired indigo-cochineal shawls, the two colorways are too similar to make the bicolor mosaic motif "pop" properly. There's a US source that sells both Hespa---though not in the colorways my mother has bought---and conventionally dyed Ístex. I've made my best guess at one skein for just the mosaic rows; the stripes that frame them can use the gifted yarn and be a bit patchy. My stash included a bit of Ístex einband already, so it was clear upon meeting the Hespa skeins that they use the same yarn base.

some things

Sep. 17th, 2017 03:26 pm
thistleingrey: (Default)
[personal profile] thistleingrey
* I may not have finished watching Damo, but parts of its soundtrack (and the Tearliner contributions to Coffee Prince's OST, esp. "Go Go Chan") have been great for lulling an overextended child to sleep. In infancy, the title track in its oboe-solo iteration; now, as long as I don't use it often, the semi-power ballad "Bi ga." heh. If the fingers slip in choosing a track, just catch "Fate" before it gets going---not so restful.

* A week after Irma had passed him, my father declared that all was well except for how much the media had lied to everyone to let supermarkets drive prices up for water and supplies. I informed him that he was lucky and changed the subject. His electrical power is still out, but somehow that has nothing to do with whether the radio's weather announcer lied.

#notalloctogenarians but they sure sound like five-year-olds sometimes. No doubt the contrast would be less inviting if I weren't able to compare numerous six- and seven-year-olds of my acquaintance favorably to my father, eh? I'm aware that sometimes people just never "grow up." He did; I remember. It's a blessing that he doesn't remember what he's lost and losing---that would be harder all around.

Meanwhile, the same phone chat made it clear that he's become able to sympathize with his incomplete picture of my health issues/concerns because partner has talked with him about them. Doesn't matter what I say. But I understand a bit better now how he failed to comprehend my mother's illness with Bell's palsy for two years, longer than most people suffer it, since she had no rest or help. Then they divorced, which should've happened sooner, and her life improved. That part is years and years ago, during my early twenties.
Crawl back under your rock of self-estrangement

* It is difficult to use the internet to research specific remedies and palliative measures (for me) without swimming forever amidst groundless hearsay. Bring back 1997. (Not really.)
green_knight: (Default)
[personal profile] green_knight
This is part 'moar spoons' and part displacement, but I've started to work through some of the assorted games I have, with the goal of at least touching each game for a bit and either enjoying them or ditching them altogether.

7 Mages
7 impossible moves before dinner )

And that's just the tutorial. Nope, nope, nopety nope.

Casual Games x4 )

Don't know what I'll play next, I'll probably burn through a number of casual/freebie games next week before going back to Skyrim.

loneliness be over, when will this

Sep. 13th, 2017 08:45 pm
thistleingrey: (Default)
[personal profile] thistleingrey
Ha Jin, A Map of Betrayal (2014): it was on the virtual endcap; the OverDrive landing page for one of my near-enough library systems featured it. Um. The novel opens with a fifty-something professor who uses a Fulbright term in China to investigate and reconstruct her dead spy father's first marriage. The narrative splits most chapters in two---first father, then daughter---though the whole thing struggles to avoid protracted didacticism. On one hand, it's a great opportunity for historical analysis as well as a good puzzle: how do you write a fictional secret history of a topic about which most readers know less than nothing?

On another hand, I agree with this stranger, who seems to have a stronger basis than I for similar views: the whole undertaking in which Lilian uncovers her father's past by talking with random Chinese people to whom she is introduced hopscotch-wise is a crock. Read more... )

Unlike the linked reviewer, I like father Gary's unsympathetic nature, one of the few things that gels for me here. War and spying are hard. Books need antiheroes sometimes.

#amreading

Sep. 11th, 2017 11:45 pm
green_knight: (Default)
[personal profile] green_knight
I just finished - well, finished Saturday night after going to bed - Stephanie Burgis' Snowspelled, which I thoroughly enjoyed, with a big fat caveat: its (perceived-by-me) weaknesses seem very much intended. This is a short book - not much beyond novella length - and it's very clearly influenced by Genre Romance, though that is not the main focus.

This is an alternate Regency story, with lots of magic and interesting politics and a main character who messed up her life really badly and now has to come to terms with that failure. And who _then_ stumbles into a political intrigue of great urgency which has to take precedence over her personal challenges. It's well-written, amusing, has characters you want to hang out with because they are _nice people_, and an interesting magic system. (Through absolutely no fault of its own it clashed a little with the Fey *I* am writing about, but for the duration of the book, I could put that aside.)

