Craziness! (San Francisco, Carnival, cards, life)

I’m, uh… really rather behind here. Which is matching the rest of my life pretty well, so I guess that’s not a huge surprise. Life’s photojournal and stats pages have finally been updated, a bit later than usual, mostly because I’ve been super behind in photo sorting and tagging recently.

Anyway, lots of things have been happening lately. Let’s see how many I can remember…

We’re in something like year six of four weddings per year, except last year which only had three. But this year felt like it had to make up for last year by having six weddings. Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately, for travel), two of them are on exactly the same dates as two others, so we’re only going to four. But one of those is in Hawaii, a week before I have to be in SF for work again, which is in turn a week before another wedding in Chicago. Which is a week before another wedding in San Francisco. It’s going to be an insane travel time.

Speaking of insane travel, I was in San Francisco for work in April, and it was a nice time.



But I had to rush back, without the usual Phoenix stopover, because the following week was Carnival! We had fewer guests in our house this year than last (two kids and three adults, compared to last year’s two kids and six adults), which I think was a lot more manageable. Carnival itself, however, made up for the relative calm at home by being both a reunion year and being the KGB 30 celebration, which meant there were lots (and lots) of events to worry about.


After the craziness of that stuff died down, work started picking up again. I officially got a promotion to Architect, which is insane and also means I’m dealing with things across four different teams now. Which I’d been unofficially doing anyway, but somehow it just feels a lot more serious now or something.

I also bought more Dragon Ball Z card game cards. Lots and lots of cards. 12,460 cards, give or take a couple booster packs. So, with that, there’s been a lot of pack opening and card sorting and things that I generally find relaxing and soothing. Which is nice, except it means I’ve been neglecting other personal projects like photos. Still have over half of it left to open, but I don’t have to deal with it all now.

In more recent things, winter seems to have finally ended, and Brian hosted a rose wine party to celebrate. We drank a lot of wine, but I guess we were also a reasonably large group, so it’s not too crazy.

Here’s hoping I can catch up on photos and things before the insanity of weddings begins…

Life

Uh, wow. It’s been three months since I last posted. So much for posting at least once a month…

In the home repair department, we successfully replaced our old bathroom ceiling fan. We are quite proud of ourselves!

Downtown flooded a bit in March, thanks to the excessive rain we’ve been having. We missed the worst of it, but caught some of the mess.

Life has otherwise just been full of board games and rock climbing.



With luck, it won’t be another three months before I post again…

Life, Photo Firsts (Grant)

It’s a new year! life’s photo journal and stats pages have been updated. Not many surprises or changes this time around, which I suppose makes sense. I did add Grant to stats though, now that we see him around for board games. So…

First photo of Grant:

September 6, 2004 in front of Doherty, with Howard and Many.

It’s otherwise been both an incredibly productive, and rather relaxing break. I’m really not looking forward to returning to work later this week.

Other than finishing some housework, and dealing with my backlog of photos, I also made a lot of progress on the video game I’m working on. It’s kind of exciting to see things coming together.
I also finished a playthrough of Persona 5, which I think now stands as my favorite RPG of all time (surpassing even Skies of Arcadia), and possibly also my favorite video game… and all this despite not really caring for the ending of the game.

It’s amusing to me that the Christmas present I was perhaps most excited about this year was a Swiffer Vac, so I can now swiffer the downstairs without having to pull out the vacuum to pick up the remnants afterward. So yay for that!

We had some people over yesterday for New Year’s, and it was a nice evening of games and food and friends. There was a Sharon in town, which was also nice.

Hope everyone had a nice break, and here’s hoping 2018 ends up being a better year than the last one, in terms of the world…

Dryer, Water, Gingerbread

Our dryer adventures have concluded with a successful self repair, after an appliance service quoted $180 for someone to come out. We ended up not quite having to take the entire dryer apart… instead, we were able to glue the new seal on while the drum was sitting mostly in place (which meant we didn’t have to unhook any of the belts… huzzah).

The repair was completed just in time for the huge water main servicing our area to break, leaving us with minimal (and contaminated) water, foiling my plans to deal with all the laundry stacking up. Instead, we went out to investigate, and found some impressive remnants of the breakage.


Other than that, life has been going. I’m officially done with work for the year. After we got reasonable water back, I spent most of my first day off (Monday) doing 6 loads of laundry while sitting and playing Persona 5 in the basement to make sure the dryer didn’t catch fire. It seems to have worked properly, which is good.

Persona 5, by the way, is a pretty amazing game. I think the visual novel/relationship elements are integrated really well with the RPG elements. I’ve been kind of obsessed with it, and hoping to finish up the fifth palace soon!