'Why, despite keeping me up beyond midnight, this is not my kind of book )

So if you like alternate regencies, particularly one where women DO worry about politics, this is an enjoyable offering. I'll probably pick up the next one, but I don't think I will reread it too often, and I don't intend to buy it in paperback.

fiber monday

Sep. 10th, 2017 07:42 pm
thistleingrey: (Default)
[personal profile] thistleingrey
I have wondered at times whether the influence of German upon Japanese fibercrafts goes the other way. (For G --> J, consider crocheted or knitted "cafe curtains," which may also be machine-knitted.) There's knitted garment evidence of J --> G, but Ravelry is only one echo chamber, as it were. Now I see a sewing pattern for a smock, designed by a German person, which is vaguely mori/yama-girl compatible as a loose first or second layer and which is called FrauAiko, Mrs. Aiko. Aiko is a legit Japanese given name---Reason knows one, my mother knows another, so it spans generations nicely as well---but it's also a (generally northerly) German name or partial name (prototheme), as in one, two. Clever.

(Is "Frau" used by age at present, or is it reserved for married women? It's moved at least once within my lifetime.)

Status: looks like ___Sand's half-knitted collar will amount to a skein and a half (50g skeins), and then there'll be icord without end, amen. Pi shawl has resumed forward motion after the heat has let up a bit, though it's still 30 C = 86 F in my house right now, after sunset.

My mother has returned from her travels with some lovely einband yarn dyed with cochineal and indigo. Now I seem to be on the hook for not one Herbarium shawl but three, and Reason and my mother can be purple-pink twinsies next year 8-| while I retain my plan of off-white x pale sage. (The first of the pair has become the new office project, since two Tidblads at once is boring.) Cochineal á íslensku is kaktuslús koshinelle, according to the yarn label, jartulitað: cactus-louse cochineal, earth-dyed? Not sure about jartu-.

postscript to prior things

Sep. 10th, 2017 11:14 am
thistleingrey: (Default)
[personal profile] thistleingrey
Juniper: victory, if you adjust (as I must) for these:

Read more... )

ION, my 3yo desktop machine, which has already had its power supply replaced under warranty (which led to time-consuming shenanigans re: software license keys), makes a little grinding noise every time I turn it on. Hmmmm. The warranty expired 5 Sept 2017. :P Since I no longer have a professional need to run InDesign or oXygen with large data files and am increasingly unlikely to play more than one big PC game every two years, I'm pondering whether its eventual successor will be a laptop, which'd use less electricity. Does anyone have recs or cautions for recent, non-Apple laptops of small-business caliber? The one thing I always splurge on is RAM, to make a machine become obsolete more slowly; "home" machines are ruled out when you start with 16 GB. (I do still run oXygen sometimes, and now I use IntelliJ.) I've liked Dell and Lenovo laptops in the past, and Toshiba a long time ago.

Voynich mss: a solution?

Sep. 8th, 2017 03:56 pm
green_knight: (Writing tradition)
[personal profile] green_knight
https://www.the-tls.co.uk/articles/public/voynich-manuscript-solution/

offers an interesting explanation for the 'mysterious cypher' that makes up the text of the mss. I want to see an actual translation/transcription before I form a final opinion, but it seems at least somewhat plausible.

(The mss is available in PDF form from a number of sources, for instance here)

next to the mohe

Sep. 6th, 2017 09:28 pm
thistleingrey: (Default)
[personal profile] thistleingrey
Mark E. Byington, The Ancient State of Puyŏ in Northeast Asia: Archaeology and Historical Memory (2016): DNF due to length/density. It's a former doctoral thesis with the ambitious intent of contextualizing the difficult textual accounts of Puyŏ, Koguryŏ, and Parhae/Bohai against archaeological findings. (The seats of all three are within forty km of one another and near the Songhua River, he suggests.) Most texts cited in the bibliography are in Chinese, Korean, English, or Japanese. I can't evaluate Byington's work, but what I've read is interesting and has good scope. Byington even remembers to consider the question of whether the Silla-era origin stories and slightly earlier Sinitic accounts add up to a purely textual phenomenon, i.e. not a record of ethnic transmigrations at all.

The geographical expanse in question overlaps modern North Korea, Manchuria, and neighboring parts of Russia and China. Both ethnic Koreans and C20/21 Chinese have claimed these, which I find kind of funny given the "everyone is [Ch] Han now" and K minjung pushes, with their differently racist (not only assimilative) aspects; even without Byington's work, it's clear that several ethnicities contributed to these historical (or pseudohistorical) polities.

Sidenote: anyone interested in Paekche's real or imaginary origins should read this monograph, too.

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