Our neighbors had an ugly sweater party with gingerbread house making, so I tried my hand at making a gingerbread house. It didn’t turn out too badly, I think?





In any case, Christmas soon approaches, which will be nice. I’ve updated my photo journal given the free time I’ve been having. It’s nice having time off to catch up on errands and chores.

Breaking all the things

It’s been an interesting few days in life… mostly full of things not working properly and/or frustratingly.

On Monday, I set about installing the latest Windows 10 updates on my desktop. Apparently one of the updates was a large enough change that it caused Photoshop to require re-activation. Which wouldn’t be a real problem, except that Adobe took down the CS3 activation servers earlier this year. The workaround was to download a version of Photoshop that didn’t require online activation (from the official Adobe website; which required installing some software to download it, too) and obtain a new offline serial number.
So that process was reasonably straightforward, but when I went through the uninstall/reinstall process… it failed. The newly installed version continued to request re-activation, rather than activation, and wouldn’t give me a way to use the new offline serial number.
In the end, I found the solution on their forums (clear some cache directory on your computer) and was able to get Photoshop working again.

Except the process of clearing the cache screwed up my installation of Photoshop Elements (which I use for the Organizer functionality for my photos). Fixing that required another uninstall and reinstall of Photoshop Elements, which fortunately was uneventful. (I was a little worried about the photo library database file.) Still, it’s a great example of why DRM only hurts legitimate consumers of your product: People that have always been using a cracked version of CS3 would never have run into problems due to the activation server EoL. People that bought it have to jump through hoops to get a new installer and get things working again.

On Tuesday, I did laundry. And some felt ring in the dryer came unattached, and is no longer part of the dryer. We’re trying to figure out how much it matters, and if we should care enough that we should get it fixed before using the dryer again. But that’s just even more of a mess to deal with.

We drove to my in-laws’ for Thanksgiving on Wednesday. It was our first time trying to use our new EZ Pass on the Ohio toll roads… so of course, when we go to drive through the toll gate to enter the turnpike, the system is broken. They give us a “breakdown ticket” instead, but then when we got off the turnpike, the gate just opened to let us through, and the tollbooth attendant seemed uninterested in collecting the ticket. So we were concerned about getting charged the correct amount until the charge registered on the account (which only happened today, and fortunately registered correctly). So boo for technology.

Yesterday (or, more accurately, early this morning) was Black Friday sales, starting at some time around midnight. I tend to save up a list of the things I want to buy during a year, and get them while they’re on sale. (Persona 5 for $30!) I collected together my list, saw that almost everything on my list was on sale at Best Buy (because I guess Black Friday deals are mostly the same across all retailers now and Best Buy stocks all the stuff?), and patiently waited for the deals to become active on the site. They finally did around 1 AM and then… the site crashed. It was mostly unresponsive, I was unable to add items to my cart, and the checkout process glitched out many times (fortunately, always before asking for credit card information). I ended up waiting for the deals to become active on Amazon instead (which took until ~3 AM), and getting them there, but it was unnecessarily frustrating. Websites that expect to host Black Friday deals online really should be better at handling the server load of Black Friday deals.
Mostly cranky about this because it meant I got two hours less sleep than I would have, and because I’m particularly wishing I had just slept normally and tried to buy things the next morning. Next year, perhaps, this shall be the plan.

Finally, today I tried to log in to Facebook (to check messages, which is really the only thing I use FB for anymore)… and ran into their latest and greatest form of two factor: Apparently the new method gives you the names of five of your friends (randomly selected, it looks like?), and requires you to either call three of them (or talk to them in person), and have them go to a page to obtain a 4-digit code for you to enter. I was fortunate in my case that I actually have the ability to contact any of them (albeit indirectly, in some cases, via a friend who actually has their contact information), but I really wonder what would happen if three of the five were people you knew mostly (or entirely) indirectly, or only extremely casually. Would you just lose the ability to access your account forever? I kind of feel like this process was not thought through very well.
It’s also particularly amusing, or perhaps heavy-handed, when a person you contact actually goes to get a code… it asks them to confirm how they talked to you (over the phone, email/text, or not at all). I understand the desire for security, and as someone that builds two-factor mechanisms for work appreciate the innovation, but this particular method seems perhaps a bit too unforgiving. It seems particularly rough given that a lot of people can *only* be contacted on FB messenger these days, but it mostly just reminds me why I hate closed systems and stopped using Facebook in the first place. (Now if I could only contact everyone I needed to via email…)

So, as nice as the holiday has been, it’s generally been a frustrating week. Hopefully everyone had a nice Thanksgiving, though. :)